Staying home is often the best idea when someone feels ill or under the weather. The surroundings are familiar, the family is there to help, and the space just seems comforting and appropriate. However, when that illness comes about due to an addiction and the need to detox, the home could be the worst place in which to heal. Here’s why.
Some drugs cause serious medical distress during the detoxification phase. For example, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that people who have never had seizures in the past can develop them in the days immediately following the cessation of drinking. Brain cells that have long been sedated can wake up in a hurry when alcohol is removed, and seizures can quickly follow. A similar study in the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology found a link between the development of seizures and a cessation of benzodiazepine drugs. Again, people who had this problem didn’t have a prior history of seizures. The drug seems to have brought this to be.
Quick thinking by family members could be vital in the aftermath of a seizure at home, but someone in a facility has care around the clock. This is the kind of careful attention that could prevent a seizure from even taking hold, as experts could spot the signs of impending danger and take action right away, not minutes or hours later. This is the kind of care that could really make a difference in terms of the safety of detox.
At-home detox can also be dangerous simply because it’s too easy to relapse. When a person is at home, that sense of sobriety is vulnerable. It’s too easy to:
- Order drugs online
- Buy alcohol at the store
- Beg for drugs from friends
- Buy drugs from street dealers
All of the methods the person once used in order to get drugs are still available in the early days of recovery. And the urge to use drugs can be absolutely overwhelming. People might feel as though they simply have no choice in the matter, and that they must get their hands on drugs as quickly as they can. When a deep craving for drugs is paired with the ease of getting drugs, a relapse is more likely.
Inpatient facilities are different. Here, people have access to a variety of therapeutic techniques that can help them to manage their cravings, including medications and support group work. People also just don’t have the ability to buy drugs, as those substances aren’t allowed on the grounds of the facility. For people with a low level of motivation to recover, going into an inpatient detox might mean actually healing, rather than falling back into bad habits.
At Michael’s House, we offer a medically supervised detoxification process in our stabilization center with the help of consulting physicians. Here, we provide medications, therapy and more in order to help people get sober. When the detox process is complete, our patients can learn more about the steps they should take to preserve their sobriety through our treatment program. Our techniques really work. Please call us, and our admissions coordinators can tell you more.