The Dangers of At-Home Self-Detox
- Lisa Herron
- 1 Oct 2019
The first step in addiction recovery is oftentimes drug detoxification, or detox for short. When your body becomes dependent on a harmful substance, you will begin to experience symptoms of withdrawal if you go too long without using that substance again. Detox is the process of flushing the toxic substance from your body so that you no longer experience withdrawal symptoms and can focus on maintaining your sobriety.
Freedom From Addiction provides medical detox services in Toronto. You may be tempted to try self-detoxing at home as it is a cheaper option and allows you to still go about your everyday life, there are some pretty notable reasons why you should not attempt it.
Symptoms of Drug Withdrawal
Before getting started, I’d like to take a moment to discuss the symptoms of drug withdrawal. Understanding what symptoms you may experience during the detoxification process might sway your opinion on what treatment option is right for you.
When you’ll start to experience the symptoms of withdrawal will highly depend on the particular substance that you are addicted to, but you can roughly expect them to start showing within 24 hours since your last dose.
Some of the most common symptoms of drug detox include the following:
- Marijuana: depression; anxiety; aggression; physical symptoms including tremors, fever, sweating, and stomach pain.
- Stimulants: depression; suicidal thoughts and behaviours.
- Opioids: increased sensitivity to pain; muscle aches; bone and joint pain; gastrointestinal distress.
- “Bath salts”: paranoia; depression; tremors; sleep disturbances.
- Ketamine: depression; anxiety.
If you’re unsure whether you or someone else has become dependant on a particular substance, these withdrawal symptoms are some of the signs of addiction.
The Dangers of Detoxing at Home
Detoxing from any kind of drug at home has some pretty serious risks involved—especially when it’s done on your own or without medical assistance. The degree to which your body has become dependent on a substance will influence the severity of the withdrawal symptoms you experience. In addition to this, if you abused multiple harmful substances at the same time, your withdrawal symptoms will likely be significantly worse or even unpredictable. If you are not under proper medical supervision, your withdrawal symptoms can result in more dangerous issues such as seizures, strokes, heart attacks, and more.
Sometimes withdrawal can even last for weeks. Unfortunately, due to this fact and that the pain of withdrawal can be so unbearable for some people that they decide becoming sober is not worth it and begin using again.
Additionally, when you are detoxing at home, you are not removed from the environment and bad influences that have contributed to your addiction. You are also not separated from people who may be enabling your addiction. Due to this, it is much easier to fall into old patterns and behaviours that may result in you using once again.
It is also fairly common for people who are struggling with addiction to simultaneously be battling other mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. Drugs and other harmful substances are oftentimes used as a means to cope with these conditions, so when an individual begins the detox process the symptoms of their disorder may worsen. Without the aid of a medical professional, you won’t be able to address these mental health concerns while you’re detoxing.
Although self-detox might seem like a more financially beneficial decision, for all of these reasons it can be dangerous.
The Benefits of Medically Supervised Detox
It is generally recommended to not attempt detox at home because of the serious risks that are associated with it. There are numerous benefits of inpatient drug detox in addition to many detox needs that can only be properly addressed if you are under the care of medical professionals. This sometimes includes the medical stabilization through cross-tolerant drugs, as well as therapeutic interventions for dual mental health diagnoses.
Further, inpatient medical detox services in Toronto creates an environment where you are surrounded by your peers who are going through the same experience as you. This can create a sense of community so that you do not feel as though you are alone in your recovery through peer support. This safe and structure environment ensures that you build the support systems that you need in order to maintain your sobriety in the long run. For example, the likelihood of relapsing after recovery is greatly reduced when you detox with medical help.
Our Approach to Drug Detox
Safe, medical detox is part of Freedom From Addiction’s drug rehab program in Toronto. We don’t believe that quitting “cold turkey” is the most beneficial way to go about the detox process, nor is it the safest. Under the supervision of our expert team members, we recommend the use of cross-tolerant drugs so that you do not experience the symptoms of withdrawal at their worst. Through the use of medically tested and approved drug detox medications, you will be able to diminish your cravings with minimal side effects, ensuring a much higher chance of long-term sobriety.
Contact us today if you have questions about or are interested in our medical detox services in Toronto. We can help you get through the initial hurdle of withdrawal so that you can focus on achieving sobriety.
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