Legacy Healing Center Blog
If you’ve been using an addictive substance, you may have discovered that it is ruining your life. You’re ready to stop and rebuild your life without using drugs. The first step is to get the drugs out of your system, which is known as detoxification. A safe detoxt is essential to prevent serious side effects and begin your journey to recovery. Wondering if it is safe to detox from drugs at home? Use this guide to determine your best course of action.
Drug Detox at Home? Is It Safe?
Only in certain situations is it safe to detox at home. If you’re a healthy person with no pre-existing mental or physical health conditions, it may be possible to detox from drugs at home. Some substances have severe withdrawal side effects, making it unsafe to detox without medical assistance. For instance, alcohol detox can cause a severe reaction that may be life-threatening, known as delirium tremens.
Relapse is another concern with drug detox at home. Without the support of a medical team, you are more likely to give in to cravings, especially if they cause the withdrawal symptoms to subside. A better solution is to get help with detoxing from Legacy Healing Centers, an addiction treatment center that offers specialized programs, such as the women’s detox program, along with treatment after detoxing to prevent relapse.
How to Detox Drugs at Home Safely
If you decide that you want to detox from home, you need to do it safely. You should talk to a medical professional with experience in detox and withdrawal management. They will assess your physical and mental health and determine the risks of detoxing. The specialist will ask what type of substances you are using, how often, and how much. They may ask about any pre-existing and current mental and physical health diagnoses.
You should tell the specialist about any prior attempts to detox on your own. They will also probably ask about your support network to ensure you aren’t trying to detox alone. Once they have completed the assessment, the specialist will determine whether it is safe for you to detox at home. It may be safe to detox at home from certain substances that aren’t known for severe withdrawal symptoms, such as hallucinogens. Most of the time, they will recommend either outpatient or inpatient detox to prevent serious problems during detox.
How Long Does It Take to Detox from Drugs?
Drug detox can last a few days or weeks, or it may continue for several months. After the initial detox, which is when you may notice the most severe symptoms, you may have ongoing issues as your body continues to readjust to not having the substance in your system. It can take some time for your body to return to “normal” as your brain regains its function without the presence of addictive substances.
The length of time for detoxing depends on the drug that was used and its half-life. Half-life refers to how long the substance stays in your system before its concentration is reduced by half.
How long a drug stays in the system also depends on the individual. Factors that influence the length of time for detoxing, include:
- History of drug use
- Pre-existing conditions
How long it takes to detox from a substance will depend on what you are detoxing from and your own health and lifestyle. “How long does drug detox take?” is a question you should ask the treatment specialist to better understand what to expect from the process. However, you can get a general idea about detoxing from various substances.
Detox from Alcohol
Before you can begin alcohol addiction treatment, you must detox. This is a serious process that can have several complications. Detoxing from alcohol can cause seizures along with other, less serious side effects.
You may start to notice the first withdrawal symptoms about six to eight hours after the last drink. If you are a heavy drinker with a long history of use, you could even have a seizure at this point. The symptoms will worsen over the next 12-48 hours. People with a severe form of withdrawal may experience delirium tremens, which causes a high heart rate and body temperature along with seizures.
Symptoms are often at their worst by 72 hours before they will begin to subside. You may notice anxiety, sweating, a rapid heartbeat, irritability, nausea and/or vomiting, and tremors along with hallucinations and paranoia.
Treatment specialists often recommend that you don’t stop drinking all at once without any medical assistance if you suffer from alcohol addiction. They will provide medications that will help alleviate these symptoms and prevent severe side effects. Legacy Healing Centers provides treatment centers throughout Florida to help with alcohol detox, including our Pompano rehab center and Delray Beach rehab.
How long it takes to detox from drugs can vary widely from a few days to several months. The length of time depends on which substance you are using because some are highly addictive, such as opioids. For instance, stimulants such as cocaine, will cause withdrawal symptoms within the first 24 hours and continue for a week or longer with cravings lasting for months.
Opioids, such as heroin or morphine can cause severe withdrawal symptoms, starting within 6-12 hours after taking the last dose. They continue to get worse for up to three days and don’t start to subside until about ten days later. The withdrawal symptoms are often extremely uncomfortable, such as insomnia, muscle pain, and anxiety. Treatment specialists may recommend tapering off the drug rather than quitting all at once to reduce the risk of relapse. They often prescribe medications that ease the symptoms by mimicking the effects of the opioid but with less risk of addiction. Cravings for the drug can last for months or even years.
Ways to Prepare for Drug Detox
If you or a loved one are planning to start detox or wonder “Does drug detox work?”, you can take some steps to be prepared for the process and help you be successful. These steps will help you manage the withdrawal symptoms better while your body is detoxing.
First, make sure you eat healthy foods. Many people with substance use disorders don’t get the nutrients they need because they don’t eat well. Eating nutritious food can help your body adjust better to detoxing. Drink plenty of water as well to flush out toxins and help you feel better and have more energy.
If you decide to do outpatient detox, try to eliminate other obligations during this time. Reschedule appointments, take time off from work or school, and remove stress from your life as much as possible. Now is the time to focus on you and your recovery.
Build a strong network of support. Let people know what you are doing and how they can support and encourage you. Have them check in on you, and don’t be afraid to reach out.
Learn about the detoxing process. Know what to expect even if it’s unpleasant. Just understanding what will happen can make it less frightening. Ask your detox treatment specialist questions about detoxing and how they can help you.
Get Professional Help Today
You don’t have to go through the detox process alone or detox from drugs at home. Legacy Healing Centers offers the tools and resources you need to be successful in detoxing your body from unwanted substances. Contact us today to learn more about our programs for detox and addiction treatment. Let us help you take this important first step in recovery.