In order to break the cycle of drug addiction, an individual must first overcome their physical dependence to the substance. To achieve this goal, men and women living with addiction must complete the detox process. According to the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), detoxification is the process of cleansing the body of the harmful toxins found in drugs such as heroin, Vicodin, cocaine, marijuana, alcohol and other potentially dangerous substances. While it is recommended by many medical professionals that drug detox take place under the care of an addiction rehab specialist, there are also a number of options that allow the individual to complete the process in the privacy of their own home.
The following is a review of the most popular methods of at-home drug detox – and how the processes benefit the individual. At-home detox should only be performed after a doctor or medical professional has approved the process. An addict or alcoholic should never decide to simply detox on their own without medical supervision. Doing so could have serious health repercussions and could even threaten the individual’s life.
Medical At-Home Detoxification
One of the primary reasons many people choose not to engage in medical detox is the clinic itself. Individuals who take part in methadone detox, for example, must make daily trips to the clinic in order to receive their dose of the synthetic opiate. This can be a challenge for those who are not stable enough to drive themselves across town. Also, there is a negative stigma attached to methadone clinics – as obviously many drug addicts frequent them – that leaves many individuals too ashamed to take part in this type of treatment.
New drugs such as Suboxone have found a way to work around this problem. These medications can be self-administered in the home and are simply picked up at a pharmacy just like any other medication. This has led more and more people to attempt medical detox in their own home. Certain maintenance medications like Suboxone are less likely to be abused by addicts, as methadone can be, so they are more effective with at-home administration than other options.
Natural Detox at Home
Attempting natural detox while at home is a challenge. Many addicts are unprepared for the discomfort experienced during the withdrawal process and end up relapsing as a result. However, for those who have family and friends to support them, the at-home option is an attractive one. Detox leaves many people feeling their absolute worst. Going through this difficult period while surrounded by the familiarity of the home environment and their loved ones may, in the right situation, actually enhance the recovery process.
It’s imperative that you do not attempt at-home natural detox on your own. Due to the uncomfortable nature of withdrawal symptoms, it’s very likely that addicts will return to drug or alcohol use when the withdrawal symptoms start to spike. As a result, supervision of some kind is necessary to ensure a supportive environment that helps the addict get through the tough times. Also, according to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), there are various medical complications that can occur during detox. An individual may experience nausea and subsequently vomit. If they are under duress, they may even choke on their own vomit, leading to aspiration and even death. This is just one example of a complication that can occur during detox. It is a process that should not be done alone.
The Case Against Detox at Home
While there are cases of successful home detox attempts, at the end of the day, most addiction treatment professionals agree that detox should always take place while under the care of medical professionals. This level of support and supervision is essential if the individual is to avoid relapse when they can no longer cope with the pain and discomfort of withdrawal.
Most addiction treatment programs offer detox as the first component of their comprehensive offerings. The substance in question as well as the length and severity of the addiction will determine whether or not detox is needed, as well as what type of detox is most appropriate. This assessment will be done during the intake process at the addiction treatment program. During this time, your initial treatment plan will be devised. This plan should be reassessed throughout your recovery process, making amendments according to the progress you’re making.
If you’d like to learn more about your available treatment options, including programs that offer both natural and medical detox, contact us today.