Millions of Americans struggle every year with addictions to drugs or alcohol. The good news, though, is that one in ten of these people manage to overcome these addictions.
If you’re currently dealing with an addiction, there is hope for you. But, in order to recover, you must first go through a detoxification period.
This period can be unpleasant and even dangerous if you’re not careful.
Here are some guidelines that will help you to stay safe while going through drug detox.
What Can Go Wrong During Drug Detox?
Many people don’t realize the dangers of drug detox, especially when you’re detoxing alone at home.
A lot happens to your body during drug detox, and if you try to go through it alone, you’re putting yourself at risk for all kinds of issues.
Some of the greatest risks of at-home drug detox include:
Medical Complications From Withdrawal
When you first begin the detox process, it’s common to experience withdrawal symptoms. Some common symptoms include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Diarrhea and/or constipation
- Abdominal cramping
- Muscle aches, pains, and stiffness
- Fatigue and/or insomnia
When you detox at home alone, you won’t have access to resources that can help to minimize these symptoms.
Worsened Mental Health
Drug detox can also wreak havoc on your mental health. It’s not uncommon for individuals who are detoxing to experience depression, anxiety, paranoia, and other mental health issues. These issues, if left untreated, can make it harder for you to resist drug cravings long-term.
Increased Chance of Overdose
When you go a while without consuming a drug, your body becomes more sensitive to that drug. As a result, if you go back to using your drug of choice, your chances of experiencing an overdose increase. This could lead to serious medical consequences, including a coma or even death.
Increased Chance of Relapse
You are also more likely to relapse if you detox alone at home. You won’t have the support you need to resist temptations, and you may have a harder time identifying and avoiding triggers.
How to Stay Safe During Drug Detox
There is a lot that can happen during drug detox. But, there are also a lot of things you can do to minimize your risk of experiencing the issues listed above.
Some of the best things you can do to stay safe and healthy while detoxing include:
Use Medications to Manage Withdrawal Symptoms
There are a lot of safe medications that you can use to manage your withdrawal symptoms.
Some medications you may want to try include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or NSAIDs) like aspirin or ibuprofen
- Anti-nausea and antidiarrheal medications (there are many options available over-the-counter)
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Topical analgesics like IcyHot or Tiger Balm
You may also be able to benefit from natural sleep aids like melatonin.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The food you consume can have a profound impact on the severity of your withdrawal symptoms and your ability to cope with them. A healthy diet won’t totally alleviate your discomfort, but it can help.
Focus on eating a whole foods diet rich in vegetables, fruit, healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, etc.) and high-quality protein sources (grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, pastured eggs, wild-caught fish, etc.).
Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, too. Dehydration is common among people who are detoxing, especially if you’re struggling with issues like vomiting or diarrhea.
Utilize Alternative Therapies
There are lots of alternative therapies that can help you stay calm and focused as you detox. Therapies like yoga, meditation, and massage are all great options.
By adding these to your daily routine, you’ll have an easier time managing your symptoms and maintaining a positive attitude about the process.
They are especially helpful for those who struggle with mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
Exercise is also beneficial to those who are trying to detox from drugs or alcohol.
Not only does exercise cause you to break a sweat, which helps to get harmful substances out of your body, but it also gives you something else to focus on besides the discomfort of drug detox.
Exercise also produces endorphins. Endorphins are feel-good chemical messengers that can improve your mood and minimize your pain.
When you’re detoxing, exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing. Once you get up and start moving, though, you’ll likely find that you feel a lot better.
Nobody should have to go through the process of detoxing alone. Research shows that peer support can have a significant impact on the recovery process.
Try to find and surround yourself with people who are going through the same thing as you, who can relate to your situation. It’s much easier to go through something as difficult as drug detox when you have people rooting for you.
Stay In a Medical Detox Center
Finally, consider staying in a medical detox center.
A medical detox center will provide you with easy access to resources that can help you through the detox process. Not only will you be surrounded 24-7 by medical professionals, but you’ll have access to medications that can ease your discomfort.
You’ll also be with other people who are experiencing the same thing you are and can empathize with your situation. Many detox centers offer alternative therapies and access to healthy food and exercise equipment, too.
Stay In a Medical Detox Center Today
As you can see, it’s not such a good idea to try and go through drug detox alone. In order to see the best results and stay safe and healthy during the process, it’s best to stay in a professional medical detox center.
If you live in or around the Stuart, Florida area, consider staying at Coastal Detox.
We’re an award-winning detox center dedicated to helping you overcome your addictions so you can get back to living your best life.
We combine holistic treatments with medication-assisted therapies to help you feel your best and increase your chances of having a successful recovery.
Contact us today to learn more about what we do here or to take a tour of our facility.