AlcoholDetox

Surviving Detox: Reason #1 to Never Detox Alone

By November 8, 2018 No Comments
Surviving Detox: Reason #1 to Never Detox Alone

Detox to Feel Healthier and Happier

Although not everyone has personally felt the far-reaching effects of drug and alcohol abuse, everybody knows someone who has. Understanding how to safely detox may save yourself or a loved one from making a dangerous mistake.

Cleansing the body is a popular topic because it seems like a simple solution for feeling healthier and happier. Detoxing from harmful substances like alcohol and Benzodiazepines is an especially pressing issue because they are common and accessible in the U.S.

According to a study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in 2015, over 86% of people age 18 and older reported having at least one alcoholic beverage in their lives. 56% of all adults had drunk alcohol within the past month. An occasional drink here and there doesn’t seem to have long-lasting negative effects. However, the prevalence of binge drinking and heavy alcohol use in the U.S. is concerning. Almost 27% of people ages 18 and older reported binge drinking within the past month. 1

Detoxification is the First Step

When alcohol or drug use gets out of control, detoxification is the first step in recovering your health and eliminating cravings. It is a big decision for someone to choose to detox and move on from addiction. Unfortunately, detoxification from alcohol or drugs is an ugly process, no matter where it happens. This article is not meant to deter someone from detoxing. Instead, it is meant to help someone have the best chance of success as they begin to renew their health and regain control of their lives.

Detoxing alone is dangerous, uncomfortable and sometimes deadly. Although it can be tempting to detox alone to save money, please consider these three reasons why you should never detox alone. This article contains Reason #1 and is part of a 3-part series. 

Reason #1: Withdrawal Symptoms Can Be Deadly

When someone initially stops using harmful or addictive substances, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms varies depending on how heavily they used those harmful substances. Here’s a list of the withdrawal symptoms for various substances: 2 & 3

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Convulsions
  • Delirium tremens
  • Hallucinations
  • Heart failure
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Shakiness
Benzodiazepines Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain and stiffness
  • Poor concentration
  • Sensory distortions
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Heart palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Agitation
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anxiety
  • Bodypain
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Sneezing
  • Sniffing
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue/sleeping for days on end
  • Increased hunger
  • Intense cravings
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Paranoia
  • Severe depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

Most of these withdrawal symptoms are very uncomfortable, especially if someone goes through them alone. However, many of these symptoms can be mitigated with medications and constant monitoring in a medical setting.

A special caution to those considering doing an alcohol detox alone: according to Alcohol Health & Research World, between 5-25% of people who do alcohol detox alone die.4 The cause of death that is related to alcohol detox is typically heart failure.

Inpatient Detox Programs Are Safe

The risk of heart failure or other serious issues could be addressed in an inpatient detox program because they monitor a patient’s vitals 24/7. Patients undergoing detox can receive medical attention as needed to ensure a safe and healthy detox. Patients avoid the dangerous risks associated with detoxing alone at inpatient treatment centers like Schick Shadel Hospital. Highly trained registered nurses use safety techniques to ensure that patients are safe and comfortable throughout the detox process.

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