When someone realizes they have a substance use disorder, they might try to get help. However, they’re often faced with the high costs of addiction treatment or the difficult choice to place school or work on hiatus to get treatment. Sometimes, these options are not available to most people. So, how to stop using drugs by yourself? Is that even possible? Here’s what you need to know about stop using drugs by yourself before you even give it a try.
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Choosing the Self-Help Approach to Quit Drugs
There are endless free resources that talk about how to quit drugs or alcohol. Self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are free and open to anyone who wishes to get better. Some local resource centers will also host group support meetings that are donation-based, for example. Plus, there are endless online resources like this blog that aim to provide help and guidance.
However, not all self-help guides out there are safe. Some products out there promote rapid detoxes or home remedies to deal with withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes even friends and family members will try to help with these effects. But, sometimes, withdrawal timelines can extend, and people can struggle with adverse effects that could be life-threatening without proper supervision.
Of course, this isn’t to say some people aren’t able to quit on their own. Usually, people who have not used very ling, don’t have a genetic predisposition to addiction, and without co-occurring disorders can succeed at quitting independently. Unfortunately, for most people, attempting to stop by themselves places them at a very vulnerable place that could lead to cravings and relapse, sometimes overdose.
What to Expect
The biggest hurdle with trying to quit on your own comes down to withdrawal symptoms. For some substances, they can be as common as diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. However, other substances produce more severe withdrawal symptoms like hallucinations, depression, suicidal behavior, and psychosis.
As you can see, the withdrawal symptoms experienced during the detox period, which can go anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks or more, can be hazardous. Most people and their families or friends are not equipped to handle these types of symptoms. Usually, the person struggling with the addiction will go back to using, sometimes at their previous high doses, and experience an overdose.
Facts About Quitting by Yourself
Quitting by yourself has many variables and complexities that can make things go wrong. The majority of studies point out that more people with substance use disorders stop than stayed addicted. These are studies based on self-report statements of drug and alcohol use.
On the other hand, one study showed that people who receive help for quitting drugs are more likely to avoid relapse in the long-term. The results are incredibly significant in the long-term. After 16 years of seeking treatment, only 42% relapsed to their addiction; this is compared to 61% of those who tried recovery independently.
Other studies also suggest that people who tried to quit on their own and then found help say that getting help is safer and more comfortable. The results point to a more extended stay in treatment with less likelihood of relapsing in the future than people seeking short-term versions of the treatment.
When You Should Not Try to Quit by Yourself
To stop using drugs by yourself, you need an immense motivation to change. People often think that addiction is a choice, and willpower alone will be enough to quit their addiction. However, most drugs and alcohol change the way your brain functions, thus prohibiting you from making the right choices. Basically, your brain is rewired to pick the addictive substance over everything else, because for your brain’s reality, those are seen as good things and good stimulants.
However, some individuals should never attempt to quit by themselves. These include people with:
- Underlying or co-occurring mental health disorders like depression or anxiety
- A long history of substance abuse
- Family history of addiction or mental illness
- Co-morbidity disorders, meaning they abuse multiple drugs or combine drugs
- No intention or motivation to change
The problem with these pointers is that most addicts are unaware of these things. Usually, they are ignorant of any co-occurring mental illness or a history of other diseases. Because of this, they’ll try to quit on their own and possibly put themselves in danger.
Alternatives to Self-Treatment for Addiction
There are many ways to get help for your addiction. Nowadays, addiction treatment centers have many options that cater to your need for flexibility, cost, and more. The best way to avoid the pitfalls and potential consequences of self-treatment for drug abuse are to consider a rehab program.
An excellent option to consider is outpatient treatment programs or partial hospitalization rehab. Here, you can receive adequate treatment for your addiction while still living at home, attend school or work, and cater to other responsibilities. This is helpful if you have a support system back home and a drug-free environment to stay in.
If you’re not ready to seek treatment just yet, you might want to start attending support meetings near you. Attending these meetings can give you a glimpse into addiction treatment. Many of the individuals in those meetings have been in your shoes before. Their personal stories can be excellent resources to have.
Finding Help for Addiction Near Me
At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we know your drug addiction is as unique as you are. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, please reach out for help today. Whether you feel you’re ready or not, our team of addiction therapists can help you learn more about the recovery journey and show you what would be the best way to deal with your addiction once and for all.
If you’re ready to stop using drugs, or you have questions about drug treatment, we’re here for you. We believe in your power and strength to get the help you need to be healthier and better. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive addiction recovery programs and what makes us different.