The Inherent Risks of At-Home Detox

Prescription Opioid Abuse | At-Home Detox | Find Addiction Rehabs | Oxycodone bottle with tablets scattered aboutSome people feel that it’s safe and comfortable to undergo opioid withdrawal at home. However, without a doctor’s observation and treatment, there is a strong possibility that serious, perhaps even fatal, results can happen from at-home detox.

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Why Would One Try At-Home Detox?

Opioid withdrawal is widely considered one of the easier kinds of withdrawal syndromes because it doesn’t cause potentially dangerous psychological side effects like alcohol or benzodiazepines do. Under the care and expert supervision of a doctor, you could even be able to go through opioid detox in an outpatient setting, assuming you are not facing additional medical challenges.

However, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration suggests that someone going through the detox process does need the proper treatment, which almost always involves medication combined with behavioral therapy. Needless discomfort could occur for those who have a low pain threshold in an at-home detox.

Besides, patients could experience rare but fatal side effects during opioid withdrawal. Therefore, patients should be medically supervised while going through the process of detox. Taking the risk of detox at home is not worth this risk.

Fatal Outcomes Can—and Do–Occur During Opioid Withdrawal

At Home Detox is Risky and Dangerous | Find Addiction Rehabs | Woman struggling to sleep or wake up due to addictionHere are several ways in which a person can face a potentially lethal outcome during at-home opioid detox through withdrawal:

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  • Relapse is always possible. This is a particularly severe risk during the dangerous period of withdrawal. That risk increases with at-home detox.
    • According to the experts at the National Library of Medicine, “Most opiate overdose deaths occur in people who have just detoxed.”
    • Those who are not medically supervised during their withdrawal period have a higher chance of relapse, especially if they do not receive treatment as a follow-up.
    • Because the tolerance to drugs lowers during withdrawal and most individuals who relapse don’t know this, they take the same amount of the drug that they used to and can experience a lethal overdose.
  • Depression is a second serious side effect of opioid withdrawal that can possibly create a dire situation for the patient.
    • Most people who go through opioid withdrawal feel mild to moderate depression symptoms. However, when a doctor is not monitoring these symptoms, and the individual does not know why they are occurring, they can intensify.
    • Some individuals who don’t seek treatment for opioid withdrawal experience suicidal thoughts during bouts of extreme depression.
    • If you do not have an incredibly strong network of friends and family members to help you through withdrawal, this can be a dangerous potential consequence of going through detox without medical care.
  • Dehydration frequently occurs during opioid withdrawal, and it can become severe when left untreated.
    • Opioid withdrawal causes several uncomfortable and dangerous physical side effects including:
      • Nausea or dizziness
      • Vomiting
      • Sweating
      • Nasal discharge
      • Diarrhea
    • Withdrawal causes flu-like symptoms that result in dehydration, and people don’t fully understand this risk don’t realize they need treatment until they are severely ill.
    • Those who are guided through withdrawal in a medical setting are advised to consume plenty of water during detox to alleviate these risks.

At-Home Detox Is Dangerous

We applaud your desire to detox. However, we encourage you to seek professional care as you withdraw from opioid drugs. This is the safest way to go. Professional providers such as doctors, nurses, and counselors can help you overcome the symptoms of your withdrawal safely with medications and behavioral therapy and help assess if you need further addiction treatment.

Enroll In An Opioid Detox Program Today