5 Reasons You Should Not Do an At-Home Detox from Alcohol or Drugs


If you have recently decided to take a step towards recovery and detox from drugs or alcohol, you may be considering doing this at home. While taking this step is great, an at-home detox might not be the best option to choose.

What follows are some reasons that you should not detox at home. Consider these carefully when pursuing treatment.

In order to have the most efficient and successful recovery you need the highest quality care. If you are looking for this care, call 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) to speak with a specialist about your situation.

1. Too Many Temptations

With any detox and recovery process, you are going to face triggers and cravings for the substance you are abstaining from. During these times, you may not always think reasonably, and you could be tempted to return to substance abuse. Relapse, especially when detoxing at home, is always a danger.

It is important that you are able to find a reason to continue through the detoxification and recovery processes. Detoxing on your own can be challenging because you may not have sufficient motivation to see past your cravings.

Contact us now to find detox centers in your area!

Who Answers?

2. Lack of Support

At-Home Detox

Many people lack support when they detox at home.

Professional detox treatment gives you access to support systems that can help to hold you accountable during the process and throughout your recovery. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration points out the benefits and importance of support in recovery, particularly with group therapy.

Some people find support through:

  • Support groups
  • Therapists
  • Sponsors
  • Family
  • Friends

Not only is this community important to keep you motivated, but it can also help you learn ways to cope with triggers, either through counseling sessions or by learning through other people’s successful recovery stories. Having adequate support keeps you on the track towards recovery and can help keep you afloat when you don’t have the independent strength to do so.

3. Lack of Quality

With at-home detox, the success and quality of the detox process is solely your responsibility. Importantly, quality can make all the difference in your recovery; when doing it at home, you lack access to the best approaches and options. You do not have the experience or the knowledge necessary to respond with the same efficiency as a professional to certain issues during detox.

Working with a professional for your detox is like exterminating your home. If the infestation is the addiction, then the extermination is the detox process. You want to make sure that it is completely gone from your home—or your body, in this case—without causing any more damage. You can’t guarantee that on your own, but a professional can.

4. Risk to Your Health and Safety

Detox comes with withdrawal symptoms and other health problems that can pose negative issues as your body heals. Doing detox at-home, without any assistance from others or medical professionals, places you in an unsafe situation.

Detox puts your body into withdrawal, and some drugs, like alcohol or depressants, can have severe withdrawal complications. Cardiac and respiratory distress are common complications resulting from general drug detox, and many people are not properly trained to correctly respond when they occur. Other dangerous complications can include

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Hallucinations
  • Grand mal seizures

You have chosen to detox in order to restore your health, but your health could be at risk if you detox at home and experience severe withdrawal symptoms. It is always wise to make sure that somebody knows what you are doing and can be around to help you if needed.

5. Lack of Sustainability

According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, a primary goal of your recovery should be ensuring abstinence in the long run. Achieving a sustainable recovery can be a challenging process, and at-home detoxes may not prepare you for the challenges you will face on the road ahead.

A professional will recognize cravings and triggers during the detox process and train you to cope successfully with them. Not knowing how to properly deal with these and any residual effects of your drug use can cause a relapse, even during detox.

If you or a loved one are looking into recovery options, call 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) to speak with a specialist about any questions or concerns you may have. You are not alone in this, and you deserve quality care to help you achieve full recovery.


  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2005). Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy- 1 Groups and Substance Abuse Treatment.
  2. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (1998). Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal.
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). 2016-2020 NIDA Strategic Plan- Goals and Objectives.
Get Help Today Phone icon 800-779-4314 Info icon Who Answers?