There are people out there who are able to detox themselves from drugs or alcohol on their own. While they may feel that it’s a good idea because they are able to avoid an inpatient detox, or because they can accomplish it on their own, there are reasons that going to a medically supervised detox is not only a good idea, but also a better one than going it alone. The following are five reasons why medically supervised detox like Serenity at Summit is the best option.
1. Withdrawal Can Be Life-Threatening
Perhaps the best reason for choosing a medically supervised detox over doing it yourself is that the symptoms of withdrawal for alcohol and some drugs can be fatal. While it may seem like the effects of drugs and alcohol are short-lived, providing users with a high that fades away fairly quickly, the changes that happen to the brain can be persistent and suddenly stopping the use of drugs or alcohol can lead to dangerous, and even life-threatening, complications. For example, people who are addicted to benzodiazepines can suffer from seizures when they discontinue use, and that is even when they are taking therapeutic doses and not abusing the drug. Medications can be given in a medically supervised detox facility to help prevent these complications that people do not have access to if they are trying to detox at home.
2. Withdrawal Symptoms Often Cause Relapse
Most relapses occur within a short time frame of getting sober. This is especially true when a person doesn’t continue with treatment after detoxing from substances. Continuing treatment, like an inpatient addiction treatment program, provides addicts with the education, coping skills, and therapy that are needed to deal with life without the use of drugs or alcohol. Without treatment, even though a person has been able to stop using drugs on their own, they run a very high risk of returning to their addiction because they have not made any other changes to their life or how they deal with their problems.
Additionally, when a person stops using drugs or alcohol, even if everything in their life is going well, they will have cravings to use again. Without having treatment, they will be ill prepared to handle those cravings and will almost certainly return to using.
3. Withdrawal Isn’t Like You See on Television
In the movies and on television, withdrawal from drug use is often portrayed unrealistically. Characters who know they are going to go into withdrawal prepare with soft foods, clean towels and sheets, and a bucket or bowl to throw up into. In the withdrawal scenes, the character will toss and turn in bed, throw up, and sweat a lot, but then soon after they appear looking fresh and ready for whatever life throws at them. Getting clean at home isn’t that easy. The withdrawal symptoms of stopping cold turkey can be far worse that what you see on TV and in movies. Simply put, the symptoms and cravings that come up during withdrawal are extremely difficult to handle with do-it-yourself methods.
In a detox facility, patients are often given small doses of medications (like benzodiazepines) and then weaned off of them to make withdrawal symptoms more bearable. It would be very difficult to do this at home, if not impossible, but it’s quite easy to manage in a detox facility.
4. Education and Support Are Available in Detox Facilities
Withdrawal symptoms can seem to go on forever to someone detoxing at home. With no one there to ask questions about withdrawal and addiction or access to others who have been through it themselves that can lend support, it may feel absolutely endless. In the depths of withdrawal, with no support or education, it’s very easy to give up and use again to feel better.
Patients who are in a detox facility have access to educational information, classes, lectures, and therapy, if they are feeling up to it, as well as support from both facility staff and other patients. In other words, there is hope in a treatment center that cannot be found at home.
5. The Focus is on Recovery
In a detox facility, the focus is on recovery. Patients do not have to worry or manage their daily lives outside of treatment. If you try to detox at home, there are still the basics of daily living that have to be dealt with, and that can be a very difficult thing to deal with while withdrawing from a substance. It’s very unlikely that a person who is going through drug or alcohol withdrawal will be able to perform their normal daily tasks – even those aside from going to work or school.
Patients in an inpatient detox program are able to put all of their efforts into their recovery. They don’t have to be concerned with their family members, household chores, or other distractions that they would have to if they were at home. This time of focusing on recovery, talking with others in recovery, and taking care of their body, provides them with a solid foundation for continued recovery. They would not get that at home.
Making the Right Choice
Making the decision to stop using drugs or alcohol is probably the most important thing people can do, for themselves and their loved ones. Whether they choose to start on the path to recovery at home or in a detox facility is a personal choice. But there are some compelling reasons to accept the help that a drug treatment facility can offer; the above are just a few. Whatever choice is made, keep in mind that detox is only the first step toward recovery. There must be additional treatment, education, support, and therapy to fully reap the benefits of sobriety and recovery. Reach out to find out more about what Serenity at Summit has to offer with their medically supervised drug detox program.
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