Opioid detox has a nasty reputation. It’s common knowledge that opioid detox can be difficult, uncomfortable, and generally unpleasant. Medically assisted opioid detox is a becoming the safer and easier detox option for opioid addicts. This method limits the unpleasantness associated with detoxing from opioids and makes the entire process a lot more comfortable.
Unfortunately, there are still some that choose to detox from opioids at home. We strongly advise against this option. Though opioid detox is not life-threating in general, some people still die, and others cannot manage the withdrawals and begin to use soon after detox has begun1.
How Can Someone Die from Opioid Withdrawal?
The answer to that is surprising to some. It’s not chemical imbalance, it’s not the sickness symptoms, but instead vomiting and diarrhea are the most common reasons people die from opioid withdrawal2.
Detoxing from opioids takes a toll on your body in two very specific ways. Diarrhea leads to dehydration and loss of electrolytes. When detoxing from opioids, the other symptoms and withdrawals are so severe that you may not realize you are so severely dehydrated.
The vomiting is so severe that the strain on your heart can lead to heart failure hypernatremia, specifically the elevated blood sodium level. It’s at these points that fluids must be introduced intravenously.
Heroin and opioid detox are no simple matter and the detox process is best handled by professionals. We strongly suggest consulting with a detox professional before you consider any kind of home detox programs. You have many opportunities to detox from opioids but only one chance to do it right and to save your own life. Get help from a professional: +1 800 598 3386.
: National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre – Yes, people can die from opiate withdrawal
: Wiley Online Library – Addiction Volume 112 Series 2