For the last several decades, alcohol and drug detox has been confined to the clinical environment under the supervision of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. Moreover, while the medical supervision is still an important component to addiction detox, more detox procedures are being conducted in the home.
There are a number of reasons contributing to the rise of home detox, not the least of which is the oversubscription of NHS services. The fact of the matter is that the NHS is systemically incapable of appropriately addressing the growing issue of addiction in the UK. They have neither the financial nor the personnel resources. That means more of the responsibility for conducting detox and rehab is falling at the feet of individual providers, private clinics, charities and support groups.
Beyond NHS issues, a home detox plan offers some unique advantages that make it a more attractive option than clinical detox in some cases. For example, home detox offers:
- an environment the patient finds safe and comfortable
- an opportunity for family members to be involved
- the opportunity for more affordable detox
- an environment more conducive to bespoke treatment.
When the addict or his or her family chooses home detox, there is no need to check in with the GP or be referred to a residential treatment programme. Home detox is administered by a registered nurse who has been certified to conduct both medicated and non-medicated detox. Throughout the treatment, nursing staff remain on hand to monitor the patient’s condition and progress. Rest assured home detox is completely safe.
What It Looks Like
There is no single formula for home detox simply because every individual patient is different. However, the nurses who provide the treatment typically follow an established set of guidelines when determining the best course of action. It begins with an initial assessment designed to determine whether home detox is appropriate.
Upon arrival, the nurse will sit down with the addict and, when and feasible, his or her family members. The purpose of this initial meeting is to enable the nurse to assess the situation. The nurse will need to know about:
- Past History – The addict’s past history with addictive substances and behaviours is important to understand his or her current mindset. Expect questions in this regard.
- Abused Substances – Any successful detox will require the nurse to know about every substance being abused by the addict. Withholding this information can render the detox more difficult or completely ineffective.
- Addiction Length – The length and severity of a given addiction helps to determine how the nurse will undertake detox. It is best when addicts are completely honest about these issues.
- Family and Relationships – Home detox works best when the addict is surrounded by supportive family members and/or friends. If the home environment is strained, it may not be the best environment for detox. The nurse may make other recommendations in such cases.
Should the nurse determine home detox is appropriate to the circumstances, a plan and schedule will be developed. From that point, it is a matter of everyone involved being fully committed to the health and well-being of the addict.
Medicated Versus Non-Medicated
A home detox plan from Addiction Helper can be either medicated or non-medicated. In years past, non-medicated was the only way to detox from drugs or alcohol. However, times have changed. The medical community has come to realise that using certain prescription medications for detox purposes can be beneficial.
When medicated detox is recommended, the drugs prescribed are given for specific purposes. For example, methadone might be given to the heroin addict in order to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms during the detox process. By the same token, an alcoholic might be prescribed one of two drugs used to help reduce alcohol cravings.
Addiction Helper believes it is important to note that medications used during detox are not intended to be a lifetime replacement. Using methadone as an example again, simply giving up heroin for a lifetime of taking methadone is not really overcoming your addiction. It is merely transferring it from one drug to another.
As for non-medicated detox, it is an entirely different scenario. The absence of medication means recovering addicts will go through detox under a scenario otherwise known as ‘cold turkey’. The downside to this approach is that withdrawal symptoms will be experienced in full force. The upside is that it can be completed in 5 to 7 days under most circumstances. Medicated detox always has the potential of dragging into weeks or months.
It is up to the nurse and the individual client to decide what type of detox is the best for the given circumstances. Keep in mind that a home detox plan that works for someone else may not be right for you.
Home Detox Cost
You may be a candidate for home detox if your addiction is not so severe as to require residential treatment. The good news is that it costs substantially less because you do not have to pay for residential services, room and board, food, etc. What you are really paying for is the travel and hire of your nurse and the cost of any medications used.
Addiction Helper specialises in finding the most appropriate and affordable detox for every client who contacts us. We can do the same for you. When you get in touch with us, we promise to give you our full attention in assessing your situation and making appropriate recommendations. If we believe a home detox plan makes the most sense for you, we will be sure to advise you in that direction. If not, we will let you know what your best option is.
Please understand that you will ultimately need to make the final choice about detox. Also understand that your commitment to getting well is absolutely vital to a successful detox programme. You can only be helped when you really want the help.
Please do not hesitate to call our helpline today if you are ready to do whatever it takes to break free from addiction.