The Dangers of Detoxing at Home from Opiates

The idea of detoxing at home from opiates

Taking any step in the direction of quitting an addiction is a good one; even if you plan to do it yourself, and without medical help. Yet, it would be a good idea to reconsider taking the DIY approach. Detoxing at home from opiates, while it isn’t as prone to risk as alcohol or benzodiazepines, can be dangerous.

How dangerous can it be?

In most cases, withdrawal from opiates tends to be more uncomfortable than dangerous. There are exceptions. Methadone is one of them. This substitute drug offered in detox and rehab to recovering addicts helps address cravings, but it can be an addiction risk on its own. If you’re addicted to methadone, quitting cold turkey may come with withdrawal symptoms serious enough to cause risk to life.

Even if your addiction is to an opiate other than methadone, however, it’s important to understand that the discomfort of withdrawal can involve a greater amount of risk than you realize.

The risk of overdose

The risk of overdose is an important area of concern with any DIY detoxification attempt. Overdoses can certainly happen to anyone using a drug; the danger, however, tends to be pronounced with those attempting their own detox.

When you attempt to quit, your mind obsesses over abandoning the attempt and finding the drug that you crave. If you’re at home, you don’t have a great deal standing between you and the drug that you desire. You have your own self-control, and perhaps a friend or family member who monitors you to make sure that you don’t weaken. It isn’t usually hard to overcome such obstacles, however.

When people who are maddened by cravings find a way to obtain the drug that they desire, they usually take a large dose. This comes with the risk of overdose. A large dose of opiates can lower the heart rate, the rate of respiration and metabolism. With a very large dose, the circulatory and respiratory system can come to a halt, causing the user to slip into a coma.

The other danger is to your attempt at sobriety

How long does opiate withdrawal last? Most people who approach detoxification on their own start off determined to see it through. Some do succeed, as well; they go through the entire process until every last shred of anxiety, pain, nausea, insomnia or other discomfort fades. They happen to be in the minority, however. When the pain and cravings kick in, the result, in most cases, is a quick collapse of the entire attempt.

Cravings change the way the mind works. When they begin, determination often gives way to thoughts of how to a drug habit may not be such a bad thing, after all. Failure in this way can be a terrible waste of an attempt. Most people who give up an attempt will take months, or even years, to get around to trying again.

Medical detox is a good idea

Medical detox is a good idea simply because it makes for a safer and easier detoxification experience, and because it offers greater assurance of success. In medical detox, you receive medical prescriptions to help keep those cravings and other uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms away. You’ll sleep better, you’ll feel less pain and discomfort, and you will not be bothered by cravings.

Even more importantly, if you choose to check into an inpatient detox facility, you can be confident that those cravings will not force you into giving up your attempt. Detoxing at home from opiates, or other addictive substances is never a smart idea. Get professional detox at WhiteSands Treatment and call (877) 855-3470 to get started.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.