Many men and women suffering from addiction feel that they would be more comfortable going through the detoxification process in the comfort of their own home. Self-detox, however, is an extremely dangerous prospect. Many substances can create such a strong physical dependence that the withdrawal symptoms could lead to major health consequences or death. To ensure safety during the detoxification process, it is necessary to enter into a treatment setting staffed with medical professionals who can treat withdrawal symptoms as they occur. Detoxification without medical supervision can be extremely dangerous. Dr. Shamard Charles, in a 2017 NBC article entitled Death of ‘True Blood’ Actor Nelsan Ellis Spotlights Risk in Detoxing Alone, explains, “Between 5 and 25 percent of people who go through extreme alcohol withdrawal die, according to a report in Alcohol Health & Research World. It’s believed that singer Amy Winehouse died as a result of an unsuccessful alcohol self-detox.” Self-detoxification from alcohol, benzodiazepines, and several other substances, can cause a variety of potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms must be treated medically or they could result in seizures and Delirium Tremens. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal: Pathophysiological Insights, “Some patients experience seizures, which may increase in severity with subsequent AW episodes. Another potential AW complication is delirium tremens, characterized by hallucinations, mental confusion, and disorientation. Cognitive impairment and delirium may lead to a chronic memory disorder (i.e., Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome). Psychiatric problems associated with withdrawal include anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbance. In addition, alterations in physiology, mood, and behavior may persist after acute withdrawal has subsided, motivating relapse to heavy drinking.”Benzodiazepines, like alcohol, can cause seizures during the withdrawal period and must be treated medically. Symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal include anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, depersonalization, hypersensitivity, and in extreme cases, generalized seizures and delirium or psychotic symptoms. Other drugs, such as opioids, may not be fatal, but symptoms can be so extreme that is unlikely a person will be able to make it through the detoxification process without relapsing. Even if one makes it through the process, they have little chance of maintaining sobriety unless they receive treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains, “Medical detoxification safely manages the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping drug use. However, medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use.” The best possible course of action is to enter into a treatment facility to receive medically-assisted detox, then continue receiving treatment to address all underlying aspects of one’s addiction.
Your story can become one of health and happiness in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help now and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, located in beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with experienced and compassionate professionals dedicated to making the detoxification process as comfortable as possible and treat withdrawal symptoms with the appropriate use of medication and other support systems. For information about detox and other individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777