Detoxing from drugs or alcohol at home can be dangerous, but not for the reasons that many might think. Thanks to the glamorization – and sometimes dramatization – of detox and drug rehab, some addicts and alcoholics never seek help for their problem because of what has been portrayed on the subject by Hollywood and the media. But whether any of these portrayals are accurate or not is hardly significant – the problem is that few of them address the fact that in some cases it can be deadly to detox from drugs or alcohol at home. In fact, Amy Winehouse's family recently told the press that they think she died as a result of detoxing from alcohol at home too quickly. And if there's any lesson to be learned here, it's that detox should always occur in a medically-equipped facility.

Of all the substances that a person can detox from, alcohol is the most dangerous. This is a disturbing figure considering that; "It is estimated that only 10 to 20 percent of patients undergoing alcohol withdrawal are treated as inpatients, so it is possible that as many as 2 million Americans may experience symptoms of alcohol withdrawal conditions each year." This means that alcohol is not only the most commonly abused substance; it is also the substance that the most people detox from at home. Unfortunately, many people who attempt this outside of a treatment center will be so overwhelmed by the symptoms of Acute Withdrawal Syndrome that they will return to drinking in order to alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by the detox process.

When a person detoxes from alcohol in a non-medical setting they expose themselves to significant risk. Symptoms of Acute Withdrawal Syndrome set in approximately 8 to 12 hours after the last drink and can continue for as long as 2 weeks. During this time, symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, tremors, hallucinations, grand mal seizures, delirium tremens, and dangerously high blood pressure. Because of these symptoms, detox from alcohol should always occur in a medical setting.

Valium and Xanax belong to a class of drug known as benzodiazepines. These drugs are used to treat a variety of conditions but had a significant potential for abuse and addiction. This is troublesome considering that in some cases of alcohol addiction; benzodiazepines are used to treat the patient during the detox process. Detox from benzodiazepines can be dangerous, with symptoms ranging from panic and anxiety attacks, hostility and anger, respiratory depression and suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Without management of these symptoms in a professional treatment facility, fatal complications as a result of the detox process are possible.

Detoxing at home from other drugs like heroin, methamphetamines, ecstasy, marijuana, cocaine and others generally do not have potential for deadly side effects, but nonetheless can be temporarily debilitating. This includes insomnia, vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, restlessness, chills, cramps, and many other symptoms – all of which can be easily managed in a medical detox facility. If you or someone you love is suffering with an addiction, don't attempt detox alone! Please use one of the below links to get immediate assistance.

Click here now to speak confidentially with an addictions expert at one of the country's most successful inpatient drug rehab centers.

Or, learn about the most significant and persistent threat to recovery from alcoholism or addiction: Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms.

Author's Bio: 

Mike is a former novelist turned content producer who focuses on extremely high quality and conversion rates.