Although some people would prefer to detox from drugs or alcohol in the comfort of their own home, many experts believe that detox treatment clinics are the safest option. There is no easy way to detox from an addiction to a mood-altering substance, but there are ways to ensure the process is less painful and more comfortable.
What is Self-Detox?
Self-detox is the name that is given to detoxification at home without the help of qualified and experienced professionals. At some point in most addicts lives, an attempt at self-detox will be made. This is when the affected individual decides that he or she is going to quit drinking or taking drugs by themselves. Most will fail in their attempts and may try again and again before finally realising that the best way to give up the substance to which they are addicted is under the supervision of detox treatment clinics.
What Makes Self-Detox Unwise?
Self-detox can be very dangerous because of the withdrawal symptoms that most people experience. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person and usually depend on: the type of substance that the person was addicted to, their age, the length of time they were addicted, and their general health.
Some individuals may experience a few mild symptoms, but others might be unlucky enough to experience severe symptoms that could put their life at risk if they are not carefully supervised. Without help and support from qualified professionals, a detox may be much more unpleasant and painful than it needs to be.
Another reason why self-detox is a bad option is the fact that this is not a very stable way to give up alcohol or drugs. Even if the individual does manage to get through the detox, the likelihood that he or she will stay clean and sober is very small.
What to Expect from Detox
Detox is a difficult process, especially for those who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for a long time. The longer a person has been taking mood-altering substances, the harder it is to quit. This is because the body and brain adapt to the presence of chemical substances, and when the person stops taking them, he or she will experience intense cravings as the body cries out for what it has become dependent on.
Once the supply of drugs or alcohol has been cut off, the body will have to adapt to regain some sense of normality. This may lead to a variety of withdrawal symptoms. Most people experience headaches, sweating, shivering, and mood swings. However, some individuals will suffer from many more symptoms, varying from moderate to severe in intensity. These can include vomiting, diarrhoea, convulsions, seizures, and the DTs (delirium tremens).
Detoxification from alcohol or drugs can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Some people may experience lingering symptoms for many months. It is worth noting that you are going to feel worse before you begin to feel better, but it is even more important to remember that the symptoms you experience will subside with time.
Benefits of Detox Treatment Clinics
Those who have experienced the process of detox will tell you how stressful it can be. It can also be dangerous for some people, depending on the substance they were abusing. For that reason, detox treatment clinics are the best option for most.
Detox treatment clinics are suitable for those who have already suffered withdrawal symptoms when they have been in need of a fix or a drink. Once a person becomes physically dependent on a chemical substance, his/her body will crave it whenever the effects begin to wear off. Until they satisfy the craving, he or she is likely to experience shaking, sweating, headaches, nausea and mood swings.
Withdrawal Symptoms during Detox Treatment
Although there is no way to tell who will experience the most severe withdrawal symptoms during the detox process, those who have experienced physical withdrawal symptoms in the past are more likely to suffer during detox.
Detoxing in a supervised facility is safer for those who have been drinking heavily for many years. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and affects almost every single cell in the body. This makes withdrawing from it very complicated. Detox treatment clinics are staffed by fully qualified professional staff who have experience of the process and who know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency.
Medication and Substances Affecting the Process
With a supervised treatment centre, there may be the possibility of getting medication to ease any unpleasant symptoms. This will, of course, depend on the substance to which the person is withdrawing from. Some patients are given sedative replacement drugs in decreasing doses over a number of days to help ease the symptoms. They may also be given specific multivitamins that can reduce the risk of some serious withdrawal symptoms.
Perhaps the most important benefit of detox treatment clinics is the fact that those undergoing the detoxification process can access constant care and support. They may take comfort in the knowledge that they are in the safest place possible. Staff will have been through the process before with other patients and will be ready to act calmly and rationally in the event of a medical emergency.
Making the Decision
Whether you detox at home or in a detox treatment facility is up to you. You may want to stay at home, and if this is the case, then the decision is yours. Nevertheless, to ensure your safety and comfort, it is advisable to look for well-run detox treatment clinics in your area. For more information, contact us here at UK Rehab.