We have all seen the get rich quick schemes, which always turn out to be shams. The same goes for do-it-yourself detox programs that may appeal to those struggling to pay for professional addiction treatment. Shortcuts for something that can be dangerous are not recommended when treating substance use disorders. At-home detox, otherwise known as going cold turkey, is risky if you are dependent on alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opioids. There are many complications involved and can quickly turn deadly.
Substance use will eventually change how the brain functions, which will result in uncontrollable drug cravings and failed attempts to cut back or stop. You may find that you want to stop, but the process to do so is not as simple as it once was when you started using the drug. Unfortunately, it will lead to a severe substance use disorder that becomes an addiction.
There are many reasons why at-home detoxes are risky. If you or someone you love is considering this option, keep the following in mind:
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National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). 8: Medical detoxification. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction/section-iii/7-medical-detoxification