Why A Medically Monitored Detox Could Save Your Life Instead Of Trying To Do It Yourself

safe medical detox

When someone feels their drug abuse has gone too far, it’s seemingly an easy task to just stop using. Why it’s not such an easy task is because an addiction might be involved. Substance addiction involves the physical and psychological need for the user’s substance of choice. Any attempts to stop “cold turkey” could cause a laundry list of potential problems, some of which could be quite serious.

It would be easy to simply state that a medically-monitored detox program is a much better solution. However, there needs to be some context in order for people to understand why that’s true. If there’s one thing we know about drug addicts is they often take a bit of convincing. It’s not easy for many substance abusers to even admit they have a problem. Trying to convince them a certain course of treatment is a better idea had better include some facts.

Before a meaningful discussion can begin, there needs to be an understanding of just how serious withdrawal symptoms can be. With almost any kind of substance abuse, there is going to be certain withdrawal symptoms that could come to light once the addicts suddenly stops using their drug of choice. While the possible withdrawal symptoms will vary, depending on the substance(s) involved, some of the worst possible withdrawal symptoms would be:

  • Tremors, hallucinations and seizures
  • A full arsenal of mood related issues (depression, anxiety)
  • Heart and breathing problems
  • Blood pressure issues (too high, too low)
  • Sleepiness or sleeplessness
  • Severe muscle and stomach cramping issues
  • Digestive tract issues like constipation or diarrhea

Clearly, this list includes some rather serious issues. In some extreme cases, withdrawal symptoms can be lethal. For that reason alone, one should be hesitant to make a decision about not using their drug(s) of choice without at least consulting with a doctor. Most doctors will recommend the patient seek help from a professional treatment center. The question is why?

Why a Medically-Monitored Detox Instead of Do It Yourself Detox

We have established the primary concern that comes with the cessation of drug abuse. The possible withdrawal symptoms can create significant problems, including life-threatening issues. No one wants to encounter those kinds of problems.

Aside from the possible health risks, there’s another reason why an inpatient detox program would be preferred over a do-it-yourself detox. When someone tries to stop on their own, they have little to no accountability. Their foe is an addiction they probably don’t understand. The addiction is usually more powerful than one’s will to stop using in earnest. Without accountability, it’s too easy for the addict to simply start using again when the bad withdrawal symptoms start to take hold. It’s not uncommon for the individual to realize their drug of choice is the solution to the pain and suffering that often comes with withdrawal symptoms.

A professional detox center offers accountability. There are people there who will make sure the patient stays on tract, even when doing so becomes uncomfortable. To further convince someone why a detox program is a better solution, we want to discuss the possible benefits of such a program.

Safety and Comfort

Based on the withdrawal symptoms listed above, it should be clear that the withdrawal process could get uncomfortable, if not downright painful. A medically-monitored detox program features medical staffers whose job it is to make sure detox patients are safe and as comfortable as possible. In many cases, the medical staff stands at the ready to offer certain medications to help relieve certain symptoms. Sleeping issues, tremors (convulsions) and cramping come to mind.

Addiction treatment is a process where detox is usually the first step. By keeping the patient comfortable, it increases the likelihood the patient will be able to stick with the entire treatment program. People are funny about pain. Once it starts, their first instinct is to flee. Fleeing for an addict usually means leaving rehab and starting to abuse substances again.

Preparation for Therapy

The overriding goal of detox is to prepare the patient for the rigors of therapy and counseling. It takes a lot of hard work and focus to talk to counselors about the personal issues that might have led to the initial substance abuse.

A healthy detox program allows the patient to clear their mind and body of cravings and residual substances that harm the body. Free from the chains that bind, a patient is more likely to have clarity of thought. This clarity allows them better communicate their feelings. It also gives them the ability to understand the importance of developing better coping skills. It’s these skills that hold the key to a recovering addict being able to avoid triggers and subsequent relapses.

Isolation From Environmental Influences

For most addicts, the home environment is where their addiction was given birth. It’s here that they can find their drug dealers, drug using friends and even enablers. An inpatient detox program offers the perfect opportunity to get away from temptations and triggers. Remember, detox is just the start of the recovery process. Any and all time spent in an inpatient facility is time the patient is isolated from interference from the home environment. Any attempts to even detox on their own will certainly fail if the old drug friends come a calling with drugs in hand.

The biggest reason why a detox program is better than a self-detox process is because it has a much higher success rate. Actually, very few people are able to get through even the detox process on their own without some help.

If you are ready to stop drinking or using drugs, we urge you to not try it on you own. The risks involved are too serious, including possible death. For a safe and comfortable detox and treatment process, we hope you will pick up the phone and call our facility at 866-802-6848. Our counselors are available for your call 24/7/365.

Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.