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Can You Detox at Home? Detoxification Myths Debunked!

February 22, 2021
Reviewed by: Lisa Misquith
Can you detox at home? Detoxification myths debunked

The following blog has been reviewed by a Psychologist. If you are reading the blog on a mobile phone, you can see the reviewer’s profile at the end of the blog. Please see our editorial policy here.

Addiction often involves physical dependence. In order to break the drug addiction, a person must overcome their dependency and proceed through the acute withdrawal process healthily. The initial phase of treatment is referred to as detoxification. 

Detoxification is the method of cleaning the body of the harmful chemicals present in drugs like cocaine, opioids, alcohol, and other toxic substances. 

Read our comprehensive guide on Detoxification here.

Struggling with substance abuse is often a worry for your loved ones and yourself, especially when you are tired of blackouts occurring after drug intake. Detox at this stage may seem to be an uncertain and frightening but only option available to get rid of the situation. 

Sometimes, fear of detox leaves many people locked in cycles of abuse, inducing drug use only to stay off the symptoms of withdrawal. However, detox can be safe, relaxed, and efficient.

Myths Revolving Around Home Detox

Some myths are revolving around detoxification, which you must know before starting the process:

1. Detox Is Painful

It is the first myth people with drug abuse come across. While a person may face withdrawal symptoms, drug detoxification is not always painful, especially if someone is supervising. If a person opts for home detoxification, they can keep themselves busy with activities that keep them distracted.

You can seek help by asking your therapist to make a plan for routine activities to indulge during home detoxification so as to keep yourself occupied.

2. Detox Requires Long-term Separation From Normal Life

The question – can you detox at home – always remains unanswered in case of its lifestyle alterations. Although it is not true that detox requires long-term separation from normal life as it does not mean to cut contacts with family, friends or even at your work. If you have strong will power and no primary health conditions, you can opt for home detoxification without ruining your work or relations. Life proceeds as usual.

3. A Person Is Sober After Detoxification

After completing drug detoxification at home, a person is not physically regulated by withdrawals. Though, it doesn’t automatically mean a person is sober. The emotional needs, cravings, and addiction behaviour controls are still there. Detoxification is the initial step towards long-term sobriety. 

4. Home Detox Is a Quick Process

Every person has a unique experience when they opt for home detox or any other form of detox. It depends upon the type of substance used. Certain substances take a short period for detoxification, while some others having severe effects can take longer time.

So, can you detox at home? Yes, but the duration of the process depends upon the intensity of drug abuse. It should be noted here that home detoxification can not be achieved in a calculated amount of time scale.

Can You Detox at Home?

At some point, many people seek to self-detox. A series of unsuccessful self-detoxing in some cases leads to a person’s entry into rehab. However, it is not to suggest that people have not successfully self-detoxified at home. A majority of people classify a home environment as the preferred choice for the process.

Steps Required to Detox at Home

If a person decides to follow a self-detox process at home, it is essential to do it safely and in active communication with your health expert. 

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind before taking the step:

1. Destash and Discard Drugs From Home

It might sound obvious, but it is the initial critical step taken towards recovery. It is important to throw away all drugs, alcohol and opioids as when the withdrawal symptoms start to show, you may not be able to stop the craving of consuming it. Therefore, it is prudent to remove the drugs available at home to avoid temptation.

2. Focus on Sleep

Ensuring that you get quality sleep is a must for maintaining safety and natural detoxification at home. Sound sleep helps your brain reorganise itself and repair it by eliminating toxic waste accumulated throughout the day. For better health, you should sleep at least a minimum of seven hours per night. If you do not give your body and brain adequate rest, the lack of it may lead to other short-term health issues like anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Drink More Water

Water not only quenches your thirst but also helps regulate a body’s temperature and further detoxes from the waste products a human body produces throughout the day. Also, drinking more water helps in repairing your body’s cells and breaks down nutrients for energy. Therefore, it is a  must to keep hydrated by drinking as much water as you can throughout the day.

4. Take Dietary Precautions

Most people who opt for self-detox at home are sceptical of their diet choices. It is essential to focus on a healthy diet while going through detoxification. Eat foods that meet your daily nutritional requirements like vegetables and fruits. You should also take adequate quantities of protein through various food products.

Also, you should provide your body with enough vitamins and minerals. Some of them are Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids, and Calcium. These minerals assist in eliminating toxins from the body.

5. Stay Active

While undergoing self-detox, it is essential to stay active throughout the day as it helps in improving your body’s healing process and reduces the risk of physical and mental diseases. Apart from indulging in regular exercise, you can also keep yourself busy by pursuing a hobby or developing one during the day. 

Pros and Cons of Home Detox

A common question still arises – can you detox at home? Yes, a person can detox at home, but there are some pros and cons attached to it.

Drug detoxification at home can sometimes become risky if there are no proper precautions taken. A person can get withdrawal symptoms based on how much daily drug intake he/she had taken earlier. The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends upon various factors like gender, age, and longevity of substance abuse.

Pros of Home Detox

  • You can self-detox at the comfort of your home
  • There are no financial obligations during the home detoxification process
  • Your entire treatment process can stay confined within the walls of your home with anonymity

Cons of Home Detox

  • You can be at a higher risk of mental and physical health problems when withdrawal symptoms start to show
  • If you stay with loved ones, there are chances of deteriorating a relationship once there is discomfort due to withdrawal symptoms
  • Lack of medication can lead to limited symptom relief

Other Treatment Options

While for some people home detox processes work wonders, for some, it may still not be a viable option. A person can also choose from the below options of drug detox treatments:

1. In-patient Treatment

If a person decides to go through an in-patient facility for drug detoxification, they can benefit from a team of medical practitioners around the clock. In-patient treatment is generally advised for people who have ingested a substantial amount of the drug for a long time. A person can also take prescribed medication to manage severe withdrawal symptoms better.

2. Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is suitable for people whose addiction has not worsened over time. In this option, a person has to regularly visit the treatment facility to keep a check on the withdrawal symptoms and the entire drug detoxification process. A person can stay at home this whole time apart from scheduled facility visits. During this time, a person also has to take prescribed medication against withdrawal symptoms.

The Road to Recovery

Recovery from drug addiction is something for which you have to work daily. It is never easy to overcome any drug addiction, especially the ones that have worsened over time. Opting for a self-detox process at home requires determination and the will to achieve positive results. Many people have fear ingrained in them about the frightening experience of home detox. It is not always the case. With the support of your friends, family and the right help, you can sail through the process and triumph.