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The Dangers of Detoxing at Home

You might be wondering how to detox drugs at home.

Well, the answer is that you shouldn’t—drug detoxing should always be done under the supervision of trained medical professionals.

While the idea of detoxing at home might seem like a convenient and discreet option, it is a perilous decision that can have dire consequences for those seeking to break free from addiction. The dangers of attempting a home detox are manifold, ranging from physical health risks to the potential for relapse, and they underscore the critical importance of medically assisted drug detox.

In this article, we’ll explore the significant disparities between home detoxing and professional, supervised detox programs, shedding light on why the latter is not only a safer choice, but often the most effective one for individuals on their path to recovery.

Why You Shouldn’t Detox Drugs at Home

How to detox drugs at home? Don’t.

Detoxing from any kind of drug has serious risks, especially when it’s done on your own or without medical assistance or the help of an addiction treatment centre.

Physical Risks and Withdrawal Symptoms

When detoxing, you can expect anywhere between mild to severe withdrawal symptoms to appear within 24 hours of your last dose. Your body gets used to functioning a certain way during drug abuse, which triggers a reaction when the substance is no longer there.

When individuals attempt to detox at home without medical supervision, they often face severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can vary depending on the substance involved, but may include nausea, vomiting, tremors, seizures, and even life-threatening complications like delirium tremens in the case of alcohol withdrawal.

Some withdrawal symptoms, particularly in the case of stimulant drugs, can strain the cardiovascular system. Elevated blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks are potential risks during home detox.

Opioid withdrawal, for instance, can cause respiratory issues such as difficulty breathing. In a home detox setting, this can become life-threatening if not addressed promptly.

A woman in a dark bedroom holds her head in distress

Psychological Challenges

Substance abuse is often linked with concurrent mental health disorders. Attempting home detox without addressing these underlying issues can exacerbate mental health symptoms, leading to depression, anxiety, and even thoughts of self-harm.

Emotional support is a crucial component of addiction recovery. At home, individuals may not have access to the encouragement and understanding that they would receive in a medical or therapeutic setting.

Relapse and Continuation of Use

In a home environment, it’s easier for individuals to access the very substances they are trying to quit. The presence of drugs within reach can trigger relapse. Conversely, in a medical detox setting, there is a sense of accountability to healthcare professionals and a structured treatment plan.

The Importance of Medical Assistance

The degree to which your body has become dependent on a substance will influence the severity of the withdrawal symptoms you experience.

Medically supervised detox considers your unique risk factors to make the process as safe as possible. It also removes you from the environment in which you have likely been using drugs, replacing it with something much more conducive to healing.

Substance abuse is typically interlinked with other mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. Drugs and other harmful substances are also oftentimes used as a means to cope with these conditions. When an individual begins the detox process, the symptoms of their disorder may worsen, so having mental health care nearby can help a patient manage these symptoms.

Ultimately, choosing the right detox facility will provide you access to attentive care, help you cope with withdrawal symptoms, and increase your chances of a successful recovery. It will also ensure any drugs you are using throughout the process are administered safely, of which there are no assurances if you are detoxing at home.

Medical Detoxing and Harm Reduction

For individuals struggling with opioid addiction, detox can be an especially daunting and uncomfortable process. The withdrawal symptoms associated with opioids can be intensely painful, both physically and mentally.

To mitigate these challenges, medications like methadone and Suboxone, have been developed as part of a harm reduction strategy. These medications, when administered by licensed professionals and used correctly, play a crucial role in addiction treatment and have the potential to make the detox process safer and more manageable.

a hand holding a bottle of prescribed methadone

Methadone and Suboxone

Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist that can alleviate withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. It works by stabilizing individuals by providing a controlled and steady dose of opioid.

It is so effective in substance abuse treatment that even the World Health Organization has added methadone (along with Suboxone) to its list of essential medications. However, methadone can be dangerous if misused.

Methadone, especially when misused or taken in high doses, can lead to respiratory depression and overdose, similar to other opioids. It has a long half-life, which means its effects can linger in the body, increasing the risk of overdose if not used as prescribed.

Suboxone is a combination medication containing buprenorphine (a partial opioid agonist) and naloxone (an opioid antagonist) used to curb drug cravings and prevent overdose.

Dependency and addiction is also a potential danger with long-term methadone and Suboxone use. However, it’s important to note that the risk of addiction to these medications is lower compared to the full agonist opioids like heroin.

Don’t Risk Detoxing at Home, Get Support Today

If you (or someone you love) is wondering how to detox drugs at home, the right answer is to direct them to a clinic.

Choosing medical detox is a courageous step that should put you on the path to recovery, not set you back further. If you want to get long-lasting results, choose inpatient detox with the help of the professionals at Freedom From Addiction.

We are the only rehab facility in Canada that provides methadone treatment to people who are detoxing as part of their recovery program. You can count on us to deliver attention, empathy, and high-quality care every step of the way.

Instead of detoxing at home, contact us today to start your journey.


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