Detoxing is the first step on the road to long-term sobriety, but some people erroneously believe they can detox on their own. When you avoid reaching out for help, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Here's why detoxing alone is a bad idea:
You're Not Increasing Your Odds Of Sobriety
Detoxing from any addictive substance is an unpleasant experience, and going through the process without any help will not make it easier to stay clean. Depending on the specific drug you are using, the entire detox process could take days or weeks. Since it is only natural to want to rid yourself of sickness or any other ailments that occur during detox, you are more likely to return to substance use. To give you a better shot at sobriety, it is better to find help so you can detox safely and take the process one step at a time. It will be easier to focus fully on maintaining sobriety if you can make it successfully through a detox program.
Some drugs, mainly alcohol and benzodiazepines, can have potentially lethal consequences when they are stopped. When you detox from substances within a controlled setting, medical staff know what to expect and how to monitor your condition to reduce the chances of serious problems. The major problem with alcohol and benzodiazepines is they can cause seizures. Not only do these seizures increase your chances of brain damage, but you can hurt yourself during a seizure by falling or hitting your head on an object.
When you detox from opiates and amphetamines, the side effects are not generally considered as dangerous, but this does not mean the process is harmless. Some withdrawal symptoms can include significant diarrhea and vomiting, which may result in dehydration if you cannot keep any liquids down. There is also the possibility of aspirating your own vomit if you become unconscious at any time.
Detox Is A Multifaceted Process
Unfortunately, stopping substance use and staying away from these substances indefinitely is not purely about detoxing. To give yourself the best chance at sobriety, you need to enter treatment programs that tackle all of the common problems associated with drug and/or alcohol use. For example, you may need check-ups and ongoing medical care related to addiction. Many substances can have an adverse impact on your heart, liver, and other vital organs. Additionally, the integration of mental health treatments are critical for ongoing sobriety. It is common for people who have an addiction to simultaneously deal with a mental illness. Even if you do not have any mental health concerns or problems in your past that may have facilitated your addiction, you still need support. Few people can achieve sobriety alone.
If you are thinking about living the sober life, it is one of the best changes you can make. Before you take the next step, find available resources to give you the safest detox and best chance at success.