Even when you know that you have a substance abuse problem, it can be difficult to admit that you need help with it. For many people struggling with addiction, asking for help can feel like admitting more weakness at a time when you're already feeling weak for having become addicted in the first place. You may feel tempted to try to go through withdrawal on your own. However, detoxing alone can be dangerous. Take a look at some of the dangerous of detoxing alone:
Severe Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable. Withdrawal is often more than just a severe craving for the drug – it can manifest in a variety of physical symptoms as well. You may feel sweaty, have a runny nose, and feel severe muscle cramps. As the withdrawal progresses, you may feel abdominal pain and cramping and experience diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
You may even experience a spike in your blood pressure or fluctuation in your heartbeat. Some of these symptoms can be dangerous, especially for those with underlying medical conditions. Even when they aren't dangerous, they can be intense and severe, and you shouldn't go through them alone.
Suicidal thoughts can be another aspect of withdrawal. Drugs like opiates retrain the brain to experience pleasure from the drug, rather than releasing pleasure hormones like endorphins naturally. When you begin to detox, you remove the pleasure stimulus provided by drugs, but your brain's pleasure centers are no longer functioning correctly either, so you're not experiencing any kind of pleasure. This can lead to feelings of hopelessness, and possibly suicidal thoughts.
On top of the physical symptoms, the mental struggle experienced during withdrawal can make the experience almost unbearable, which can sometimes lead a person to do something desperate to relieve the pain. Suicide is a real risk during a solo detox.
Relapse and Overdose
Relapsing is always a possibility during detox. You may think that you wouldn't want to put in all the work to begin detoxing just to throw it away, but in the middle of detoxing, things can look very different. If you're on your own, you may not be able to stop yourself from seeking out your drug of choice. In some cases, it may even seek you out – if you're home alone and going through a drug detox without support, you might still be in contact with friends who use drugs. If one of them contacts you while you're detoxing, pressure from friends can override your own resolve.
If you do relapse during detox, your risk of an overdose is also higher. In just a few days, you can lose some of the tolerance you've built up for the drug. That means that when you take what was your normal dose, it could be way too much for your body to handle. Overdosing during a relapse can be fatal.
Asking for help to detox shouldn't be thought of as weakness – it should be thought of doing what is best for your health. In a detox center, experts can make you more comfortable, monitor your symptoms, and prevent you from taking dangerous actions. If you're struggling with addiction and want to quit, don't detox alone. Reach out for help.Share