The Dangers of Trying to Detox at Home

For many reasons, some people just don’t want to go to a facility to detox.  Some are too embarrassed to go to a treatment facility.  Some think they don’t have the money.  Some have too much pride and think they can do it on their own.

It’s a great thing to recognize that you have a problem and you need to take action and the first step is to detox so you can get on the road to recovery.  However, unless you are a very light user, this is a huge mistake.

Here are the top reasons that you should NOT attempt to detox at home.

You Don’t Understand What You’re Getting Into

Many people make the decision to detox at home without really understanding what they are taking on.  Without a complete understanding of what you will be dealing with and what could happen, you won’t have a plan to handle those events.  If you want to attempt to do this at home, it is critical that you do a great deal of research first.

Psychological Changes

Since every person reacts to each drug differently than everyone else, it can be difficult to determine just how you will react when you’re in withdrawal.

Many people experience severe psychological symptoms.  This can include hallucinations and uncontrollable behavior.  Not being able to control your own behavior is a risk to yourself.  It is also a significant risk to any friends and family who might be around trying to help.

Life Threatening Symptoms

In addition to the psychological issues that can escalate and become very dangerous, some people also experience direct, sudden and severe physical reactions to withdrawal as well.

Most people who detox will only experience physical symptoms that are very uncomfortable.  However, some people will escalate into symptoms that affect your respiratory system, cause you to lose consciousness or make your blood pressure fluctuate to dangerous levels.

Unfortunately, you can’t tell ahead of time whether you are at risk of these more severe symptoms.

  • If you are trying to detox on your own and you experience these symptoms, you will NOT be able to call for help.
  • If you are detoxing under the supervision of friends and family, they may not be able to get you to a hospital soon enough.

No Experience

We’ve already discussed the “worst case” scenarios of trying to detox at home.  However, even if you don’t experience those symptoms, it’s still better to be in a facility surrounded by professionals.

Chances are, they have “seen it all” and know the best ways to deal with just about anything that could happen.  If you stay home and depend on your friends and family to help you, they will be new to the whole situation.  Even if they read and research beforehand, “book smarts” doesn’t replace real-world experience.


If you are considering stopping your drug or alcohol abuse and think you can do this at home, please do additional research.  Doing this on your own can be dangerous and have severe consequences.

Knowing you need to detox is good.  Getting professional help to do it is even better.

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