“I can rehab on my own,” is a common sentiment expressed by people suffering from an addiction. In some respects, it is like the belief that “I can quit anytime I want.” And, there is ample evidence of people quitting “cold turkey,” and successfully kicking their addiction.
But that’s the exception, not the rule.
Self-rehab isn’t an easy or necessarily pleasant path. It can come with its share of danger, to the point of being life-threatening. Professionals in the rehabilitation and recovery field know several stages make up the recovery journey. Even if people rehab on their own, they go through these stages, they just do not know that they are doing it. And, it is rare that an individual rehabs on their own without some form of help, formal or informal.
Why Do People Think “I Can Rehab On My Own?”
There are many reasons why an individual will attempt to rehab themselves. Pride which can create the conviction that they can quit anytime they want is a common factor.
Lack of resources is another common reason. They may not have money for treatment. They may not be able to miss work. There may not be anyone to take care of personal affairs such as caring for family, maintaining property, paying bills, running a business, and so forth.
Some people rehab themselves because there are no rehab programs available to them locally. This can be especially true for people living in rural and remote areas.
Perhaps they have had negative experiences with previous treatments and do not want to go through the same experience again.
Embarrassment is another factor. The individual may not want to have family, friends, or the community know they had to undergo rehabilitation. Pride certainly plays a part here, but in many circles, rehabilitation may be viewed as a character flaw or weakness.
But even in the face of all of these reasons not to go to a recovery center, there are risks to doing rehab on your own.
What Are Risks Of Self-Rehab?
There are definite risks associated with attempting recovery and rehabilitation on your own. As Fight Addiction Now points out,
“whether you choose to recover on your own or in a rehab program, it is always you that is rehabilitating yourself. No one can make you get sober; you have to want it on a deep level.”
Even if you have the willpower and motivation, the most dangerous stage of any rehabilitation is the detox stage. Depending upon the substance to which an individual is addicted, improper detox can be fatal. For certain substances, medical detox is required. That is why using professional services for the detox stage is essential.
Withdrawal symptoms can be painful and psychologically challenging. Hallucinations, heart attacks, seizures, strokes, anxiety, depression, organ failure due to diseases contracted while using the substance, and self-harm, are a few reasons to consider a professional detox program. There, trained professionals monitor the individual and take the necessary medical steps to minimize and counter withdrawal effects.
After detox, the individual needs to take specific steps to reduce the cravings for the substance further and to eliminate sources of temptation. This is indeed something an individual can accomplish on their own. But, chances of success are enhanced when the individual takes additional steps that bring in support from others. It can be a formal “step” program or simply surrounding themselves with friends who do not encourage the use of the addictive substance, trying new activities, staying away from old “haunts,” and similar actions.
Is “Rehab On My Own” Worth The Risk?
Addiction is a complex subject. So many factors come into play that it is imprudent to say there is no risk associated with attempting to rehab yourself. Yes, there are many stages where an individual can successfully manage the process. Depending upon the substance involved, individuals may also be able to handle the detox stage successfully.
It is with detox that the highest health risk occurs. At other stages, the primary risk is relapsing and continued substance abuse. This may or may not come with dangerous or potentially fatal health risks. That cannot be guaranteed during detox. Individuals who are in the Action Stage of recovery should seek and use detox services, for their well-being.
If you or anyone you know is thinking they can “rehab on my own. considering self-rehabilitation or is in the process, please urge that individual to contact us for an assessment of possible risk factors. We are available at 877-225-7724. Contacting us may be the very thing needed to avert unintended and damaging consequences, especially during the detox stage.