Detoxification at home is hardly ever recommended for a drug or alcohol addict. The majority of people can’t even get through the first day, let alone an entire week into detox.

This is not because they have no will power; withdrawal is serious and demanding on the body and mind, more so than those who never experience addiction could possibly imagine.

That being said, many substance abusers will try to detox at home for assorted reasons.

Why Detox at Home

One reason to detox in the home is that you don’t have to sign up for rehab or visit your doctor: this can be a spontaneous decision. Like many spur-of-the-moment choices, though, the results don’t always last.

Perhaps it seems easier not having to announce the intention to detoxify, but that means not having to admit there is a problem. Part of overcoming addiction is knowing and then admitting to others one’s reliance on a substance. Skipping this part is very appealing.

Home might also seem like the most comfortable place to go through withdrawal. Beware a tendency of the subconscious mind to look for ways of getting out of a tight place, though. It’s too easy to sabotage plans by hiding booze around the home and even with family around, escape plans can be made and carried out.

Addicts feel ashamed and unworthy of help. They don’t realize how dangerous the process is and are often unwilling to let anyone see them at their most vulnerable, whether a healthcare worker or family member.

It is important to realize that professionals see this sort of thing all the time and they are not there to judge you. In fact, they applaud your decision to take a positive step towards recovery even if you have tried before. They are there to help.

How to Detox at Home Safely and Successfully

The primary rule about home-based detox is to never be alone. Arrange to have someone around 24 hours each day for as long as possible, but certainly the first 48 hours.

This isn’t just to stop you from getting in your car or finding hiding places for your whisky or meth; withdrawal from long-term substance abuse can lead to life-threatening events such as seizure, heart attack, or dizziness leading to a fatal fall. Agitation can lead to suicide. Withdrawal isn’t pretty, but neither is being drunk or high.

Some experts recommend choosing a comfortable home other than your own, such as a reliable sibling, friend, or parent’s house. Pick a place where you can’t possibly discover hidden stashes of drugs or booze. Your own place might be full of unhappy memories. Go where you can be pampered.

Choosing a support person’s home also makes it easier for him or her to help you efficiently and confidently. They won’t be receiving your unexpected guests or fielding uncomfortable phone calls from work, drinking buddies, and so on.

Prepare for severe nausea, possibly vomiting, pain, headaches, anxiety, and depression. Tremors are not uncommon or an intense fear of death. Keep OTC painkillers on hand.

Don’t wait for a so-called “good time.” Detox is never fun; there’s no such thing as good timing. On the other hand, if a medical event has already caused you to start the detox process inadvertently, try to carry on from there.

Distraction is helpful. Friends and family might not want to visit much during the first 48 hours because you are distressed, uncomfortable, antisocial, or even aggressive. This is a good time to watch all those shows you have been too busy to catch up on or movies you missed. Become a couch potato but try to get up and move around periodically to prevent stiffness.

Remain hydrated and replace minerals lost by sweating heavily, another symptom of withdrawal. These minerals are present in electrolyte supplements and drinks athletes prefer.

You won’t be very hungry so keep drinking water, juice, and herbal tea. The stimulants in caffeinated beverages could exacerbate anxiety so avoid those. Meal replacement drinks might help.

When you feel like eating, choose light, bland meals and snack whenever you feel up to it. Dry crackers and toast, broth, plain pasta, white rice, and packaged noodles are quick to prepare and easy to digest. Take a multivitamin: most addicts are malnourished in general.

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