17 May What You Need To Know About Detoxing At Home
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DETOXING AT HOME?People do not grow up hoping to get addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Something that initially starts out as fun after while becomes fun with problems then eventually just problems with any notion of fun being a distant memory. Addiction and its progression cause a great amount of pain and suffering. For those who grow tired of being sick and tired, help and a path to recovery is available should they choose to do so. For those who are looking to break free from the suffering and torture of addiction the path to recovery starts with the withdrawal process, one that can be helped by detox.
WHAT IS A DETOX AND WHY DO I NEED IT?
Definition of detox: A process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification.
For those who have a substance use disorder, their bodies have become so used to drugs or alcohol, that they need them just to function normally. When substances are removed, they will go through the withdrawal process, where they will experience side effects, both physical and mental, from the lack of drugs or alcohol.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS DURING DETOX
Some of the symptoms that a person can experience in withdrawal include:
- Headaches, dizziness
- Constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
- Heart palpitations
- Breathing difficulties
- Suicidal thoughts
These can vary based on the type of substance used, as well as other factors, like the length of time using, and amounts consumed.
This is often called the hardest part of recovery. Simply, it’s uncomfortable, painful, and many people consumed by their addiction will decide that returning to using drugs and the pain and chaos of addiction is more attractive than completing a detox.
The good news is that it is mostly over in a week, short term pain for long term gain and there is support available for people going through this process.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES TO DETOXING AT HOME?
Detox is the part of treatment that focuses solely on helping people get through the withdrawal period which can not only be physically uncomfortable but in many cases poses potential risks to ones health and in some cases life threatening.
At an inpatient detox unit, a person can expect it to be staffed with trained professionals, some or all of whom will be medically trained and can monitor and help stabilize someone in withdrawal. They typically provide some medication to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal, mostly over the counter and vitamins. They also will usually have a doctor available that can provide prescription medications to help with symptoms, but this is used sparingly. One of the most important things detox does is that it helps to provide emotional support and encouragement, so people don’t give up, and stick with it.
Now, not everyone is near, or able to get to, a detox unit. There can be times when detox is full, and you want to get started soon, for a variety of reasons. In this case, detoxing at home is an option. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about detoxing at home.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR DETOXING AT HOME?
First, it needs to be done safely for it to have any value at all. Detox is about helping you get off drugs or alcohol and be stable on the other end of the process. Safety needs to be the number one priority if you are planning on detoxing at home. When you are ready to detox, always consult with your physician about the impact on your health. Withdrawal can exacerbate other mental or physical health concerns, so your doctor needs to be aware of what you are doing, so they can advise you on what steps to take. Some people may not be able to detox at home, because of their health or their level of addiction, so talk with your physician to see if you are even able to attempt this on your own.
Next, clear time off your schedule. Detoxing can be uncomfortable at best, and painful and disruptive at worst. You shouldn’t plan on going to work while you are doing this. Give yourself the time to just be at home for a few days. Have enough food and medication on hand so that you don’t have to go out if you don’t want to. For medication, besides any prescriptions you have, make sure you have over the counter pain relievers and medication for your stomach. This won’t stop anything but will ease the discomfort. Have vitamin B1 on hand as well, as detox often provides that to help with withdrawal. Sports drinks can get nutrients into your body quickly, so have them available as well.
Finally, do not do this alone. If you live by yourself, make arrangements for someone to check on you a few times a day. This is important and a plain safety issue. Above that, you need emotional support, so have it be someone you trust and someone that you can talk with. If you don’t have anyone like that, reach out to the local recovery group community. Often they can provide support where others can’t.
Some organisations will offer home detox support, the first port of call will be your local Doctor or GP for anyone residing in the UK please visit https://howtotreataddiction.com/alcohol-home-detox/
This is the first step in recovery, but, unfortunately, it’s not the last. Cravings will be a part of this throughout withdrawal and further into recovery. Recognize that this is normal, and having cravings is just part of the body adjusting to not having drugs or alcohol. Learn the warning signs for this, and plan out what to do in advance.
DO I STILL NEED ADDICTION TREAMENT AFTER DETOX?
The last thing to be aware of when detoxing at home is that this is not treatment. This is just getting you through one part of recovery. It does not help you quit drinking or using, it solely gets you through the discomfort of withdrawal. In order to successfully recover, and have the best odds of staying clean and sober, you need ongoing treatment and support. Inpatient treatment is recommended after a person goes through the detox process, so strongly consider this as your next step on your recovery journey.
Detoxing at home can be easy and convenient, but it also has its risks and shortcomings. Always consult medical professionals before going through this. When this process is complete, inpatient treatment is urged so that you too can live a clean and sober life.
Brett is the founder of How to Treat Addiction and is regarded by many as an expert in the field. With many years of both personal and professional experience helping others recover from addiction Brett’s main speciality is facilitating individually tailored online aftercare giving those suffering from addiction support post-rehab when they need it most. Brett and his team offer online aftercare services 7 days per week to clients all over the world.