Drug and alcohol detoxification can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Intensive inpatient detox programs with 24-hour medical supervision are extremely 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 detoxification facilities. However, self-treatment can be dangerous. In fact, detoxing at home can prove fatal in some situations.
The physical symptoms of withdrawal from drugs and alcohol 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 detoxification program? Read on to learn how to detox your body from drugs in privacy and comfort without putting your life in danger.
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Preparing for Detox Treatment at Home
There is no doubt that self-detoxification is less burdensome on the wallet than a medically-supervised detoxification program. But, a home detox can have serious health repercussions if it is not done correctly. That’s why it’s essential for anyone who is attempting a natural self-detoxification to consult an addiction specialist for expert advice before embarking on the drug detoxification process.
Addiction leads to many physical and psychological changes in the body and brain of the addict. This makes the withdrawal from drugs and alcohol incredibly difficult. This is why recovering addicts who are attempting an at home detox are at a high risk of relapse. Healthcare professionals use a number of strategies, techniques, and prescription medications to make detoxification easier. 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-detox go smoothly.
Family and Friends
Relying on willpower alone is probably not the best strategy for self-managed detoxification. Recovering addicts should confide in one or more close family members or friends to help them through the in home detox. 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 a home detox, 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
People attempting a home drug detox need a number of over-the-counter medications and supplements to make the withdrawal from drugs less distressful. It is a good idea to store these detoxification medications beforehand because it may not be easy to venture out once withdrawal symptoms occur.
Drug detoxification is harder than most addicts imagine. It’s not simply a matter of powering through. For example, a heroin detox at home can feel overwhelming with a number of physical signs such as sweating, diarrhea, cramps, and anxiety. It is a good idea for recovering addicts to take time off work and reschedule social visits in preparation for self-detox.
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. A number of over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, and supplements are available to ease the process and make the home drug detox less uncomfortable.
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, in the body during an at home drug detox with OTC multivitamin supplements. High doses of vitamin C have been shown to ameliorate withdrawal symptoms and may help addicts undergoing heroin detox at home.
In addition to meditation and exercise, mood boosters such as kava kava, St. John’s Wort, Lavandula, passionflower, B vitamins, and fish oil can help manage anxiety, irritability, panic attacks, and depression during a natural detox at home.
Some drugs such as opioids cause constipation and withdrawal from these substances during opiate detoxification results in diarrhea. It is a good idea for recovering addicts to have OTC medications for diarrhea relief, such as Imodium and Pepto-Bismol, on hand.
Many recovering addicts, 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.
A number of amino acids, available as supplements, can help manage distressful withdrawal symptoms and make home detox 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 is useful in managing depression.
Natural Detox at Home: What Are the Dangers?
Quitting drugs and alcohol is an incredibly difficult process and self-detoxification without professional help is even more challenging. It is possible to manage withdrawal symptoms with over-the-counter medications during detox at home, but this does not mean that kicking addiction on your own is completely safe. What are the dangers of detox treatment at home?
Sometimes serious and life-threatening symptoms, such as grand mal seizures or delirium tremens, occur during drug and alcohol detoxification. These conditions require specialized medical management by healthcare professionals at residential or non-residential detoxification centers. If serious health issues develop while detoxing at home, they may remain unrecognized, with catastrophic consequences.
The detoxification period is associated with intense cravings. Without professional counseling and therapy, many recovering addicts start using again during at home detox. This can result in a fatal overdose if the body is unable to handle the toxicity from the drug.
Recovering addicts frequently suffer from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea during drug detoxification. These withdrawal symptoms put them at risk of malnutrition and dehydration and complications such as low blood pressure and kidney failure. Persistent vomiting also puts individuals undergoing drug rehab at home at risk of pulmonary aspiration or choking on their own vomit.
Drug detoxification has an impact on heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. During in home detox, problems such as cardiac arrhythmias may develop. Without medical management, these complications can progress to heart failure or stroke.
Withdrawal from some substances can induce a psychosis. Addicts may suffer from mania, paranoia, hallucinations, and aggressive behavior. Family and friends may not always be able to control the individual during at home drug detox, resulting in physical harm to self and others. 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.
Home Detox: Doing it Safely and Correctly
Addicts undergoing detox treatment at home 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 detox at home are their only options. Here are some tips on how to detox from drugs at home safely and effectively:
- Seek advice from an addiction expert on how to detox your body from drugs
- Consult a doctor for prescription detox pills for expected symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, or agitation
- Eat well, stay hydrated, and get regular exercise
- Get family and friends on board to help with the detoxification process
- Make sure someone is monitoring you for physical distress and/or suicidal behavior
- Develop a plan to combat cravings
- Write down your plan as memory and concentration may be impaired
- Stock up on OTC medications, drinks for drug detox, and other support materials
- Have a safety plan in place to get medical help if things get out of hand
In Home Detox: Quitting Drugs and Alcohol On Your Own
Can I detox from drugs at home? This is a question most recovering addicts ask at some point before embarking on recovery from substance abuse. The truth is that while an individual may take all possible precautions and read extensive information on how to detox at home safely, there is no replacement for undergoing detoxification in a safe medical environment. 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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If you or someone you love has a substance abuse problem, call our free helpline (888)-459-5511 for more information on how to detox from drugs at home. Advisors are available to answer your questions, give you information on safe drug detox, and guide you towards kicking addiction forever. Calls are always confidential and secure.