Detoxification can be a painful and emotional time for someone that has been struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Cessation of alcohol or drugs can create a shock in the body that can result in some uncomfortable symptoms. Once there is no drug or alcohol affects left, the body starts to withdrawal and sometimes people choose to self-detox to save money and to save face. Detoxing without medical supervision can be done, but it is not recommended, especially with people who have heavily abused drugs and alcohol.
Statistics show that only 30 percent of persons that self-detox are successful and that if they do obtain sobriety, that only 10 percent of those that were able to self-detox, will stay sober for longer than four years. While the numbers are low for someone who self-detoxes, the manifestation of withdrawal can be even more dangerous for someone who is doing it alone. There is no proof of exactly how the body will react to suddenly giving up drugs and alcohol. Anticipating the signs of withdrawal can be tough to do without any help, specifically in extreme cases.
The Physical Side Effects
- Body shakes
- Cold Flashes
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Hot Flashes
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased pulse
- Muscle aches
The Mental Side Effects
- Crawling of the skin
- Mood Swings
- Negative thoughts
- Suicidal thoughts
- Waiting for the other shoe to drop
Someone who has alcoholism should especially be monitored for the physical and mental symptoms that occur during detoxification. One in ten people experience delirium tremens when they end alcohol consumption and the result has shown to be deadly for 35 percent of them. Delirium tremens can produce grand mal seizures and endangered heart function due to respiratory depression or high blood pressure.
When drugs and alcohol get mixed, it raises the chances for someone to have complications when they detox. The withdrawal effects from one drug can be dangerous with other withdrawal symptoms from another drug that would not normally occur by itself. Seizures are not typically associated with opiates unless combined with alcohol or benzodiazepines because of the blended withdrawal symptoms.
While self-detoxing has been done time and time again, the best bet of someone who is ready to detox is to do it with the help of others to make it more bearable and safer in the long run. Using the resources that are offered to people with drug and alcohol disorders can help provide secure detox methods, as well as offer hope that sobriety is something that can be achieved in recovery.
Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is a 5-week extensive treatment program that can offer hope to you or someone you know that is struggling with drugs and alcohol. Our well-trained staff is here to help you with every step of your recovery.
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