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Can I Detox on My Own?

Detoxifying the body of any remaining traces of drugs and alcohol is the first step in the treatment process. Once we detox, we are able to begin the healing process and set ourselves firmly on the path toward recovery from addiction and alcoholism. Some people, however, feel that they would prefer to detox alone in their home without the medical supervision offered by treatment facilities. Detoxifying the body by oneself, without medical oversight, can be extremely dangerous and unlikely to work toward achieving a life of sobriety.

Detox alone does little to change our ability to achieve and maintain sobriety. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Medical detoxification safely manages the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping drug use. However, medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use. Although detoxification alone is rarely sufficient to help addicts achieve long-term abstinence, for some individuals it is a strongly indicated precursor to effective drug addiction treatment.” Detoxification is the first step in treatment, but must be followed by recovery-based therapy and involvement in a recovery program if we are to be successful. Recovering from addiction is a process that involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors, and detox alone does little to help us maintain sobriety.

Detoxification without medical supervision is extremely dangerous. Alcohol and benzodiazepine addiction can cause potentially lethal withdrawal symptoms, such as grand mal seizures. Treatment facilities are staffed with medical professionals able to manage symptoms and minimize any risk of seizures. Other addictions, such as opioids, cause a variety of extremely painful withdrawal symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, and muscle pain. Although not life-threatening, the symptoms of opioid detoxification can be extremely intense, and it is unlikely that an individual will make it entirely through the process with relapsing at some point.

Successful recovery from addiction requires much more than detoxification alone. The NIDA explains, “A patient may require varying combinations of services and treatment components during the course of treatment and recovery. In addition to counseling or psychotherapy, a patient may require medication, medical services, family therapy, parenting instruction, vocational rehabilitation, and/or social and legal services. For many patients, a continuing care approach provides the best results, with the treatment intensity varying according to a person’s changing needs.” We must summon the courage and willingness to go through the detoxification process and continue receiving care once our body is free of drugs and alcohol.

Your life can be one of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help today and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers medically assisted detox to make the process as comfortable as possible, and pave the way for you to begin the process of recovering from addiction and alcoholism. For information about detoxification and other treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431