Detox at Home: How to Detox from Drugs at Home Correctly

Last Updated: November 12, 2021

Authored by Isaak Stotts, LP

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Drug and alcohol detoxification can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Intensive inpatient programs to detoxify with 24-hour medical supervision are highly effective in alleviating the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms, but they do not come cheap. For many recovering addicts, a home drug detox is a tempting option compared to the cost of treatment at rehab facilities.

However, self-treatment can be dangerous. To detox from drugs, home remedies can prove fatal in some situations. The physical symptoms of withdrawal from substances can be quite distressful. In addition, recovering addicts have to battle psychological demons during recovery, especially in the initial stages of addiction treatment.

Is it possible to do a heroin detox at home? Can someone quit drinking without enrolling in a supervised program with detox protocol? Learn if detoxing from drugs is possible in privacy and comfort without putting one’s life in danger.

Is It Possible To Detox At Home?

Detox is a process that cleanses the body of substances. For detoxing from substance abuse, detox programs are available at many facilities. These programs are combined with therapy and other services to support people through recovery. Home detoxification is a great option only if an individual wants to do some lifestyle and dietary modifications.

There are many drug test detox kits or detox drinks for drug test that allow people to detoxify at home. However, most of them are aimed either to cheat a drug test (which is illegal in some states) or to provide full-body detox to improve overall health.

Variety of smoothies in bottles made at home.

But home remedies for detox from drugs are highly unsuitable in case of substance abuse (heroin, cocaine, alcohol, opioids, including hypnotics and synthetic drugs). Detoxing from any of these substances naturally can cause additional problems, such as relapsing, insomnia, diverging to newer addictions, and facing severe withdrawal symptoms like impaired respiration, hypertension, depression, etc. Various detox programs (alcohol and drug abuse) exist to overcome these problems and offer progressive sobriety to the people.

Detoxing from Alcohol at Home

Alcohol detoxification could be challenging, depending upon the history of alcohol abuse. The higher the alcohol abuse in people, the higher would be the incidence of severe withdrawal symptoms. In addition, at-home detox from alcohol is dangerous since an individual may not have the support needed to overcome the body’s psychological and chemical dependence on alcohol.

Detoxing alcohol cold-turkey might present severe side effects, such as hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, seizures, and delirium tremens. Detoxing from drugs naturally could pose life-threatening risks, including heart failure and death. Therefore, rehab and detox programs, supervised by medical professionals, are recommended.

Thomas Recipe For Opiate Withdrawal

The Thomas Recipe is specifically designed to target opiate withdrawal. Detoxing from opiates is painful and dangerous. It can even lead to death. As such, it is no wonder that people will seek out options other than going cold turkey.

The Thomas Recipe for opiate withdrawal combines over-the-counter medications and supplements with benzodiazepines. The idea is that the combination of items will address all withdrawal symptoms and result in safe, fast drug detox. However, there is no evidence that this is safe. If the goal is to find an affordable way to get clean, some centers allow people to get free detox.

Preparing for How to Detox from Drugs at Home

There is no doubt that self-detoxification is less burdensome on the wallet than a medically supervised program. But, detoxing without any supervision can have serious health repercussions if it is not done correctly. That’s why it’s essential for anyone attempting a natural self-detoxification to consult an addiction specialist for expert advice before embarking on the process.

Doctor and patient talking about detox at home.

Addiction leads to many physical and psychological changes in the body and brain of the addict. It makes the withdrawal from substances incredibly tricky. That is why recovering addicts who are attempting an at-home detox are at a high risk of relapse. Medical professionals use many strategies, techniques, and prescription medications to provide care and make detoxing easier. So how to help someone detox at home without compromising on safety? What preparations can make the process easier, safer, and more likely to succeed? Here are some tips to make self-detoxification go smoothly.

Family and Friends

Relying on willpower alone is probably not the best strategy for self-managed detoxification. Instead, recovering addicts should confide in one or more close family members or friends to help them through the in-home detoxification. Emotional support and motivation play an important role in preventing a return to drug and alcohol use.

Nutrition, Hydration, and Exercise

Chronic alcoholism and drug abuse take a toll on the addict’s overall health. In preparation for home detoxification, it is a good idea to boost nutrition with healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Staying well hydrated and eating well helps build immunity and flush out toxins from the body. Meditation and regular exercise can help manage physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.

Medications and Supplements

As detoxification comes at the cost of withdrawal symptoms, certain common side effects like headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can be symptomatically managed with some OTC medications.

The patient will probably need some intervention for the severe symptoms, such as detox medications for seizures.

Time Management

It is a good idea for recovering addicts to take time off work and reschedule social visits in preparation for self-detoxification. How long does detox take? The duration will depend on the particular substance. Moreover, at-home detoxification can take longer, because some of the psychological symptoms, if not addressed, can last for months. Effective ways of managing time properly are in the best interest of individuals, such as making a to-do list, knowing their bounds and limits, and indulging in new activities and hobbies. However, it is still required to contact a doctor for more information before starting the detoxification process.

Medications for At-Home Detox

The withdrawal symptoms that an individual will experience during self-detoxification will depend on the substance abused and the severity of the addiction. Many over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, and supplements are available to ease the process and make the home drug detoxification less uncomfortable.

Pharmacist consulting a client about supplements for detox.

Note that taking these medications without a consultation with a medical professional may be harmful. Detox IV therapy without medical supervision is also a dangerous practice.

Vitamins and Minerals

Recovering addicts, in particular, alcoholics, are often malnourished. It is a good idea to replenish vitamins and minerals, such as folate, thiamine, zinc, and magnesium, with OTC multivitamin supplements for those wondering how to detox from drugs at home. In addition, high doses of vitamin C have been shown to ease withdrawal symptoms and may help addicts undergoing heroin detox at home.

Anti-Diarrhea Medications

Some drugs, such as opioids, cause constipation, and withdrawal from these substances during opiate detoxification results in diarrhea. Therefore, it is good for recovering addicts to have OTC medications for diarrhea relief, such as Imodium and Pepto-Bismol, on hand.

Sleep Aids

Many recovering people, such as individuals with benzo addictions, suffer from sleep disturbances during the detoxification process, along with hypersensitivity to lights and noise. Dietary supplements and natural sleep aids, such as valerian root, chamomile, and melatonin, can help manage these symptoms during an at-home detox on a day-to-day basis.

Supplements

Taking supplements is helpful if you are wondering how to detox your body from drugs at home. Several amino acids, available as supplements, can help manage stressful withdrawal symptoms and make home detoxification more bearable. L-theanine, which is found in green tea, reduces anxiety. L-glutamine can lessen cravings for drugs and alcohol. L-tyrosine lifts mood and energy levels and helps manage depression.

Natural Detox at Home: What Are the Dangers?

Quitting drugs and alcohol is a challenging process, and self-detoxification without professional care is even more difficult. It is possible to manage withdrawal symptoms with over-the-counter medications during home detoxification, but this does not mean that kicking addiction independently is entirely safe.

So What Are the Dangers of In-Home Detoxification Treatment?

  • Life-Threatening Symptoms. Sometimes severe and life-threatening symptoms, such as grand mal seizures or delirium tremens, occur during drug and alcohol detoxification. These conditions require specialized care by medical professionals at residential centers or outpatient detox programs.
  • Relapse and Overdose. The detoxification period is associated with intense cravings. Without professional counseling, therapy, and care, many recovering addicts start using substances again during home detoxification. It can result in a fatal overdose if the body cannot handle the toxicity of the drug.
  • Severe Side Effects. Recovering addicts frequently suffer from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea during drug detoxification. These withdrawal symptoms put them at risk of malnutrition, dehydration, and complications, such as low blood pressure and kidney failure. Persistent vomiting also puts individuals undergoing in-home drug rehab at risk of pulmonary aspiration or choking on their vomit.
  • Heart Problems. Detoxing from drugs has an impact on heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. During in-home detoxification, problems, such as cardiac arrhythmias may develop. Without medical management, these complications can progress to heart failure or stroke.
  • Mental Health Issues. Withdrawal from some substances can induce psychosis. Addicts may suffer from mania, paranoia, hallucinations, and aggressive behavior. Family and friends may not always be able to control the individual during in-home drug detoxification, resulting in physical harm to self and others with every passing day. Recovering addicts often develop suicidal thoughts during treatment, and overwhelming feelings of anxiety, along with the physical distress of detoxification, can result in self-harm.

How to Detox Your Body from Drugs at Home: Doing It Safely and Correctly

Addicts undergoing home detoxification treatment do not have the benefits of medical supervision, behavioral therapy, and prescription detoxification medications. While it may eradicate drugs and alcohol from the body, drug rehab at home does not address the underlying reasons that caused the addiction. But for some individuals, treatment at addiction treatment centers is simply unaffordable. Free detox facilities or home detoxification are their only options.

Home Remedies for Detox from Drugs

Here are some tips on how to detox from drugs at home safely and effectively.

To Detox From Drugs, Home Remedies, Along With Some Safe Strategies, Are as Follows:

  • Seek advice from an addiction expert on how to detox the body from substances
  • Contact a doctor for prescription detox pills for expected symptoms, such as insomnia, anxiety, or agitation
  • Eat well, stay hydrated, and get regular exercise every day
  • Get family and friends on board to help with this process
  • Make sure the medical specialist is monitoring physical distress and suicidal behavior
  • Develop a plan to combat cravings (like a relapse prevention plan)
  • Write down a plan as memory and concentration may be impaired
  • Stock up on OTC medications, drinks for drug detoxification, and other support materials
  • Have a safety plan in place to get medical help if things get out of hand
  • Do not self-medicate and do not go through detoxification without consulting a doctor

In-Home Detoxification: Quitting Drugs and Alcohol Independently

Can one detox from drugs at home? Most recovering addicts ask this question at some point before embarking on recovery from substance abuse. The truth is that while an individual may take all possible precautions and read the extensive information on how to detox from drugs at home safely, there is no replacement for undergoing detoxification in a safe medical environment. Note also that detoxification does not mean complete recovery. Contact professionals for help in one of the top-rated drug rehab centers to start a new life.

In most cases, the cost saving is not worth the risk, and undergoing detoxification at an accredited addiction treatment facility is the safest and most effective way to rid the body of alcohol and drugs.

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Page Sources

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Published on: August 20th, 2018

Updated on: November 12th, 2021

About Author

Isaak Stotts, LP

Isaak Stotts is an in-house medical writer in AddictionResource. Isaak learned addiction psychology at Aspen University and got a Master's Degree in Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. After graduation, he became a substance abuse counselor, providing individual, group, and family counseling for those who strive to achieve and maintain sobriety and recovery goals.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.