So many people who decide to get “clean and sober” after years of substance use don’t seem to realize that withdrawing from some drugs—including alcohol—without medical supervision can actually kill you. And if you try going through it at home alone and you don’t die from your withdrawals, the horrific pain you experience may make you wonder what the heck you were thinking!
From severe aches and discomfort to burning fevers, from extreme nausea and diarrhea to seizures and more, the body’s responses to drug withdrawals have to do with the extreme changes in the chemical processes going on in the brain and the rest of the body. The fact is, having medical support and professional care during such an intense process—which can last anywhere from two or three days to a week or more—is essential if detoxing safely and paving the way for your successfully recovering from addiction is your goal.
Here are 4 good reasons why medically-assisted detox is so highly recommended, in contrast to detoxing at home.
- A supportive, professionally-staffed environment can have a huge positive influence on your experience of the detoxing process, including literally “how you feel” about recovering from addiction in the first place, as well as your level of psychological and emotional stability as you go through withdrawals. By deciding to medically detox in an atmosphere solely dedicated to supporting those who want to recover from substance use disorders, you’re putting yourself in an atmosphere that can help smooth out and manage a very physically and emotionally challenging process. Having the care and resources around you that are necessary to safely and properly detox can also impact whether or not you succeed in long-term recovery. In being provided with the collective encouragement of staff members at a detox center and, with their help, successfully “getting to the other side,” you’ll more likely be inspired and have greater hope in you to, one day at a time, make recovery your priority.
- Freedom from distractions and outside influences will enable you to keep focused on yourself and regaining your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Certainly, there are countless distractions one can find at home, any one of which can sidetrack you—maybe even permanently—from your goal of “getting clean and sober” and staying that way. At a treatment center where medical detox is offered, you can go through the detox process with the assurance you’ll be safely guided and provided for each step of the way, with no outside influences to deter you from accomplishing what you’re seeking: a fresh start and freedom from active addiction. Also, you may elect to remain in treatment at the center where you detox, in order to develop and strengthen your early recovery.
- By leaving home to detox, you’ll avoid potential relapse triggers, including relationships with family and friends, stressors at work, etc. Even when our close relations want the best for us, the dynamics can often be fraught with conflict, difficulty and stress. And since you’re striving to detox from substance use or abuse, the process will necessarily make you susceptible to raw emotions and mood swings as your mind and body are adjusting to the absence of whatever substance you were using. During such a particularly vulnerable time—experiencing sometimes severe drug withdrawals—it would be best for you to be in a completely supportive environment, free from emotional conflicts and potential relapse triggers. By doing so, you can remain focused solely on safely getting through the withdrawal symptoms and establishing a foundation for your recovery from addiction.
- Detoxing away from where you live adds an important layer of privacy to your new life in recovery. The fact is, whatever chemical dependency you’ve developed—but especially if you’ve been using illegal drugs—there may be countless people in your circle who you’d prefer not knowing you’re detoxing and in early recovery. This may include family members, coworkers or employers, as well as those with whom you have financial, legal or business affairs to consider. By going to a detox center away from your home, you’re ensuring your privacy will be maintained during a crucial time in your life.
Although asking for help with detoxing and recovery can be a difficult, even nerve-wracking decision, remaining addicted to drugs and/or alcohol only serves to prolong your “living nightmare.” By seeking medically-assisted detox support, you’re ensuring a safer, more secure path forward to recover from dependency and begin enjoying a new, healthy life, free from active addiction.