Opiate addiction affects people from all walks of life, which can make it difficult to know when someone is addicted and needs help. According to
Are At-Home Opiate Detox Kits Safe?
August 10, 2020
Opioid, drug and alcohol detox are all most safely administered in a treatment facility like Summer House Detox Center. Both drug and alcohol detox and drug and alcohol rehab require the help of medical professionals in order for people to safely navigate the possible side effects of these processes. Without this type of professional help, such as the care you would find in our center for drug and alcohol detox in Florida, opioid detoxification can be a difficult, even dangerous, process.
Unfortunately, at-home detox kits are products people buy to try to detox safely at home. This puts the individual much more at risk of serious side effects, life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, and of course, relapse.
What Are At-Home Detox Kits?
At-home detox kits are products you can buy online or in the store that promise the ability to help you detox from opioids at home. They usually contain a number of medications full of chemicals that claim to be able to flush the body of opioids and other substances of abuse.
In many cases, people who buy them do so to hide the traces of drugs in their urine before having to take a drug test. Sometimes, these kits can work for this purpose, but some people also use them as a way to truly end their dependence on opioids. However, it can be extremely dangerous to use an at-home detox kit for either of these reasons.
The Dangers of At-Home Detox Kits
At-home opioid detox kits are not as safe as they are advertised to be. For one, they are often available for purchase over the counter at drug stores or other places that provide absolutely no advice on detoxing safely. But this isn’t the only reason why at-home detox kits are dangerous.
At-Home Detox Kits Promote Continued Drug Abuse
In most cases, at-home detox kits are usually marketed as a way to trick those who might ask you to take a drug test into receiving a false negative test. This is not only dangerous for you but for those for whom you are taking the test, as they probably have a reason for wanting you to be free from the influence of prescription drugs. For example, if you are taking a drug test to get a job using heavy machinery, your supervisor won’t know it when you do have traces of opioids in your system, which could make your use of this machinery potentially harmful to yourself and others.
In addition, these kits often involve pumping your body full of several different types of chemicals, many of which you may not even be aware of. After using these kits, most people just go back to abusing drugs once they have gotten their desired results.
Detox Takes Time and Effort—Not a Quick Fix
These kits may claim to rid you of your dependence on opioids in as little as a few hours or as long as several months. In most cases, opioid withdrawal takes two to four weeks, as seen in this study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Both an extremely short and extremely long detox can potentially lead to side effects, such as prolonged insomnia, depression, and relapse.
Also, these kits are offering a quick and easy fix for a long-term and difficult process that requires self-examination and treatment. If the process seems to simple, people won’t put the work in, and this can lead to an unsteady foundation of recovery.
Detox Requires Maintenance and Medical Supervision
Detox itself is a volatile time during recovery. People who do not have the medical supervision needed during detox can experience severe symptoms at the drop of a hat without knowing to whom they should turn. For example, according to the National Library of Medicine, some of the symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal include
- Muscle, joint, and bone pain
- Tearing in the eyes
- Runny nose
- Abdominal cramps
- Dilated pupils
Any of these symptoms can become extreme, causing anxiety and discomfort. Mild to severe depression may also occur as a result of opioid detox. If you are not prepared for this symptom, you could potentially experience suicidal ideation, which can be extremely serious, especially if you are alone during your withdrawal.
These are just some of the reasons why you should be working with a medical professional to ensure that your detox is safe and that you are aware of all the possible signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal’s more severe side effects.
Detox Must Be Followed by Rehab for a Safe Recovery
According to NIDA, detox alone is not a treatment for addiction. This program must be followed by opioid rehab for you to safely recover from your addiction and begin to build a foundation that will allow you to live your life in this state of recovery. If you detox without rehab, you will no longer be dependent on opioids, but you will still be addicted to them. You will also have no idea how to fight against that addiction, and relapse is much, much more likely to occur.
Detox Without Rehab Leads to Overdose and Death
If you detox without seeking rehab treatment afterward, your chance of relapsing and overdosing on opioids is much higher as well. The NLM states that the highest number of opioid overdose deaths occurs in those who have just been through detox. This is because their tolerances for the drug are low, but they are still addicted, which means, if they do relapse, it’s much easier to overdose on the same amount of the drug as they were using before.
Can I Detox at Home?
Not everyone wants to go through 24-hour, inpatient detox where they will be monitored all day long. However, this is often the safest choice for your overall recovery. Think about it. You are choosing to stop using drugs to which you have been addicted. You may have tried to do this on your own before and been unable to do so. You may not even be prepared for how difficult this process will be, let alone how severe your symptoms may become.
According to a study published in Psychiatric Quarterly, it is recommended that anyone who suffers from “high psychiatric severity” (including co-occurring mental disorders, serious psychological withdrawal symptoms, or other psychiatric issues) and/or does not have a strong support system at home should seek inpatient treatment for substance abuse rehab. The same is true for detox.
Still, you might feel that you have a strong support system at home that can help ensure you won’t be left alone and that you can be taken to the doctor or the hospital at the first sign of a problem. You may also know you are not in danger of severe psychiatric side effects of withdrawal and that you do not have a co-occurring mental disorder. If this is true, at-home detox kits still aren’t the way to go. Instead, choose outpatient detox, which will ensure you can work with medical professionals who can offer you safe, prescription medications to treat your withdrawal symptoms and monitor you periodically to make sure you are detoxing safely.
At-Home Detox Kits Are Never Safe
At Summer House Detox, we never recommend using something as unscientific, untrustworthy, and nonmedical as an at-home detox kit, especially for drugs that are as readily available and unpredictable as opioids. If you still aren’t sure why, or if you’re still considering using one of these kits, feel free to reach out to us to learn more about why we recommend inpatient opioid detox at our facility.
If you or someone you know is in need of addiction treatment in West Palm Beach, give Summer House Detox Center a call at 800-719-1090 to schedule a FREE consultation. You can also visit us at 13550 Memorial Highway Miami, FL 33161. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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