Natural drug detox can seem like an appealing option for a lot of people. It seems easier than going to a facility and it’s arguably a cheaper option. However, doing a natural drug detox often doesn’t lead to the same result that you’ll see from attending an actual rehab facility.
The first step to overcoming your addiction is actually getting clean from the drugs and substances you’re addicted to, which means you must actually make it through the detox process.
Some people choose to detox from drugs naturally, in the comfort of their own homes. Below we review the at-home detox process and offer an explanation of why this method of detox might not always be the best idea.
How Does Natural Drug Detox Work?
Most natural drug detox methods involve going cold turkey and creating an environment where relapse is unlikely to occur. You abstain from any drugs you’re addicted to and do whatever you can to make it through the initial withdrawal process.
However, drug detox isn’t something you can just hop into. Especially, if you’re doing it yourself.
The natural drug detox process usually follows the series of steps below:
- Pick a time when you’ll be free from obligations to fully focus on recovery.
- Remove all drugs and alcohol from your home.
- Create a support group of family and friends who will offer their support.
- Stock your home with healthy foods, liquids, and supplements.
Natural drug detoxes will usually avoid the assistance of medical staff and the use of other prescription medication to ease the symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal.
Why Natural Detox is Often Ineffective
If you’re an addict, then you already know that the odds are stacked against you with intense drug cravings, health complications, or relationship issues that can stem from addiction. Addiction doesn’t just affect one aspect of your life.
Natural detox relies on your own willpower to overcome the cravings of drug addiction. When you’re going through the negative health symptoms of the initial withdrawal, it’s extremely difficult to keep the long-term goal in mind.
When you attempt to do a natural detox at home, you won’t have the same level of support that a treatment facility can provide. You’ll have to work at least twice as hard to stay sober and make it through the initial detox and into the next steps of recovery.
There are different types of detoxes that are recommended for addiction to certain drugs. For instance, if you’re addicted to opiates, it’s recommended to be tapered off the dosage of the drug, instead of taking the cold turkey approach. This will help to minimize the negative withdrawal symptoms and increase your chances of success. However, if you’re conducting your own detox, you won’t have the experience to taper your dose in a safe and effective manner.
Alcohol withdrawal can be particularly dangerous and even fatal if the detox isn’t handled the right way. Going at detox alone can also pose a number of other health risks, as you’ll see below.
Health Complications of Natural Detox
If you’re attempting an at-home detox, then make sure you’re well aware of the dangers that might arise. Going through the initial detox without the assistance of medical staff can pose several health risks, depending on the severity of your addiction.
Generally, you won’t have the same level of experience as a medical professional might in understanding the process of overcoming an addiction and knowing how to treat the withdrawal symptoms as they arise.
Withdrawals from heavy drug addiction can be very severe. For example, withdrawal from alcohol can sometimes lead to a condition called delirium tremens, which can lead to seizures and hallucinations, and must be handled by qualified medical staff.
Detox from other drugs isn’t quite as life-threatening. But, you never quite know how you’re going to react to the detox process. It’s impossible to predict what your symptoms will be. Without the help of qualified treatment professionals, you are making the detox process much more difficult on yourself and are increasing your chance of relapse.
Beyond the health complications above, choosing to do a detox at home can destroy your chances of getting sober. Usually, there’s a small window where a person will actually admit that they have an addiction and will take the steps to get clean. If the at-home detox fails, then it might be a long time before they’ll seek out treatment again.
If you or a loved one are finally ready to overcome drug addiction, then be sure to seek out the kind of detox will help to greatly decrease the potential for relapse. If you have any questions about the process, reach out to our team at The Recovery Village today to see how our individualized medical detox programs can set you on the road to recovery.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.