The most common and simple way to stop abusing alcohol, heroin, cocaine addiction is to stop taking them. However, detoxing is rarely that simple process. Short-term physical and mental health risks are high if you try to detox at home without taking any sort of medical supervision.
For opiate and alcohol dependencies, detox is not only the most painful thing that many addicts will experience, but it can be as risky as continuing drug use without someone keeping an eye on the situation. There is a risk of seizures and stroke, especially for those whose habits have left them in very poor physical condition. It is estimated that around 5% of those that detox alone experience seizures. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you engage in some effective addiction treatment services to start the process of detoxification.
The effects of withdrawal can also create severe psychological episodes where the person detoxing can become dangerous to themselves as well as other people in the surroundings. At times, they can suddenly decide they are going to go get high again and will do whatever it takes to get it as soon as possible, but they can also just have delusional incidents where they begin to lash out without any sense of control over their actions.
Having a spotter for someone going through withdrawal, like effective addiction treatment services, is a must, and this is why a medically assisted detox is a better option. Vital signs can be monitored, medication can be applied as needed, and if necessary, the patient can be properly restrained so that they do not hurt themselves or anyone else.
An even more important question is the overall effectiveness of detoxing alone. Creating a strong support group or attending 12-step meetings is, at minimum, a good idea. However, given the tragic rate at which people relapse due to lack of resolve, social circumstances, and mental health, the argument for professional and effective addiction treatment services becomes much clearer. There are a few alternatives to be found that can replace a rehab program that heals emotional and psychological issues that are often the root cause of drug addiction and other dangerous behaviors. Similarly, there may not be such a problem in certain individuals, but almost every chronic addict is likely going to have ongoing mental health and psychological issues whether they are sober or not. If these problems are not addressed, the chances of relapse are going to be incredibly high.
Therefore, a number of people that are looking to maintain a lifetime of sobriety are going to need therapy to take their minds off of substance abuse and build a healthy relationship with the world again. While counseling in the form of the 12-step program is often easy to come by, intensive one-on-one and family counseling are also offered at effective addiction treatment services in order to build a strong resolve toward sobriety. If you or someone you know are ready to face the tough prospect of detoxing, contact an addiction treatment service right away to see what kind of assistance it can offer.