Rehab has a proven success rate of helping people overcome drug and alcohol addictions, and choosing to go to rehab is the ideal first step for anybody hoping to get sober. But when it comes to rehab options, some are better than others, and some are almost certain to fail. DIY or at-home rehab is one such option because it carries a number of risks and has a very low success rate. If you or a loved one is considering rehab, here are the risks to be aware of during a DIY detox, withdrawal, and rehab.
Detox, Withdrawal, and the Need for Medical Supervision
Do-it-yourself rehab means only one important thing: you’ll be going it alone. And in this case, it means detox, withdrawal, and everything that goes along with getting clean. While this may seem like a cheap and viable alternative to actual rehab, there are a number of reasons why it’s not a good idea to detox by yourself, and the first is the risk of complications. Withdrawal from drugs and alcohol has a number of side effects, including:
- Aches and pains
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleep pattern disruptions
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty concentrating
When doing a DIY detox, these symptoms are problematic for a number of reasons. The symptoms that make daily life tough can be hard to manage if you don’t have a good support system around you, and it can also be challenging to distinguish the symptoms of withdrawal from a separate medical issue that could require attention. Moreover, alcohol withdrawal particularly can lead to seizures, delirium tremens, high blood pressure, and even death.
Home Rehab Increases the Risk of Relapse
Another symptom of detox is the severe cravings for the drug or alcohol that your system is trying to purge. Unfortunately, in an unsupervised setting like DIY rehab, these cravings often become so intense that there’s a good chance you’ll use again, just to alleviate the symptoms. Even if you do have a good support system of friends and family at home to help you through your rehab, they aren’t trained and don’t have the knowledge or expertise to help you manage cravings and other symptoms.
In the clean environment of a rehab facility, you’ll have the support of other patients who are also detoxing, therapists, medical staff, and trained addictions specialists who can help you fight cravings, get through the withdrawal period, and get on the road to a clean and sober life.
Relapse Overdoses are Incredibly Common
Relapses are common during DIY detoxes, and there’s a good chance that a detox relapse will lead to an overdose. The reason for this is that during withdrawal, your tolerance drops, meaning a regular dose could lead to an overdose, and possibly even death. Instances of fatal overdoses during withdrawal are not uncommon, especially if you don’t have 24-hour supervision and constant access to medical care.
The risks that come with a DIY rehab are not worth the slim chance of success for getting clean. Most people who try DIY rehab end up relapsing, either to eliminate the intense cravings or to manage the symptoms of withdrawal and the chances of overdosing during this time is incredibly high. If you’re considering rehab or have a loved one who is, a medically supervised detox at a trusted rehab facility will give you your best chances of success and will ensure that you leave rehab clean, healthy, and alive.