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  1. #1
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    Home Detox vs. Medical Detox

    Sorry to resurrect an old post from the GD forum, but having done numerous home detoxes over the years (I can't even begin to imagine how many they would be), and having done a medical detox, I wanted to compile a list of the ways medical detoxes are so far superior (in addition to the obvious safety issues). I'm posting this for the benefit of potential home detoxers who might see this and just consider "riding it out."

    1. Food & Water
    I couldn't keep water down on day 1 of a home detox. Medical detox has drugs that alleviates the nausea enough to the point where even marginal hospital food looks and smells good. Plus there was (at least) at mine a cart of nutritious snacks like Special K and Nutrigrain bars that came out on the hour, complete with an assortment of fruit juices. Your body is given the nutrients to heal in medical detox. It is not in home detox.

    2. Sleep
    My sleep patterns typically went something like this during a home detox: up until about 1, sleep for 1-2 hours. Unable to sleep for 3-4 hours, then sleep for 4-6 hours (I've even slept as late as 9 hours, waking up at 4pm). It's not pleasant. Medical detox has medications that make sure your proper sleep schedule is reset right away so you go to sleep and are ready to participate in the following day's activities.

    3. Solitude
    I did nothing during a home detox. Perhaps occasionally play on the iPhone, but don't use the computer, don't watch TV nothing. I just lay on the couch with my eyes closed waiting for sleep that never comes. You are kept preoccupied constantly at medical detox with group activities, plus you meet some pretty interesting characters…Also they enforce personal hygiene, something that falls by the wayside during home detox.

    4. Safety
    This one should come as a no brainer, but on my last home detox, I was about 36 hours in, and I had those weird waves of alternating euphoria and anxiety that Dr. Ameisen describes as preceding a seizure in his book. I hadn't had any hallucinations prior (which is pretty much a sure bet that you will have a seizure), but nonetheless it was terrifying to lay there knowing you had a 50/50 chance of having a seizure. It was like having the grim reaper in the room with you deciding whether or not to touch you with his bony finger, then pulling it away at the last minute. No exaggeration.

    HOME DETOX AT YOUR OWN PERIL.

  2. #2
    Registered User. paulywogg's Avatar

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    Home Detox vs. Medical Detox

    Alky,detox is all dependant on a whole lot of things and you know that,i'm afraid that you posting all of these "don't detox at home"threads are going to dicourage some people from just biting the bullet and quitting,i understand how bad it can be for some,and the sadness you had when you seen that guy die,but dang,only a few people actually have seizures or d.t,s

  3. #3
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    Home Detox vs. Medical Detox

    My point was not to "scare" anyone into doing anything. Just to inform of how much EASIER (mainly) and safer. Someone determined to quit is going to quit, whether it's at home or in a detox center. I don't think my posts on mywayout.org are going to have any bearing on the matter, personally.

  4. #4
    Registered User. NotHappyHourHappyLife's Avatar

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    Home Detox vs. Medical Detox

    The takeaway message I read from Alky's post is kind of like the Mythbusters TV Show:
    "We are trained professionals. Don't try this at home!"

    Don't underestimate the power of the poison.
    Alcohol IS a poison and if you've drank too much, you cannot simply "wait it out"... on top of the physical effects, is the emotional roller coaster that you (and your loved ones) are riding on.... without a safety net, without the equipment to safely stop.

    If you want to quit, and you cannot/will not go to a facility, find someone with a medical background that can help you safely quit. Yes, I like the people on here, and I like to research on WebMD, but every person is unique and should look for personal help. I would not resort to free advice on the internet to save my life. :h

  5. #5
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    Home Detox vs. Medical Detox

    Hi Alky -Great post -well thought out, great presentation, and informative. I have detoxed at home and at a recovery center. Never had DT-s, etc, but enough positive can be said about the professional route to detox. I think a main point for me was that I was never willing to share with my local doctor-s what was going on so I never had them to help me detox. For me, those first five full days of being alcohol free were critical and I needed to be held accountable.

  6. #6
    Registered User. YouKayBee's Avatar

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    Home Detox vs. Medical Detox

    I've done both home and medical detox, plus I have also done 2 GP supervised home detoxes (ie where they prescribe you the withdrawl and anti sickness meds).

    I'd also not consider Special K and nutrigrain bars as 'nutricious'. At home I know what real food is, and what the body needs and as far as I'm concerned that type of healing only really starts once the stuff and the meds is out of your system. Fruit juice is also sugar in a glass. A few days of nutrigrain and sugary juice is not going to make much difference.

    Sleep, I found after tapering librium I still got to a point where sleep was an issue. I've tried sleep meds and just not interested in the morning after grogginess.

    My experience of both home supervised and inpatient detox is that they are essential for those with high intakes at dangerous levels, but anyone who can do with out then it can be a waste of time and money. I've heard of alcoholics checking into hospital for their yearly detox, then back out after a week and back on the grog and unfortunately that's how it can turn out. I'm much more into people using their own resources whereever possible, own motivations - of course as I've already said meds are essential at a certain level and this can be done at home, or in hospital/rehabs.

  7. #7
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    Home Detox vs. Medical Detox

    YKB, this title of this forum is NEED HELP NOW. So what specifically >IS< the advice you're offering to someone coming here seeking help in a moment of desperation looking to make a split-second decision? What I did was specifically relate my detoxification experience at the University of Florida Hospitals and Clinics compared to the misery I went through at home as a single man (or woman) detoxing at home, because I always "rode it out" alone, clearly the worst possible choice. BTW, I have their survey in front of me now and I'll pass on to their medical staff what you think of their nutrition choices

    Is the person even aware if their intake levels were dangerous? The night I ended up in an ER with a .55 BAC, if you had asked me if my intake levels were dangerous, I would have said no. Can the people around them be sure exactly what their intake level was? Why take the chance?

    Furthermore your last paragraph begs the question, how do people get these meds if they are at home? Benzos to help you taper off alcohol aren't exactly OTC drugs.

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