One of the many barriers that people in need of drug or alcohol detox face is the fear of entering a facility to manage their potential withdrawal symptoms. Just like entering treatment, entering detox carries with it fears and stigma for potential patients. Excuses like “I am unable to take time off of work” or “It won’t be that bad” or “I’ll be more comfortable at detoxing at home” are often used by people that call into a detox center while in active addiction.
Our admissions staff often hears potential patients say that they would rather try detoxing at home. However, this can be a dangerous and, sometimes, even a fatal mistake. We are not trying to cause fear in people, but it must be understood that all withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, and some substance misuse or addiction to specific substances carry potentially fatal risks if an individual attempts to stop using on their own.
The discomfort from withdrawal can often catapult an individual back to using substances. One of the most difficult parts of getting off opioids or heroin is that the physical withdrawals can be so physically uncomfortable or painful, that in the middle of withdrawals the person will be unable to cope with the discomfort and seek out more substances to make them feel better. In the case of other substances, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines, the withdrawal issues can be so dangerous that without medical care, they can be fatal.
All detoxes without the care and support of medical professionals carry some serious risks. Sometimes it is directly from the withdrawal symptoms caused by the stopping of drugs and alcohol, while other times it can be from the medical issues that can arise due to stopping use. Seizures, falls, broken bones, head injuries, delirium, and other issues can result from withdrawals, and without 24-hour medical care in a detox facility, individuals run the risk of greater issues taking place. Therefore, an individual dealing with addiction or substance use disorder issues should never try to detox themselves at home, and instead seek out the medical care of trained professionals in a 24-hour medical setting to help with detox and manage withdrawal symptoms safely and appropriately.
We understand why potential patients would prefer to detox at home. They are comfortable at home. It is a setting they know. If they detox at home, they believe they will not have family, loved ones, or employers asking questions about their health or addiction issues. However, we also know that addiction is a complex, chronic health condition that should be treated appropriately by medical professionals in a setting that supports healing and recovery.
Is it possible to detox at home? Sometimes. However, it is certainly not best practices and will not best support an individual in overcoming their addiction and beginning to learn how to live their life in recovery, free from addiction, and with positive coping mechanisms.
Is it safe to detox at home? Sometimes, but depending on the substances being used, often it is not. And even for substances that are not potentially fatal, such as opioids, detoxing at home carries risks and terrible amounts of discomfort. It also does not set up an individual to receive the necessary clinical services and recovery support needed to overcome their addiction by dealing with the underlying causes and conditions of their illness, which are often the driving factors in their active use of drugs and alcohol.
There are serious risks associated with any withdrawal process or detox, and even more so for someone choosing to detox at home. Even if the individual gets through the detox, chances are, without the necessary ongoing treatment and support, they could relapse and be back in the same place, needing to detox. Recovery is available for everyone with the right care and support, and everyone deserves a chance to overcome their addiction. Why not give yourself the best chance possible, both for safety reasons and for setting yourself up with the best chance of success in recovery? At a detox facility, you will receive all the necessary medical care and clinical support you will need, while also being able to detox in a comfortable setting. This will allow the person to safely stop using drugs and alcohol while being offered the opportunity to continue to necessary addiction treatment work to not just get clean and sober but to also find freedom and happiness in recovery.
If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorders, please give us a call. Innovo Detox offers the latest in evidence-based medical, psychiatric, and clinical care for those in need of detox and medical stabilization in Pennsylvania and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or a loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a detox, rehab, treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (717) 619-3260 or email our team at [email protected]. For more information on our company or services, please visit our website at www.innovodetox.com.