Can a drug addict detox at home?

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drug detox at home
Drug addiction
The Hader Clinic
The Hader Clinic
October 5, 2021
minute read

Choosing the safest drug detox option for you

Detoxing from drugs at home — otherwise known as home-based withdrawal — is an option for addicts looking to recover while avoiding the expense of a drug treatment facility. However, detoxing from drugs at home can carry its own set of difficulties and dangers.

The most important thing to consider when weighing up options for rehabilitation is the outcome. In the end, what do you think will give you the greatest chance of success? Read on to learn more about what it means to detox from drugs at home, and why medical supervision through withdrawal is your best option.

The Hader Clinic specialises in offering drug detox programs for addicts at all stages of recovery. We can help you detox under medical supervision, granting you the best possible chance for success in the long run.

Can a drug addict detox at home?

The short answer is yes, with a big caveat. A small percentage of drug addicts can successfully detox from drugs at home. For those that cannot, drug detox at home can be wholly ineffective, and can lead to relapse. At its most serious, home drug detox can be dangerous, sometimes resulting in coma or death.

We'll expand upon the dangers of detoxing from drugs at home. First, let's examine how the drug detox process might look for an addict looking to circumvent medically-assisted withdrawal.

How does home drug detox work?

There are a number of ways that drug detox at home can work for addicts looking to make a change. Unlike professional medically supervised detox, home detox may require some trial and error to determine what best works for the addict.

When undertaking a home detox program, there are a number of options available to addicts:

  • Going 'cold turkey', or completely abstaining from drug use and hoping that withdrawal is manageable
  • 'Naturally detoxing' with a range of therapies, including acupuncture and herbal remedies
  • Scaling down use and weaning off drugs until the addict can manage their cravings

What all of the above options have in common is how they have been proven to be ineffective in managing withdrawal and detox for many addicts. There may be reported instances of these options working for some people, but they are few and far between.

If your heart is set on preparing to detox from drugs at home, you should follow some of these basic tips:

  • Remove all drugs and alcohol from the house
  • Have a loved one with you who understands your struggle with addiction
  • Talk to a doctor about your plans to detox at home to assess the dangers
  • Eat well and drink plenty of water at all phases of withdrawal
  • Discourage people from visiting and adding undue stress to the process

What are the benefits of withdrawing and detoxing from drugs at home?

There is really only one major benefit of detoxing from drugs at home — cost-saving. At the beginning, detoxing at home from drugs will be cheaper than going to a dedicated withdrawal and detox facility.

However, unsuccessful attempts add up. Every time detox fails and you start using again, you set yourself back time and money. Over time, this could potentially outweigh any initial cost-saving benefits from a DIY detox.

Also, if you have private health insurance, you can potentially be covered for some of the cost of medically-assisted drug detox. The Hader Clinic works with medical insurers to make drug detox cheaper.

What are the dangers of detoxing from drugs at home?

Unfortunately, detoxing from drugs at home is not a cure for dependence. Drug addiction is often a symptom of a range of other personal problems, including comorbid mental illness. These problems may still present following withdrawal and detox. If the need or the reasons to take drugs is still there, then relapse is likely.

Some drugs can present very dangerous — and potentially lethal — side effects if not managed with medication. Here's a look at common substances and what one can expect when detoxing:

  • Ice — physical symptoms and inflamed psychological conditions like schizophrenia and PTSD
  • Heroin — acute and post-acute symptoms of cravings, depression, and anxiety lasting months
  • Cocaine — anxiety, depression, fatigue, cravings, and a high chance of stimulant-induced psychosis
  • Ecstasy — triggered mental health issues including depression, paranoia, and memory problems
  • Ketamine — depression, anxiety, anger, cognitive impairment, and psychosis with delusions and hallucination
  • GHB — soaring blood pressure, panic attacks, increased heart rate, and psychosis
  • Marijuana — sleeplessness and insomnia, irritability, and uncontrollable cravings

However, when it comes to prescription medication (and alcohol), the above issues are minor. The risk of coma and death when detoxing from opioids and benzodiazepines is extreme. When detoxing from prescription medication, the heart and breathing can slow to the point of respiratory failure.

What's a better solution?

Medically supervised drug detox gives addicts the best possible chance at recovery and preventing relapse. The Hader Clinic's 28-Day Detox And Withdrawal Program takes place at a proper drug detox facility, rather than in an ill-equipped domestic setting.

In our experience in working with addicts for over 20 years, we will always recommend that drug detox take place at a facility like ours. Here's how you or a loved one can benefit from inpatient detox and withdrawal treatment:

  • Our addiction specialists can help you manage the adverse physical and mental effects of drug withdrawal
  • With medical assistance, you can avoid the dangers of coma and death associated with some substances
  • You can begin to undertake a range of therapies and treatments to get you on the road to recovery

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