Home detox is one option that is gaining popularity across the UK. It offers the opportunity to undergo detox in a safe and comfortable environment under the supervision of a trained registered nurse. Moreover, because it is conducted at home, it is substantially less expensive than detox in a residential clinic.

Addiction Helper is often asked how long a home detox can take. In most cases, it is no more than seven days. However, it can be less or more depending on individual circumstances. Things that affect the length of home detox include:

  • Substances – The substances abused play a role in the length of any detox, at home or otherwise. For example, marijuana detox could be completed in about five days while detox for heroin might take eight or ten. Different drugs have different effects on the body, thus affecting detox.
  • General Health – The general health of the addict is another big factor. If a nurse believes there is some danger of complications during detox, he or she may choose to go at a slower and more gradual pace. On the other hand, an addict who is in good health otherwise might be a candidate for more rapid withdrawal.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms – Home detox will usually be medicated in order to alleviate some of the withdrawal symptoms. If a patient is having an especially difficult time, a nurse may choose to make the withdrawal more gradual to alleviate some of the suffering. However, a more gradual withdrawal tends to add time to the process.

Taking Time Off

The nature of home detox is such that it is a good option for those who continue to lead a ‘normal’ life even within their addictions. The home detox programme allows them to take a week off from work in order to complete the process. Scheduling it as planned holiday time even allows individuals to go through detox without having to let anyone else know.

Addiction Helper recommends clients take at least a few days off from work when planning a home detox. The nurse monitoring your case will let you know your progress as you go, along with recommending whether or not you should go back to work before the week is out. If you can afford to take an entire week off, that is probably a better option.

If you can only manage a couple of days off, that’s better than nothing. We know the stresses of work can add additional pressure to an already difficult process; pressures you do not need while you are trying to detox. Do your best to take some time off from work if you are planning to use a home detox.

How It Works

In terms of the nuts and bolts of detox, it is basically the same whether it is administered at home or at a clinic. A typical home detox programme offered by one of our service providers includes the following three steps:

  1. Initial Assessment – The home detox process begins with an initial assessment by a registered nurse. That nurse determines, based on the client’s health and circumstances, whether or not home detox is appropriate. If so, he or she proceeds to the second step.
  2. Medication Prescribed – Medication is prescribed and administered as determined by the registered nurse. It begins the addiction detox process. Within 3 to 12 hours of the start of detox, withdrawal symptoms will begin to appear. The medication administered by the nurse will help reduce the discomfort of withdrawal.
  3. Monitoring – The third step is one of monitoring the health of the patient and the progress of detox. Nurses remain on hand throughout the process in order to make sure the recovering addict remains safe.

The primary role of the nurse is twofold: to provide comfort using certain medications and supportive counselling, and to monitor for any potential medical emergencies. These functions clearly establish the difference between medically supervised home detox and so-called ‘DIY’ detox.

Addiction Helper reminds you that detox from drugs and alcohol is serious business. The medical community considers it an emergency situation requiring the supervision of trained personnel. In recognition of that, Addiction Helper recommends you not try detoxing alone.

We offer home detox, when appropriate, because it is less expensive and more comfortable than the other options. However, it still requires the medical supervision of a trained nurse. Attempting detox on your own is just not a wise thing to do.

Other Options

When you contact the Addiction Helper help line, we will help you determine whether home detox is right for your circumstances. If not, there are two other options:

  • Outpatient Detox – The outpatient detox option requires you to visit a private clinic or an NHS facility on a daily basis. Your visits will include the administering of medication and a medical and emotional assessment to determine your overall health and the progress you are making.
  • Inpatient Detox – The inpatient detox option requires a stay either an NHS hospital or a private clinic. This type of detox is the best option for hard-core cases or cases where the likelihood of medical emergency is high. You should know that inpatient detox at a private clinic can also be paired with a rehab programme lasting between 4 and 12 weeks.

Regardless of the option you choose, you must understand that your chances of success are limited if you are not 100% committed to getting well. It has been said that your commitment and attitude is the most important factor in your recovery; we agree.

Despite what you may have heard there is no magic pill or foolproof detox programme that can make you addiction free for life. It requires effort, perseverance, and the strongest commitment on your part. If you are ready to do what it takes to break free permanently, we encourage you to contact our drug and alcohol addiction helpline. Our addiction recovery specialists are available to help you around the clock.