A common mistake amongst addicts who want to stop their addiction is trying to do so independently. The dangers of at-home drug detox are probably more hazardous than remaining an addict. Most of the time, when you decide to stay at home to stop addiction, you may end up increasing the extent of your addiction.

During any at-home drug detox, the dangers you’ll experience start from stopping the drug abruptly. Of course, it’s the most sensible thing to do when you notice you depend on any substance. But stopping a drug addiction by ending the substance intake is not the best way. In some cases, this sudden stop may take a toll on your body, and you will experience drastic changes.

One mistake we tend to make generally is to conclude that addiction is about your will – so we want to stop it with intention. In contrast, addiction is more of an emotional challenge than a physical challenge. Therefore, more times than not, you may fail if you try stopping it independently.

Research has it that when you try to stop taking a drug, you may experience chronic pain. Also, the way you will crave the drug will be at the extreme. Despite the dangers of at-home drug detox, it is usually the first option that comes to the mind of an addict. In this guide, we’ll describe the risks involved when you try at-home drug detox.

What Are The Downsides of Home Drug Detox

Undergoing at-home drug detox programs is not a sin, but it has dangers when you don’t employ the services of a professional. That way, you’ll be making mistakes, and you will feel you’re doing the right thing. Some of the dangers of at-home drug detox without the help and directions of a doctor includes;

Addiction Relapse

addiction relapse

The scariest of all dangers of at-home drug detox is going back to the drug. First, you have already gone through the correct process of stopping the addiction. Secondly, you put the thought into action and still failed. Lastly, when you relapse into any addiction, you don’t stop at the level you were before; you’ll mostly go deeper.

Drug and substance abuse is a disease that needs medical attention immediately before any personal action. The probability of relapse for an addict is usually very high. This probability increases the moment you try at-home detox.

While at home, your main idea is to stay clear of the drug. This idea may work for the first few hours or days, but when the cravings come, it’s almost impossible to say no! You may believe in your personal decision, but this time, going back to the drug will look like the only solution to your discomfort.

Of course, the dangers of at-home drug detox depend on the type of drug used and the extent utilized. If you weren’t an addict before starting the at-home drug detox, the process might work fine. But if you’re a chronic addict, you risk a relapse.

Addiction to Other Substances

Withdrawing from drug addiction is not as easy as stopping the addiction. There are some symptoms you may experience that are unpleasant. Sometimes, these symptoms will require another medication to make you feel good. That is where one of the leading health risks of at-home drug detox springs forth.

Except you’re an addict with some medical training, you wouldn’t know any of the right prescription drugs. Even when you have the training, you will most likely forget the knowledge and overdose. That isn’t your fault; you only need a quick fix to the discomfort accompanying the withdrawal. Hence, any time the withdrawal symptoms come strong, you will run to these prescription drugs.

You will experience the bad results of these prescription drugs used during at-home drug detox because of their addictive properties. If you don’t already know, prescription drugs also have addictive properties. Therefore, you should not use prescription drugs on your dosage. As much as possible, a physician should prescribe any prescription drug before you start to use the drug.

The addiction to other substances is even worse when you don’t have prior knowledge of prescription drugs. At best, you will head to the pharmacy to get supplements and vitamins. These drugs may give you a little relief, but they may not give you the comfort you need. Sometimes, these over-the-counter drugs can even bring some more withdrawal symptoms.

Because of the increased discomfort testing drugs, the moment you find one drug that eases you, you will take the medication in large doses. From the large amount to overdose, and finally, dependence on another drug, that’s one of the downsides of home drug detox.

Uncontrolled Environment

For every drug and alcohol addict, there was a time they had never tasted the drug they now depend on. Addiction wouldn’t start from nowhere; it usually results from peer pressure, environment, thoughts, etc. It’s either someone who introduced you to the drug directly or you saw it in movies. From watching people take these drugs physically or in film, the thoughts deposit, and you want to try it out.

Amongst many drug addiction patients, they became drug addicts because of their friends and environment. If you fall among the group of people whose addiction started because of your background, you should never think of at-home detox. There is no way you’ll have a successful at-home detox if you remain in that environment.

For instance, let’s assume you had friends in a specific location with a particular spot where you all shared and took drugs. When you try to stop those drugs initially, you may experience some success. But the moment you see any of your drug-sharing friends or walk past the spot, the addiction will come back.

Moreso, if you used to take these drugs in your home, the smell is enough to increase the cravings. Now, since you’re in an environment where you can get these drugs easily, that will be the easiest of all options.

Related Article: What Medication is used for Alcohol Detox?

Dangers of At-Home Detox: Mental Disorders

Whether you choose to solve your drug addiction problem at home on your own or with a professional, the negative effects of drug detox will still happen. On your own, you wouldn’t know what is going on, and you’ll most likely slide back into the addiction. On the other hand, if you’re in the hospital, you have professionals who strictly watch you. Already, they’re recording your recovery progress, and they know what to expect with their respective solution.

One of the reasons why the drug is addictive is it mostly works directly with our brains. For most addictive drugs, they ensure our bodies release high dopamine levels, which gives users increased happiness. As a result, users want to stay at that level of joy and get addicted. Since the drug works with the brain, withdrawing from the drug also affects the brain.

For most drugs, the withdrawal symptoms usually include signs of anger, sadness, anxiety, paranoia, tiredness. Sometimes, it may lead to a high level of depression and exhaustion. One of the dangers of at-home drug detox is you may not notice any of these mental problems while at it – you’ll only experience them.

If you have any history of a mental problem, drug detox can trigger it, and it becomes a big problem. That’s why it’s always better to have professional help.


Most health risks of at-home side effects become serious because of ignorance and negligence. You see these signs, but because you don’t know what they mean, you neglect them. One of the signs you will notice when you start at-home drug detox is seizures.

A seizure is a situation when your muscle suddenly contracts without any action from your end. In the human body, we have more than 600 muscles in different locations, including the heart. That only means that these seizures can cause more chronic diseases that may result in death.

A seizure isn’t a withdrawal symptom with all drugs; it’s usually an alcohol detoxification symptom and some medications. The severity of the seizures depends on how much drugs and alcohol you consume. Regardless of how the seizures came and their severity, there are specific medications for it.

If you don’t know about the medications, you will most likely ignore the symptoms until you can’t bear them. If you have an idea of the right prescription for the signs, the way you’ll take the drugs depends on the extent of your discomfort and not the correct dose.


Some drugs have diuretic properties. That means, when you use these drugs, you tend to urinate often. One of the dangers of at-home detox for this type of drug is extreme dehydration. Dehydration is also common if you’re detoxing from alcohol.

You may think dehydration is a minor case because it deals with water. So in your thoughts, you believe you can easily stay hydrated with water. But best believe that the dehydration experienced from drug detox is worse.

During your withdrawal period, you may be stooping and vomiting. Through both processes, you’re losing water. It is a common phenomenon that you are already experiencing dehydration from when you were taking the drugs. In this case, the dehydration may cause other mental and emotional ailments like extreme depression, anxiety, to mention a few


When you are taking these addictive drugs, your brain slowly depends on the drugs to function. So the normalcy of your brain is when the drugs are at work. Withdrawing immediately from these drugs will come as a shocker to your brain, which it will try to adjust to. But before that, symptoms like vomiting and extreme nauseating feelings will come.

Already, vomiting is a known symptom of drug abuse, and it can get worse during the detox. Sometimes, the content of your vomits may include blood and water – two vital constituents of your body system. Primarily, during at-home drug detox, you may consider vomiting a minor problem until you notice blood. By that time, you must have lost a lot of water already, making you dehydrated.

If you were in a hospital undergoing their drug detox, or if your home drug detox had professional supervision, they will have some drugs that will not only stop the nauseating feeling but hinder any vomits. You can’t know these prescriptions when you detox yourself at home.


Delirium Tremens

Drug detox is dangerous either in your home or in a hospital. In the house, and without any supervision, you put yourself at risk coming from ignorance. For instance, delirium tremens, popularly known as DTs, is a severe condition that accompanies drug detox. But in many cases, these DTs start as a seizure.

According to experts, about 35% of addicts that have experienced seizures during withdrawal usually have DTs. For you undergoing at-home drug detox, a seizure may seem like an ordinary muscle contraction. You wouldn’t know that it can lead to DTs, and when Dts get extreme, it can lead to high blood pressure, shivering, severe heart problems, and in some cases, deaths.

Hazardous Medical Situation

The dangers of at-home drug detox aren’t worth it if you closely examine it. A simple medical personnel understanding your situation will help the situation better. All that at-home drug detox is an unnecessary risk.

Depending on the extent of the drug addiction, managing some symptoms even in a treatment center is dangerous. There are some symptoms that will require the medical professional to be alert in case of an emergency. Having these kinds of symptoms at home may see the medical personnel getting to the house later than needed.

Related Article: How Does Medical Detox Work?


To avoid the dangers of at-home drug detox, it is always better to visit an addiction recovery center. At this center, you will meet professionals who will ask questions and study your addiction correctly, and tell you the best treatment method for you. If you try fixing it through at-home drug detox, you’re only reducing your chances of long-term freedom and success from addiction.

While reporting to a drug detox center, it’s always better to report to drug centers that have enough experience of drug addiction. If you end up in the wrong drug center, the risks are more hazardous than detoxing at home. If you’re in Ontario looking for an outstanding drug center, choose Medical Detox Ontario. Our professionals will help you from the start of your addiction recovery journey till you finish, providing maximum support along the way.

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