After deciding to quit drugs or alcohol, many people decide that they want to self-detox. Such a decision is not wise, and in many cases, self-detox can be deadly. A lot of people try to detox alone from alcohol, and when compared with detoxing from drugs, alcohol is much more dangerous.
It’s quite common for people to wish they were dead while detoxing from various drugs. However, alcohol is the only substance that can actually kill a person who is trying to detox from it. Every year, nearly 16 million Americans try to fight back against a drug or alcohol addiction.
Close to 5 percent of these individuals suffer seizures while they’re passing through acute alcohol withdrawal. Depending on the circumstances, anywhere from 7 to 25 percent of individuals actually die from the most dangerous portion of alcohol withdrawal.
It’s Not Safe to Detox Alone
Although alcohol is the most dangerous substance that people try to self-detox from, other substances can also be dangerous. Many people are under the impression that detoxing from their substance of choice is a simple and easy process. However, such a belief is far from the truth.
No matter what substance a person is trying to detox from, there will always be many risks involved. It’s almost always best to detox with inpatient treatment. This form of care involves professional help, and it greatly reduces the likelihood of serious side effects.
Many people try to detox from the comfort of their own home, and this almost always results in a catastrophe. Detoxing from drugs or alcohol can be very dangerous, and it’s not like a simple diet that removes toxins from the body. Studies show that inpatient treatment is very effective for detoxing from alcohol and other substances.
Detoxing From Alcohol
As mentioned earlier, alcohol is the most dangerous substance to quit. Unlike various drugs, there is a part of alcohol detox called delirium tremens, which is the portion of detox that can be fatal. The people who are really at risk for the dangers of alcohol detox are individuals who drink a large amount of alcohol every day.
For the person who drinks occasionally, quitting alcohol shouldn’t require more than a change in behavior. The detox process for an alcoholic is much different. The sudden cessation of all alcohol can cause death. Some other side effects are heart seizures, convulsions and hallucinations.
This is why it’s important to never attempt self-detox. The process of alcohol detox consists of two different phases. The beginning phase takes place over the span of a couple days, which is the most dangerous part of the process.
The second part of the process takes place over several months. When attempting to detox from alcohol, it’s crucial to seek inpatient care. Such care involves help from professionals and reduces the risk of death and serious side effects.
Detoxing From Heroin
It’s unfortunate that many heroin users try to detox at home. Statistics show that heroin is one of the most addictive substances in the world. Aside from being one of the most popular drugs, heroin is also one of the hardest drugs to detox from.
By attempting to self-detox, heroin users are setting themselves up for failure. It’s very dangerous to abruptly quit using heroin. The withdrawal symptoms caused by suddenly quitting heroin are dangerous and excruciating.
Inpatient treatment is needed because it ensures heroin addicts learn how to live life without the drug. An attempt to self-detox from heroin will cause a number of undesirable withdrawal symptoms. In most cases, withdrawal symptoms occur about 12 hours after a person last used heroin.
Some of the symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:
- Abdominal pain
These symptoms will peak between days two and four.
Detoxing From Meth
Unlike many other drugs, meth doesn’t involve too many physical withdrawal symptoms. However, the lack of these symptoms does not make it a good idea to try to self-detox from meth. Inpatient treatment is very effective for detoxing from any substance, including meth.
When detoxing from meth, most people experience many psychological symptoms which can cause severe discomfort. Detoxing from meth can cause paranoia, suicidal thoughts, severe depression, lethargy, intense cravings, increased hunger, fatigue, anxiety and aggression.
Most meth users cannot detox alone, and inpatient treatment is almost always the best way to detox and quit using successfully.
Why Inpatient Treatment for Detox
The dangers of self-detoxing from a drug should be crystal clear. Alcohol is the only substance that can actually kill a person who tries to self-detox, but that doesn’t mean drug addicts should avoid professional care. Inpatient treatment can be used to successfully detox from any substance.
Such care involves structure and help from professionals. The nature of inpatient care is what makes it more successful than other treatments used for drug and alcohol addiction. Inpatient care uses a structure that is designed to minimize withdrawal symptoms and ensure patient recovery.