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The Risks and Dangers of At-Home Detox

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Detoxing the body to remove the traces of drugs and alcohol from a person’s system is the first step towards a healthy, sober future. While braving this change is cause for celebration, it can also be met with a myriad of dangers and uncertainties. This is especially true if an individual feels they would rather begin this crucial part of their journey by detoxing at home, rather than at a professional detox facility. 

At-home detox presents a number of unnecessary risks to a person’s health that can compromise the effectiveness of their recovery efforts. Understanding the importance of professional detox ensures that each individual is starting their transformative sober journey in the most supported and educated manner. 

The Role of Detox in Recovery

Before an individual can begin embracing a newfound sober lifestyle, they must first eliminate the toxins present in the body. It can be impossible to truly embrace new sober coping strategies, grounding techniques, or adopt a new mentality while still under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

Detoxing the body to create a sober state of mind is crucial to developing a brand new lifestyle in recovery. By detoxing the body, an individual can better prepare for the transformative efforts throughout further recovery programs. At-home detox conducted without professional guidance and supervision can compromise these goals, creating an unnecessarily difficult beginning to an already tumultuous journey to sobriety. 

The Dangers of Withdrawal

Withdrawal is a major part of detox for many, and the symptoms they experiences and how severe their withdrawal symptoms are will depend on the individual, frequency, intensity of use, and the substance being used. Some common withdrawal symptoms include: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking/trembling
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Muscle spasms
  • Aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Each of these symptoms can be difficult to navigate, especially while individuals face consistent and intense urges and cravings to reengage with addictive substances. At-home detox can leave an individual to face these difficulties without the necessary support or medical treatment. There is no true replacement for professional care during this time. 

At-home detox can leave an individual susceptible to these symptoms with fewer strategies or resources to cope with their effects. It also leaves individuals more likely to relapse early in their recovery journey in an attempt to placate these intense symptoms. 

Distancing From Stresses and Influences

At-home detox also does not address the stresses that influence a person’s use of addictive substances. Home atmospheres may be filled with reminders of their use, either by photos, rooms where they would frequently use, or even people who have not committed themselves to a sober life. This introduces a number of stresses that can make it difficult to maintain focus on sober goals. Being so close to the elements of their previous lifestyle can make it very easy for individuals to consider using drugs and alcohol again, even while attempting to detox. 

A change in environment is instrumental for individuals to distance themselves from the reminders of drugs and alcohol. Professional detox programs are curated to be comfortable spaces, while ensuring that individuals are separated from these stresses. This prevents individuals from slipping back into these habits during or immediately after detox. 

Transitioning to Further Treatment

Detox is the beginning of a person’s journey to sobriety. Navigating detox does not mean that a person is equipped with the skills and strategies necessary to maintain this sobriety long-term. Professional detox programs are designed to help process withdrawal symptoms and embrace a sober mindset. They also help individuals better understand their relationship with addictive substances as they transition to further treatment programs. Whether residential care, sober living, or ongoing outpatient treatment, finding a place to continue developing sober living strategies is essential for continuing to pursue a life of sobriety. 

At-home detox efforts do not instill the necessary coping strategies, mindfulness practices, and other essential skills to make this transition effective. It can leave individuals ill-equipped to face the challenges of the ongoing recovery in daily life. Unlike at-home detox, professional detox is committed to individuals’ futures just as much as helping them through the present.

Battling urges and cravings is only one part of the recovery process, and a successful detox is the catalyst for further pursuing personal goals in sobriety. While attempting to detox at home may feel like a more comfortable option, it also creates a myriad of stresses or gaps in a person’s recovery efforts that will impact their continued sobriety and increase the chance for relapse. 

Professional detox programs ensure that individuals receive the appropriate, educated treatment to begin a successful journey to sobriety. It also helps individuals understand the science behind addiction and its effects on their minds, bodies, and families so they can begin an effective journey in healing. 

At-home detox can be dangerous, both to one’s health while navigating detox and withdrawal as well as to one’s continued recovery efforts. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we understand the important role of professional detox, and we are prepared to help you begin your journey to sobriety today. Located in Santa Ana, CA, our caring, professional staff are ready to create an atmosphere that addresses your unique needs and goals in recovery, all while supporting your future goals. Personalized recovery strategies, coping techniques, therapeutic modalities, and more are all available to you, all while we monitor your continued success and growth toward your sober goals. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us, or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique needs and goals as you begin your sober journey, call us today at (714) 492-1119.

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