How To Detox Safely
Many individuals on the path of recovery want to know how to detox from substances at home. It can feel safer in the moment, and an addict might feel they can just push through it with willpower. Or, they might be afraid of reaching out to someone for help.
The person could have negative associations with a medical setting or fear the cost of treatment. Drug detox is essential to recovery in order to stop the cycle of addiction, however, it is not something to be taken lightly, due to the dire consequences that can arise if not properly addressed.
Simply put, drug addiction detox is the process of getting a substance fully out of your system. It can be rigorous for the individual doing it, due to the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that come with the territory. These symptoms can be debilitating in the moment and even fatal in certain circumstances.
The best help for withdrawal is seeking out help from a medical professional who specializes in detoxification. They also know how to make sure you stay safe when detoxing through mindful monitoring and support. Medical attention can not only reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms, but in some cases eliminate them entirely.
It is crucial for anyone looking to start the detox process on their own to be aware of the symptoms of opioid and methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms, as well as possible effects from quitting alcohol. This information can help lead individuals seeking recovery for themselves or loved ones to the best path.
If you or someone close to you is considering a home drug detox, reach out to us first at 614-502-6247. We can direct you to a safe facility designed for your needs. Remember, there is no shame in asking for help with addiction and trying to improve your life.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
Opioid withdrawal symptoms differ from other drug withdrawal symptoms such as alcohol or methamphetamine. The effects can vary with every person, and it’s impossible to predict which withdrawal symptoms will present themselves and to what degree. They can last from a few days up to several weeks, depending on a person’s body chemistry and the extent of their addiction.
Some examples of early Opioid withdrawal symptoms include:
- Increased anxiety
- Painful muscles
- Constant sweating
- Runny nose and eyes
These symptoms typically appear within the first 24 hours that opioid use has ceased.
Ongoing symptoms include:
- Stomach cramps / pain
- Blurred vision
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
The severity of the symptoms depend on multiple factors, such as length of time using, the amount used, and individual health history. Because of this, everyone experiences withdrawal differently. This is the primary reason why detoxing at home isn’t safe.
Another person’s detox story may seem captivating, but it is unreasonable to assume yours will be the same. In the age of mass information, it can be confusing and intimidating to interpret fact from fiction. Being in the care of medical professionals practicing evidence-based treatment lets you eliminate that debate.
Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms
Like opioid withdrawal symptoms, methamphetamine effects are unique. And like all symptoms, they can vary from person to person. Initially, the can be mild, then become more severe over time. Methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms affect a person physically and mentally. As with methamphetamines, the length of your withdrawal can range from a couple days to several weeks.
Some examples of methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms include:
- Feeling lethargic
- Sleeping for extremely long periods
- Lack of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Intense cravings
Nutritional intake is crucial to recovering during a detox and another reason it helps to have addiction professionals working with you. Many people coming down off of drugs have little to no appetite, but need nutrients to help their body heal.
Proper nutrition is essential always, but even more so during detox. Skipping meals can worsen your symptoms and pose a danger to your health. Because of this, monitored nutrition allows for assurance that the body is receiving the proper vitamins and minerals and appropriate caloric intake. Although most detox programs also include immersive individual and group therapy applications, providers make sure sufficient sleep is provided, especially during the first few days. Rest is highly encouraged and a licensed facility offers a comfortable and relaxing setting for your detox.
Dangers of a Home Drug Detox
One of the biggest dangers for an at home drug detox is the fact that withdrawal symptoms can be serious–and even fatal. It’s imperative to your health that they are managed correctly.
Most people are not equipped to handle an urgent medical process on their own. Professionals have the proper tools and medications to administer a high level of care. Even if someone is detoxing at home with a sober person monitoring them, it is not the same as dealing with a professional in a hospital or other licensed rehab facility.
If an emergency situation arises, you might not have time to react. If you’re in a facility, they can recognize dangerous withdrawal signs and either administer care on the spot or have you transported to a hospital. It is scary to think about the potential consequences of an at-home drug detox. Remember that your personal safety is the number one priority.
In a medically-supervised detox they frequently take a patient’s blood pressure, monitor their vital signs, and pay close attention to oxygen levels. The withdrawal process can be dangerous, and hazardous side effects can pose a serious threat to your health.
Going through your detox in a medical setting also removes you from a potentially toxic environment. Outside triggers can jeopardize your recovery progress, and put you at risk of a relapse. You may feels so uncomfortable that you immediately start using again, which can put you at risk of an overdose depending on your drug of choice. Withdrawal might feel unbearable to some, and if you have easy access to alcohol or drugs, you are much more likely to give in to temptations.
Typically, withdrawal comes with intense cravings for your drug. A medical provider in a controlled setting can help you alleviate the urges in many ways that don’t require you using again. The coping mechanisms you learn can also be used after detox during your recovery.
How to Detox Safely
Ultimately, the safest way to detox is with a professional.
First, you’ll need to contact your primary care physician or a recovery facility. They’ll analyze your current level of impairment as well as the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. They can also check for the presence of co-occurring psychiatric, medical, or surgical conditions that might require specialized care.
If an individual has gone through withdrawal several times, and each time presents worsening symptoms, it is even more important they detox in a medically-monitored setting. Don’t trust unqualified advice or “how-to’s” you might find online. It is tempting to do, but you put yourself at serious risk.
A certified addiction professional will provide the most effective advice and treatment, specific to your history, your situation, and your health needs.
Withdrawal symptoms are the biggest deterrent for recovering addicts. Lack of comfortability and intense cravings make it very difficult to commit to the full detoxification process. Medical supervision in well can ease the effect of symptoms through carefully administered, non opioid medications, meant to reduce the severity of withdrawal. If you detox alone at home, you won’t have access to these potentially life-saving treatments.
There are various places that offer medically supervised drug detox services. You can detox at licensed facility, a residential treatment center, or in a hospital. All of these places contain the proper tools, medications, knowledge, and procedures to assist in smart, safe detoxing.
When making the difficult decision to pursue treatment, individuals shouldn’t have to think twice about the legitimacy of care or safety of themselves or their loved ones.
Don’t Try to Quit Alone
Convenience is not worth the potentially deadly harm that can come from trying to detox at home.
Having access to medical and emotional support by people who have been educated on the intricacies of detoxing is a valuable tool that could help save someone’s life. Being surrounded by helpful, nonjudgmental, knowledgeable providers is an optimal way to receive the encouragement and motivation needed for resilience and growth. Being set up with professionals also also drastically increases the efficiency of treatment, and it leaves the important medical decisions in capable hands.
Knowing the symptoms of opioid and methamphetamine withdrawal, why detoxing from drugs at home is dangerous, and how to safely detox, can empower you to seek the best care on your way to sustainable, long term recovery.
Simply put, medical professionals and their facilities significantly reduce the risks associated with detoxing. There is no shame in seeking treatment or asking for help when you’re trying to quit. Millions of Americans have struggled with substance abuse, and have safely navigated the detox process. And many have achieved long term sobriety.
It is never too late to start a new journey free from substance abuse, no matter how long you’ve struggled with it.
If you or someone you love has any questions about getting help for addiction and/or finding a proper medical detox facility, please, do not hesitate to call us. We are here to help you leave addiction behind and start moving forward with a sober life.
Written by Madison Grey
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