Choosing to seek recovery and pursue a life free from addiction not only takes courage but strong determination. This is because addiction to substances rewires the brain and makes chemical changes which take time to reverse.
But to get to this point in recovery, it is necessary to first cleanse the body from all the drugs’ toxins. Detoxing gives the recovering individual this chance to purge their system and begin recovery with a fresh start.
What is drug detox?
Drug detox is the first step in addiction recovery. It is the process by which the body can rid itself of all drug-based toxins as drug consumption has stopped and no new substances are being introduced into the body. It is the first step in the healing process.
Detox is an important step because it starts the body on a path of physical recovery, which then sets the stage for the mental part of recovery. Because detox is such a crucial aspect of overcoming addiction, it must be done correctly – that is, the body must be completely detoxed before the next stage of recovery begins.
It sounds rather straightforward – by stopping drug consumption, you can detox your body and begin to heal.
Unfortunately, because of the undeniable impact drug use has on mental health and the brain, detox is not quite so easy. After drug use stops, withdrawal symptoms and cravings kick in, especially if the drug use is ongoing for a long period.
This is what makes detox so difficult. The unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and cravings often send individuals back to seeking drugs before their body even has time to completely rid itself of toxins.
Can I safely detox from drugs at home?
We have established that detox is challenging, but is it so challenging that it’s impossible to do on your own?
Many people have detoxed alone, but it is not the challenge that makes detoxing at home so cautionary – it’s the risks and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms from drugs are varied based on factors like how much of the drug was being consumed and how frequently; how long the addiction lasted; and whether or not substances were being combined. Common withdrawal symptoms, however, are often experienced during detox and may include:
GI upset, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and/or diarrhea
Oftentimes the experience of these withdrawal symptoms is so negative and unpleasant, that individuals seek to get rid of the discomfort by returning to drug use. This can lead to accidental overdose, which, if one is home alone detoxing, can be potentially fatal.
In addition, some of these withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe and dangerous – especially hallucinations and seizures – and those detoxing at home can be at risk for injury and even death as a result. For this reason, it is always advisable to seek professional detox treatment to prevent unnecessary complications and dangers from arising.
The benefits of seeking detox
Detox treatment facilities are designed to meet the round-the-clock needs of the individuals in their care seeking help with detox. Not only is constant supervision provided, but treatments are designed to meet the personalized needs and requirements of each case based on their history.
Additional benefits of seeking professional detox assistance include:
Medically assisted detox, where FDA-approved medications are utilized to help minimize the impact and severity of withdrawal symptoms to increase success rates;
24/7 access to medical and mental health professionals who can help with any complication and provide you the care needed to successfully see you through detox;
A drug-free environment to remove the temptation of using drugs to mitigate cravings;
A greater success rate due to the benefits of medically assisted detox, supervision and personalized treatment plans;
Decreased risk of overdose and relapse;
Better preparation for the remaining work of recovery and addiction treatment.
So while you technically can detox at home, it is undeniably safer and more likely to succeed should you seek out the care offered through treatment facilities.
Looking to detox?
If you are ready to begin your detox process and recovery journey, our staff at Pyramid Healthcare is here to help. Contact us to learn more about our programs by calling our offices at 888-694-9996 or contact us online today.