Can I Die During Drug or Alcohol Detox?

Drugs and alcohol detox can have severe and permanent effects on your physical health.

Therefore, long-term users must take great care when detoxing from addictive substances.

Suddenly giving up drugs or alcohol after prolonged use can be harmful or even fatal.

As well as being painful and distressing, the symptoms of withdrawal may cause death even in some people.

Instead of quitting suddenly, the following drugs should be tapered off slowly and only under medical supervision.

alcohol-detox-dangers1. Dangers of Unmonitored Alcohol Detox

Although it’s seen as less dangerous than illegal drugs, alcohol addiction is a serious problem. Withdrawal from alcohol may take on a mild or moderate form, but for long-term alcoholics, withdrawal symptoms can be serious to the point of being fatal.

If a person who’s giving up alcohol starts to run a temperature, becomes extremely nauseous or suffers from diarrhea, this could be a medical emergency; they should be rushed to the nearest doctor or hospital.

Delirium tremens (DT) is a serious condition caused by alcohol withdrawal, characterized by mental confusion and hallucinations.

It is potentially fatal, and sufferers require immediate medical attention.

2. What to Expect During Opiates Detox

Opiates are the class of drugs that are derived from, or analogs of, opium.

These include the illegal drug heroin, as well as painkillers such as morphine and dihydrocodiene (Vicodin).

heroin-abuse-and-detoxGiven their grim reputation, it may come as a surprise to learn that in the majority of cases, withdrawal from opiates isn’t fatal. There are exceptions, however, one of the most important being methadone.

For heroin addicts, methadone is often prescribed as part of their detox programs. Methadone is an opiate with a long-acting effect, making it useful as a replacement for heroin.

Unfortunately, methadone is highly addictive and may itself be abused. Heavy long-term methadone use can produce fatal withdrawal symptoms if it’s terminated too quickly.

Withdrawal from opiates should always be undertaken with medical supervision. Even aside from the dangers of withdrawal, medical addiction advice can help the opiate addict recover from their addiction more successfully.

A doctor can prescribe less toxic medication to help addicts through withdrawal, such as Suboxone or Subutex.

3. Benzodiazepines Detox Dangers

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs used to help patients with stress, anxiety or severe insomnia.

They are also abused recreationally. Common benzodiazepines include Valium (diazepam), Ativan (lorazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam).

Despite being less toxic than the barbiturates they were developed to replace, benzodiazepines have their own dangers.

Although their introduction helped to reduce the danger of overdose, they are still addictive and can produce dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Despite the tamer reputation of benzodiazepines as compared to drugs like heroin, the withdrawal process can be extremely unpleasant and may even be dangerous. Medical supervision is necessary to assist the patient in tapering their dose safely.

There is no need to take any risks when it comes to detoxing.

Our staff at The Recovery Way isn’t just trained to make the New York detoxing process more bearable, but we will keep you safe.

Going through a serious detox should never be underestimated in terms of consequence because it could end up costing your life.


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Address: 1324 Lexington Avenue #265 New York, NY 10128 • Local: (516) 519-3068 • Toll Free: (866) 636-2670