The Dangers of Drug/Alcohol Detox at Home

Published on June 21, 2016

Nationally acclaimed addiction treatment center advises against going “cold turkey”

Canaan, CT— These days, the word “detox” is thrown around a lot, mostly in relation to the latest fad diet or health craze.  Ads in our favorite magazines or TV show promises to release toxins from the body naturally.  This could lead some of the 22 million people currently struggling with substance abuse to believe that they can detox on their own, without professional help.

“Drug or alcohol detoxing is a very intense process, and the person undergoing detoxification needs constant supervision by a licensed professional. Suddenly going ‘cold turkey’ can have serious consequences, like hallucinations, convulsions, or even heart failure,” says Mountainside Medical Director, Dr. Randall Dwenger. “At a treatment facility, there are medications that can prevent these outcomes.”

Detox in a treatment center is a critical first step in recovery, and if a person segues into residential or outpatient treatment after detox, they have a better chance for long-term recovery.  This is especially true for those suffering from an opioid or heroin addiction. Ending detox during the withdrawal process or immediately after puts the person at a higher risk for overdose because they will have a reduced tolerance for the drug.

“Anyone who wants to properly treat their alcohol or drug addiction should only pursue detox through a licensed detox center. There, they will be monitored and supervised around the clock by medical professionals, who will be able to  safely alleviate any discomforts associated with it as well as provide them with the tools to confidently live a life of long-term sobriety,” added Dwenger.