Dangerous Detox Practices

Published: 01/9/2016 | Author:

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction and drug detox is a very complex process. Despite all of our medical knowledge, there are still things that we do not know about the science of abuse, addiction, and detoxification. There are however, things that we do know; one of these things is that some detox practices are dangerous. If you make the decision to get off drugs, it is important to know about dangerous detox practices.

Detoxing without Medical Care

Dangerous Detox

Certain withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and even deadly if taken on unsupervised.

Detoxing without medical supervision in many cases is dangerous. Drugs change the way that your body and brain reacts. There are serious physical and psychological changes that happen during an addiction. When you stop taking a drug, it is important to seek medical help to make sure that the changes do not cause permanent harm. If you’ve been on drugs for a long time, it is important to make sure that you are still physically and mentally healthy when you come off the drugs.

Detoxing at Home Alone

Many drugs have cardiac and respiratory withdrawal symptoms. When you are trying to detox, these symptoms can become dangerous very quickly. It is important to have someone around who can help you in the event of cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest.

Detox from Alcohol and Certain other Drugs at Home

Alcohol and many other drugs have very dangerous side effects when you stop them suddenly. Everyone has heard the warnings about discontinuing a drug suddenly. Alcohol and benzodiazepines are both drugs of abuse that this warning should be taken very seriously. Detoxing from these should always be done in a medical facility. Although there are others, alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal can kill if not done properly. Up to 25% of alcoholics who experience delirium tremens die from complications.

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Trying to Detox with Another Person’s Medication

When someone takes another person’s medication or medication not prescribed to them it is dangerous. When you take medication for detox that is not prescribed to you it is even more so. Most medications for detox have very carefully regulated doses. These doses are strictly controlled for the person they are prescribed to. They could be harmful to someone else.

Taking Drugs not Prescribed to You While in Detox

If you are already in detox and you take a drug that is either someone else’s prescription or is an illegal drug such as heroin or cocaine, you could have an extremely unpleasant reaction. If you are on methadone for example and you take more opiates, you can easily overdose. This happens far more frequently than you would expect.

Not Following up with Counseling and other Aftercare Services

Although technically not dangerous, not following up on your detox and withdrawal treatment can lead to relapse. Most inpatient and outpatient detox centers have counseling and aftercare programs that you can take advantage of. Without knowing what caused the addiction, there is a very good chance that you will go right back to using drugs again.

For more information on how to detox the right way or to find a treatment center that can help you with your addiction, call us at 800-483-2193(Who Answers?). We can help you conquer your addiction the safe way.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. 
  2. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (1998). Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal. 
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