Sometimes, people’s ideas about their own recovery need to be re-evaluated. I have come across a lot of people who find it more comfortable to detox from home than to consult a professional. Most people do not want to talk about their addiction with others and therefore, end up making efforts to self-detox. While this is a good starting point, the outcomes of self-detox might not be favorable. In some extreme cases, I have seen patient taking back to the bottle with stronger affinity than before. There have been documented cases of fatal alcohol too. So, why exactly is it not a good idea to go for self-detox at home?
Let’s face it- people get addicted to alcohol because they find pleasure in alcohol consumption. Alcohol withdrawal can, therefore, be uncomfortable for addicts. An addict’s body gets used to alcohol consumption. The neuro-sensors in the brain get used to relaxation from alcohol and an addict may feel sudden insomnia and restlessness on withdrawing from cold-turkey in one shot without seeking medical help.
While the initial withdrawal symptoms last only for a few days, you may experience prolonged periods of cravings and agitated mood swings owing to these cravings. Patients are also known to have slipped into depression on alcohol withdrawal. In some extreme cases, patients have made suicide attempts in order to satisfy their unrelenting urge to take to the bottle.
One Cannot Copy/Paste
There is not “one size fits all” self-rehab program. If your friend was able to successfully detox without seeking medical attention, it doesn’t imply that you would be able to do an encore. In the end, saving rehab cost or embarrassment of seeking medical help may nothing as compared to relapsing back to alcoholism or making a suicide attempt.
Alcohol withdrawal has acute psychological fallouts like depression, unwillingness to live and abrupt mood swings. Such psychological fallouts are not only dangerous for you, but can also be equally dangerous for your loved ones. Domestic violence and a heightened urge to commit crimes are common in people who cannot handle withdrawal.
Delirium Tremens, or DT, is one of the worst self-detox fallouts. DT refers to a condition where the addict faces indiscriminate hallucinations, confusion and disorientation. DT usually occurs within 5 to 10 days of alcohol withdrawal and can be tantalizing for an addict to cope up with. In Extreme cases of DT, people are known to have turned into maniacs and lost mental balance altogether. Cases of nervous breakdown have also been reported as a result of withdrawal related DT.
In order to eventually achieve the balanced lifestyle they desire out of recovery, people should first figure out whether to go for self-detox or seek professional help. So which is more beneficial? Well, to start off with, you should clearly know the severity of your addiction. You should seek professional medical assessment for your addiction and consult with a doctor about your plans to take up self-detox. You should also keep your friends and family informed about your self-detox plans so that they can arrange help for you, if needed.