Detoxing is an essential part of addiction recovery for most people who struggle with drug or alcohol addiction. Sadly, Hollywood’s depiction of detox and withdrawal continues to paint the journey to sobriety in a harsh and scary light, making many choose to detox alone, so others don’t know or share in their difficulties. In contrast, it may seem that detoxing alone is easier, less costly, and less intrusive on your day-to-day life; getting sober without help from a detox program and addiction treatment can be unsuccessful and sometimes dangerous. Understanding why it is dangerous to detox at home, alone, is vital to understanding the importance of medically-assisted detox at a comprehensive detox center.
What Role Does Detox Play in Addiction Recovery Treatment?
On the surface, overcoming addiction may seem a straightforward process, but little could be further from the truth. As substance dependency and subsequent addiction develop, your body changes. The structure and function of your brain alter to accommodate and eventually to need drugs or alcohol to carry out its usual tasks. Similarly, many of your body systems alter their functions to operate because of substances rather than despite substances. As these changes occur, your ability to stop drinking or using drugs without experiencing withdrawal symptoms disappears.
Detox or detoxification is the process that helps you start working towards sobriety. When you begin a detox program at a comprehensive detox center like Grand Falls Recovery, you allow your body the time it needs to cleanse itself from any remaining toxic chemicals. Detox will enable you to begin rehab with a “clean slate.” Without comprehensive detox, you may experience intense and overwhelming cravings and other withdrawal symptoms as you try to stop using drugs or alcohol. Often, cravings and other withdrawal challenges can quickly become challenging to manage, and relapse occurs.
Why is it Dangerous to Detox from Drugs and Alcohol at Home?
Detox looks different from substance to substance and person to person. Some substances lead to severe physical dependency, whereas others cause more significant psychological dependence. Still, others may contribute to both in varying degrees. There are specific substances, namely alcohol, opiates, and benzodiazepines, that can cause potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms during detox. For these substances (and others), medical detox is vital to ensuring you have the support you need to detox safely and successfully. When detoxing at home, you do not have access to comprehensive medical support to help you manage uncomfortable or potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol detox can lead to powerful and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Although some might be mild and easily managed with counseling and (potentially) over-the-counter medications, extreme withdrawal symptoms can evolve into delirium tremens. Delirium tremens or DTs is a dangerous condition that can cause high fever, hallucinations, delirium, seizures, coma and death in the most severe cases. For people who attempt to detox alone, DTs can be very dangerous.
Detoxing from opioids and benzodiazepines alone can also lead to medical and mental health challenges. Opioid or benzo withdrawal symptoms are complex and often unpleasant. At a detox center, your team of medical and mental health providers will provide support and necessary medical intervention to help you successfully get through the most challenging days of detox. At home, you do not have these supports. The emotional and physical symptoms accompanying withdrawal often lead to relapse and overdose in these cases.
How to Find a Comprehensive Detox Rehab Center Near Me
Detoxing alone can be dangerous for some people and potentially fatal for others. When you struggle with long-term addiction, your body and brain develop a powerful dependency on drugs or alcohol. When you stop using or try to rapidly reduce the amount you use, withdrawal symptoms will inevitably occur, and some of your vital body systems (such as your kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart) may not function as they need to, leading you to feel physically and emotionally unwell.
Medical detox at a comprehensive detox center is a safe, efficient, and effective way to overcome physical and psychological dependence on drugs or alcohol. Trained professionals who understand the struggles you face as part of detox are vital to ensuring a safe and effective beginning of your recovery journey. It is also important to remember that detox itself is not addiction treatment but a necessary first step in a larger addiction treatment program. As part of addiction treatment, detox helps you cleanse your body of harmful and addictive substances before engaging in therapy to help you maintain lasting recovery. Attempting to detox alone, you do not have access to potentially life-saving medical and mental health supports, which can be vital to ensuring successful detox. Let our team at our comprehensive medical detox program help you take the first steps on your road to recovery. Contact Grand Falls Recovery today to learn more about medically assisted detox programs and our range of evidence-based addiction treatment programs at our Missouri rehab.