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Is it Safe to Detox by Yourself?

Drug detox is a complicated process where the drug physically leaves your body. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some forms of self-detox are dangerous while others are not. It depends entirely on the drug you are addicted to. Some drugs withdrawal is merely extremely unpleasant while others can be deadly. If you are serious about detoxing off a drug it is always better to have at least one person either with you or who knows what you are trying to do. Certain classes of drugs are more dangerous than others during withdrawal if you choose to detox by yourself.

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Alcohol

Alcohol is extremely dangerous to detox from by yourself. Alcohol withdrawal can cause:

All of these symptoms can result in death if a medical staff is not available to help you get through them. They can give you medications and other treatments to make sure that you do not suffer from the more serious symptoms.

Benzodiazepines

This is another class of drug that you will require medical attention to detox from. According to the British Journal of Addiction, the symptoms of benzodiazepine detox are:

Detox by Yourself

Hostility and psychosis are common benzo withdrawal symptoms.

  • shallow respiration
  • extreme anxiety
  • panic
  • seizures
  • DTs
  • hallucinations
  • rapid pulse
  • amnesia
  • hostility
  • nightmares
  • psychosis

If you are considering detoxing off benzodiazepines such as Xanax or Valium, you should seek medical attention for the detox procedure.

Cocaine

Although cocaine detox is not deadly it is certainly unpleasant. It involves a lot of psychological symptoms such as:

  • aggression
  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • fatigue
  • depression

Technically you could detox off cocaine without medical help or without a detox center but your chances of relapse are far greater if you do this. It is best to seek help for cocaine withdrawal or at least the presence of a friend.

Heroin

Heroin withdrawal is extremely unpleasant. The withdrawal symptoms are the most common cause of relapse. The symptoms are so intense that many believe they are dying when they are actually just going through withdrawal. The symptoms of heroin withdrawal are:

  • extreme nausea
  • projectile vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • cramps
  • joint and body pain
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • insomnia

Most people who attempt to withdrawal from heroin themselves go back to using very quickly. So, even though technically you could detox off heroin by yourself you probably do not want to.

LSD

LSD is not physically addictive. Some studies indicate that it is psychologically addictive. Unless you are having a “bad trip,” there really isn’t a withdrawal period for LSD. If you are having symptoms that seem like withdrawal or continue to have hallucinations days after taking LSD. You should seek medical attention.

Marijuana

Marijuana is safe to detox off by yourself but most people do suffer from:

  • irritability
  • aggression
  • anxiety
  • insomnia

These symptoms are unpleasant and make it very easy for you to go back to using the drug. If you have a powerful addiction or have used it for a long time, medical attention or a detox facility is advisable.

Stimulants such as Ritalin

Stimulants such as Ritalin and other ADHD medication, is difficult to detox from. It is also dangerous to detox from drugs like Ritalin because they cause:

  • irregular heart rate
  • seizures
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • psychosis

Each of these symptoms can be extreme and it is important to have people around you who know how to treat these symptoms.

Although some of these drugs are safe to detox by yourself, it is unwise to do it. Many people who choose to detox alone wind up giving in and using again. Some drugs like alcohol, benzodiazepines, and Ritalin, it is best to be in a qualified detoxification facility that can deal with any mental or physical problems that arise. For more information on detoxification, centers and how it works for different drugs call us at 800-483-2193.

Sources

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. 
  2. British Journal of Addiction. (1994). The Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome.