The Dangers of Detoxing Without Professional Supervision
People drink alcohol for a wide variety of reasons, and it is something that is somewhat widely seen as an acceptable social pastime; however, when alcohol consumption becomes an addiction, a person can face many dangers.
Alcohol addiction can affect anyone and everyone, and it is never to be taken lightly. There is also a prevalent dangerous and false belief in some people who are first confronting an alcohol addiction, that simply going cold turkey at home will be the best way to overcome your addiction.
Furthermore, it is not only going cold turkey alone from alcohol addiction that can pose a serious risk to a person but detoxing from drug addiction by yourself can also throw up worrying withdrawal symptoms and results.
While getting clean and starting your path to recovery is a great goal to have, it is vital to do it in the safest possible way.
The Dangers Of Alcohol Withdrawal
Detoxing from alcohol comes with a whole host of possible symptoms and complications which can have severe consequences when it comes to both your physical and mental wellbeing, and can lead to death in certain instances.
In a high percentage of cases, the first symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can appear as early as six hours, and as late as twelve hours, after you consumed your last alcoholic drink.
Initial alcohol withdrawal symptoms may include the likes of:
- Excessive Sweating
- Loss Of Appetite & Trouble With Digestion
And, while a mild variation of the above symptoms may frequently be associated with a hangover, if the person suffering from them is experiencing withdrawal, then the symptoms above can only get worse during the 12-24 hour window.
The next, and more dangerous, symptoms can be very varied and incredibly serious. Intense alcohol withdrawal symptoms are often termed delirium tremens (DTs).
While more intense withdrawal symptoms can occur 12-24 hours after the addict’s last drink, DTs may only present from 2-4 days following the final drink — with there being instances of DT symptoms appearing as late as a week or more after the final drink was consumed.
The variable window of time where symptoms of delirium tremens may occur, combined with the fact that the symptoms can be fatal, emphasises the dangers of experiencing alcohol detoxification at home while alone.
Specific symptoms of DTs include:
- States Of Confusion
- Intense Mood Swings
- Violent Tremors
- Heart Palpitations (in certain cases)
The fact that alcohol withdrawal can affect everyone differently is also another reason why you should be particularly wary of detoxing alone as there can be no way to predict how your body and mind will react.
Factors such as the number of times that you have tried to go cold turkey before can also affect the experience, with those who have gone cold turkey previously being statistically more susceptible to seizures than others.
Many people die each year from alcohol withdrawal, but it is sadly not only alcohol withdrawal that can be dangerous.
How Detoxing May Lead To Overdosing
There can also be many dangerous side effects when detoxing from certain drugs. For instance, people going cold turkey from benzodiazepine sedatives such as Klonopin, Valium, or Xanax can experience such symptoms as:
- Mood Swings
- Panic Attacks
- Psychotic Episodes
Furthermore, when people go cold turkey from certain drugs, their tolerance is often lowered. This means that when the extreme craving sensations kick in, addicts may take too much of the drug for their body to handle due to a suddenly lower tolerance, which can lead to overdose and death.
There is also the worry that, regardless of what you are detoxing from, even if you are detoxing at home with the aid of one family member or loved one, that this is still not as safe as choosing to detox with professional medical assistance.
This is due to the potential for your symptoms to be incredibly severe and too much for someone without professional medical training to be able to provide aid for.
Detoxing At Home Vs Detoxing With Medical Aid
While detoxing at home can be incredibly dangerous, when you are detoxing in a professional, medical environment or with medical assistance, professionals will be able to advise towards and provide vital medication which will help lessen the symptoms that you may experience.
Whereas when experiencing alcohol detoxification symptoms at home you run the risk of heart failure, hallucinations, and seizures, medical professionals, the staff employed at Step1 Recovery will be able to provide medication which can lessen these symptoms and help lessen the chance of these symptoms being fatal.
Furthermore, there is also the concern that for a lot of people experiencing alcohol withdrawal, or drug withdrawal, the sudden removal of substances from their bodies may cause them to present with serious mental conditions that they may previously have not know they were suffering from.
This is due to the fact that addicts will often, and sometimes unbeknownst to them, be self-medicating for undiagnosed mental health conditions with the substances they have been addicted to.
However, when experiencing a sudden rush of anxiety, depression, or any other mental illness or mood disorder, with medical professionals there by your side they will be able to provide you with the care that you need — care which on your own you likely would not be able to provide for yourself.
Detoxing With Medical Supervision Could Be The First Step On Your Road To Recovery
Detoxing with the aid of a professional medical programme, such as those that Step1 offer, means that you will be able to have 24/7 care from medical professionals and that you can start getting clean in a safe environment.
The fact that you may be considering going cold turkey from your addiction at home means that you are obviously wanting to overcome your addiction; however, you must be wary of the very real danger that presents itself with detoxing alone in your home.
Alcohol withdrawal, and in some cases drug withdrawal, can be fatal, so please consult with a medical professional when considering detoxification. And, once you have safely gone through detoxification, treatment programmes and rehab can help you to carry on your road to recovery.