Drug abuse often leads to drug addiction, whether the substance being abused is an illegal drug or a prescription medication. Allowing the use of a mood-altering substance to get out of control is not something that anyone thinks about – it just happens, and many people do not even realise they have a problem.
It is often the case that those affected by drug addiction do not realise the seriousness of their situation until a loved one raises the issue. Denial is a common problem for addicts and many find it hard to accept that they have an issue and need help. Those who are aware of their need for treatment may be reluctant to reach out because of some perceived shame or embarrassment.
For most individuals with a drug addiction, detox is the first step on the road to recovery. But while it is generally accepted that detoxing in the comfort and safety of a detox clinic is a good idea for most, some prefer to complete the process in more familiar surroundings. So the question is – can you drug detox at home? Moreover, is it a good idea to do so?
When is Detoxing at Home a Good Idea?
If you have been thinking about if you can you drug detox at home, know that there are times when doing so may be appropriate. However, it will depend on a variety of factors including your health, the substance you were abusing, and how severe your addiction is.
If you have been abusing a particular drug for a short amount of time and realised early on that you have a problem, your addiction may not be very severe. You may therefore not experience the worst symptoms and might find that detoxing at home is appropriate.
However, before considering going ahead with a home detox, it is important to speak to a doctor for advice.
When is Detoxing at Home Not a Good Idea?
There are certain situations that make detoxing at home a bad idea. It is important to consider your safety and comfort. Although you may believe that the best place to complete the process of drug withdrawal is in your own home, there are circumstances that make this inadvisable.
If you have already experienced withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit or cut down on your use of the drug you are taking, the likelihood of you experiencing symptoms during withdrawal will be higher. If you have suffered extreme tremors, hallucinations, or nervousness, then you may have a higher chance of developing severe symptoms during the detox process.
The presence of an underlying health problem (s) can make drug detox programmes more complicated. Your withdrawal symptoms could be worse if you have an underlying health issue such as chronic lung problems, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease or hepatitis C. If you are severely depressed or have a history of self-harm or suicidal thoughts, it is also wise to complete the detox in the safety of a detox clinic.
A history of convulsions or seizures is also an issue for those going through drug detox as these can occur during the process. If you have had seizures in the past, a home detox is not recommended.
It is also worth noting that withdrawing from drugs such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates can be complicated and result in life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. For that reason, it is almost always advisable to detox from these drugs in a supervised facility.
How to Prepare for a Home Detox
If you have spoken with your doctor and have agreed that a home detox is appropriate in your situation, it is important to be aware of the process and how to proceed. You will need to have someone with you at all times during the process, so you are going to need a few people willing to take turns and sit with you while you complete the detox.
It is important that your home environment has been fully prepared before the process begins. All mood-altering substances will need to be removed, including any prescription medication. You are likely to experience strong cravings during the detox process so anything that might provide a high will be an attractive option for you at this time. Removing all temptations is the best way to avoid any problems.
It is best to make a list of any emergency contacts for whoever will be sitting with you during the process. This should include your doctor, family members, friends and even neighbours willing to help out if necessary. There may be a point where you become aggressive or violent due to symptoms you are experiencing, which could mean that your helper needs assistance in restraining you or preventing you from harming yourself or others.
It is also important to prepare a list of any medical issues that you have and any medication that has been deemed appropriate for use during the detox. Your helper will need to make sure that he or she administers this medication as described and that it is kept out of your reach during the detox.
Make sure that you set up a comfortable environment; you will need somewhere comfortable to sit and to sleep. Dim lighting is best as bright lights can aggravate some of the symptoms you may experience. Try to keep loud noises to a minimum for this same reason.
There are a number of things that you can do during your detox to help keep your mind off any unpleasant symptoms, such as reading a book, listening to music, or watching a movie. You might want to practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or mindfulness as these can help to stave off cravings and reduce your levels of stress.
The Benefits of a Detox Clinic
So if you have been thinking about if you can you drug detox at home, then the answer is yes – in certain circumstances. Nonetheless, even though you can detox at home, the question you should be asking is ‘should I detox at home?’.
No matter how much you want to be in familiar surroundings with the people you love around you, there is no doubting the fact that you will be much safer and far more comfortable if you choose to detox in a supervised clinic.
The reason for this is that you will be under the care and supervision of a team of medical professionals who will have extensive knowledge and experience of the detox process. They will know how to ensure that you are completely comfortable at all times and will know what methods will ease your symptoms; they may even be able to use specific medications to prevent the worst symptoms from occurring.
In a supervised detox facility, you will not be alone. You will be with other patients going through the same process, some of whom will be further along than you are. This will enable you to see what is possible if you stick with the programme. When you are struggling to cope with symptoms you are experiencing, you will have plenty of people to talk to, which can be therapeutic and helpful.
Furthermore, in the event that any complications do arise, you will be in the best possible place. With a team of doctors, nurses, counsellors, therapists, and support staff who know all about detoxing from drugs, you will be in safe hands at all times.
So while the answer to the question of ‘can you drug detox at home?’, is yes, it may be more important to think about whether it is appropriate for you and your situation. Please call us today at Oasis Bradford for more information on detoxing at home versus detoxing in a supervised clinic.