A person addicted to drugs or alcohol who wants help may detox at home as the first step in getting treatment. While support is commendable, it’s vital to receive the right help in the right setting. Here are some dangers of detoxing at home and why it’s better to detox under an experienced professional’s care.
Health Complications During Withdrawal
Over time, the body develops a dependency on a substance like drugs or alcohol. If a person suddenly stops drinking alcohol or taking an addictive substance, the body can experience several withdrawal symptoms:
- Heart palpitations
If a person does not know how to address withdrawal symptoms, her or his condition may worsen. By going to a Denver detox center, the individual can go through withdrawal under the care of experienced medical professionals and therapists. Also, the individual can receive prescription medication to help address withdrawal symptoms.
Potential for Dying From Withdrawal
For some, detoxing at home can be deadly, especially if the person goes through the process alone. While detoxing, withdrawal symptoms may cause poor body system functionality. For instance, heavy alcohol use may weaken kidney and liver functioning. If a person develops an addiction to an opioid, withdrawing without proper medical supervision could cause a relapse. Depending on the severity of the relapse, the person may overdose.
Incomplete Detoxing After Enduring Withdrawal
Making it through an at-home detox does not put a person in the clear. It is essential to complete detoxing to reduce the risk of relapsing. If a person relapses and tries to detox at home again, the withdrawal symptoms may be more severe than they were the first time. Detoxing under medical supervision reduces the chances of a relapse, allowing the individual to advance to further treatment steps to address addiction and enjoy relief.
Longer Period of Withdrawal
When detoxing from alcohol, those with a history of heavy use may experience delirium tremens. Symptoms of DTs include:
- Appearing conscious without responding
- Severe mood swings and agitation
- Excitability and restlessness
DTs symptoms often start the second or third day of enduring withdrawal. One major risk of going through DTs at home is symptoms can last longer than they would with professional medical help. DTs can last from one to eight days. If symptoms persist for longer than a week, the individual risks relapsing, which may prove fatal.
Lack of Counseling and Emotional Support During Withdrawal
Beyond physical support, a person going through withdrawal from drugs or alcohol deserves emotional support. Detoxing can churn up a variety of emotions, and proper counseling can help a person navigate the psychological difficulties. Proper emotional support is vital for those who turned to addictive substances to address emotional issues such as anxiety and depression or to self-medicate. Group and individual counseling can lay the foundation that strengthens the chances of recovery and reduces the odds of a relapse.
Those wrestling with substance abuse may detox at home for a variety of reasons. Despite those reasons, handling withdrawal and its many effects requires checking into a detox center.