The Dangers of Improper Substance Detoxification in PA

Having an excessive amount of toxins in your body can cause significant health issues. By abusing or getting in touch with toxic substances for a certain period of time, your body may experience a “toxic overload”. Toxic overload is most commonly found in people with a substance use disorder but it can occur in others, as well. That is why there are so many “detox” products and solutions on the market, most of which are either useless or have extremely limited effectiveness. Due to the dangers of improper substance detoxification in PA, the best solution for detox is, and always will be, to visit one of the Pennsylvania rehab centers and undergo a specialized detox program. But why is that the case? What exactly is a toxic overload and why should you avoid attempting detox at home? This article will answer all of those questions and more.

What is a toxic overload?

Toxic overload happens once your body accumulates an excessive amount of toxins. These toxins can come from practically anywhere but they are most commonly associated with substance abuse. While you can get some toxicity from cleaning products, food, water, and many other environmental sources, your body will usually not have any problems detoxing on its own. An interesting fact is that your body may also produce toxins if your gut health is poor. This is called autointoxication.

person holding a handful of drugs
Most drugs contain dangerous toxins.

When you introduce a toxic substance on a regular basis, toxic overload becomes much more likely to happen. The best way to get rid of the toxins is to visit one of the drug and alcohol treatment centers in Pennsylvania and undergo one of their detox programs. But before you do so, you may want to be certain that your issues are stemming from a toxic overload. Even better, you may want to prevent it altogether. To do this, you will want to try and observe common warning signs of a toxic overload.

Common warning signs of toxic overload

It is always best to avoid toxic overload in the first place. Having too many toxins in your body for a prolonged period of time may lead to serious health issues such as depression, eczema, obesity, digestive disorders, diabetes, and even arthritis. Luckily, there are numerous warning signs that you can observe before things become too difficult to handle. Some of the most common warning signs of a toxic overload are:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Constipation
  • Unstable behavior
  • Unusual weight changes
  • Skin issues

If you happen to notice any of these signs, the best thing to do is to consult with your doctor immediately and not try to detox on your own. Your doctor will know whether you need to undergo one of the medication assisted treatment Pennsylvania programs or whether you simply need to cut down on your exposure to toxins. But for now, let’s take a bit more detailed look at how toxins can create these problems.

Persistent headaches

Some of the most common signs that your body is experiencing a toxic overload come in the form of persistent headaches. Many people do not think too much about their headaches, and may even consider them to be common occurrences. But the fact of the matter is that headaches are usually the first warning sign of a toxic overload. If you started experiencing headaches after a period of substance abuse, that is almost a guarantee that your body requires detox.

headache, representing one of the dangers of improper substance detoxification in PA
Persistent headaches usually indicate a toxic overload.

If you happen to have a history of abusing opioids, you may also notice cognitive changes that go along with your headaches. If this occurs, your best solution is to enroll in one of the Pennsylvania opioid treatment programs as soon as possible. You do not want to be risking any of the dangers of improper substance detoxification in PA if you can help it.


Another very common warning sign that your body may be full of toxins is if you find yourself constipated on a regular basis. The toxins in your body may prevent you from having regular bowel movements, which can produce numerous other damaging effects. Alternatively, toxins can change your eating habits and produce constipation that way. No matter the reason, constipation is not something that you can afford to overlook.

One of the most common causes of constipation is marijuana abuse as marijuana usually brings out a “sweet tooth”. Sweet foods are usually low in fiber, which is what helps you regulate your bowel movements. The easiest solution to remedy this issue is to visit a marijuana rehab center, where you will have all the support you need to rid yourself of a potentially serious problem. Even so, the first thing you should do, again, is to consult your physician. They will know whether detox is necessary or whether a simple increase in water and fiber will suffice.

Unstable behavior

Mood swings are almost considered to be normal in this day and age. However, they are anything but. Mood swings might not have a negative effect on your body on their own, but their presence indicates another problem. They may be brought about due to a toxic overload, for example.

Unstable behavior and mood swings appear when your hormone levels become imbalanced. There are a number of toxins that can create this imbalance, most of which are found in abusable substances. Cocaine, for example, is well-known to produce extreme mood swings. For most people, cocaine addiction rehab is the only way to free themselves from the grasp of this vicious drug. Professional rehab programs include detox, which is usually the first step to getting rid of your addiction. If you try to detox on your own, you will be risking the dangers of improper substance detoxification in PA.

angry person
Toxic overload can cause mood swings and angry outbursts.

Unusual weight changes

Perhaps the most common sign that your body is suffering from the effects of a toxic overload is if you experience any sudden, unusual, weight changes. Also, trying to lose weight without seeing any improvements may be due to a toxic overload, as well. And, of course, substance abuse may have a significant impact.

Heroin, for example, is one of the most notorious drugs that are connected with sudden weight loss. The drug also increases your body’s toxicity and addiction to it is all but impossible to deal with on your own. If you happen to be suffering from heroin addiction, the best thing to do is to contact one of the closest heroin rehab centers and enroll in one of their programs. Heroin addiction is one of the worst addictions you may have and getting rid of it is anything but easy. You will need professional help.

Aside from drugs, there are other toxins that can contribute to unusual weight changes, such as pesticides, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), and dioxins. They usually accumulate when the body is not capable of eliminating them on its own and stores them in your body fat instead. The only way you can safely get rid of these toxins is to undergo detox in a certified detox center.

Skin issues

Your body cleanses itself from toxins through excretion. While your liver and your kidneys do most of the work, your body utilizes your skin for much the same purpose. When the liver and kidneys cannot manage to detox your body on their own, the skin gets called into action. Throughout the natural detox process, your skin may develop acne and boils which may indicate toxic overload.

If you happen to notice a sudden appearance of either, the best thing to do is visit your doctor immediately. Chances are that you might need to enroll in one of the outpatient detox rehab PA programs to get rid of toxins in your body. The worst thing you can do is to try and detox on your own and brave the dangers of improper substance detoxification in PA. You may also be able to change some of your habits or your diet to fix the issue, depending on the severity. Your doctor will know what is best for you.

acne as one of the dangers of improper substance detoxification in PA
You may develop acne due to a toxic overload.

What is detox?

To put it simply, detox is the process where you get rid of any toxins inside your system. The length of the process depends on the amount of toxicity present within your body. For example, alcohol detox usually lasts around 48 hours while detoxing from benzodiazepines can take up to 7 days. Other addictive drugs such as meth or cocaine can prolong this period up to ten days while the most dangerous opiates can take up to two weeks to detox from. That is the reason why there are several options for prescription drug addiction rehab, for example, such as inpatient and outpatient programs. Some people find it easier to spend their time inside a controlled environment while they undergo detox, while others prefer to only be there for a couple of hours each day.

Body’s natural detox

As mentioned previously, your body has the ability to detox on its own. In fact, this is what happens every single day. There are four different systems that work in unison to remove any harmful substances from your body:

  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Lungs
  • Colon

Your kidneys are there to remove any toxins through urine and help filter your blood. The liver processes nutrients and toxins alike, “preparing” them for elimination by your kidneys. Airborne toxins are handled by your lungs while your colon removes toxins through bowel movements.

However, your body has limitations. If you start abusing any harmful substance, chances are that your body will need some help removing the toxins from your system. Take benzodiazepines, for example. If you take them as prescribed, your body will not have any problems handling the toxicity. But if you start abusing them, you may need to undergo a benzo detox. Trying to detox a toxic overload on your own is quite dangerous and most of the detox “solutions” on the market are of dubious use.

assorted drugs
Your body may need some help dealing with drug-induced toxicity.

Now that you know what the warning signs are and how your body naturally cleanses toxins, it is time to understand why exactly it is a bad idea to detox on your own.

Dangers of improper substance detoxification in PA

Detoxing from certain substances such as drugs and alcohol can be quite dangerous without direct medical supervision. For example, trying to detox from alcohol on your own can produce all sorts of negative consequences such as seizures, dehydration, hallucinations, and electrolyte imbalances. Detoxing from stimulants can produce irregular heart rhythms, seizures, and high blood pressure.

Opiate detox is even more dangerous to attempt on your own, as it can produce quite severe, flu-like, symptoms that include diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. You may also experience similar symptoms as in alcohol detoxes such as electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. Lastly, undergoing a benzo detox can lead to extreme anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. Needless to say, all of these symptoms have significant potential to seriously harm your health. Some of them may even be fatal. The best thing to do to avoid any such symptoms is to enroll in an inpatient rehab Pennsylvania program. That way, you will have full medical attention throughout the detoxing process. Trying to detox at home can be quite dangerous, will put you at a higher risk of relapse, and there will be no one to help you if something goes wrong.

If you simply cannot afford to spend that much time in inpatient rehab, you may want to explore other options such as one of the partial hospitalization programs Pennsylvania has on offer. These programs offer help when you need it the most, at the cost of detox efficiency. But they may be exactly what you need.

To get a better understanding of what exactly is at stake here, let’s take a look into exactly why unsupervised detox is so dangerous.

Dangers of improper alcohol detoxification in PA

Aside from mentioned symptoms that are connected to alcohol detox, there are two more dangers that you need to concern yourself about. The first is so-called “Delirium Tremens”, which occurs in about 5-10% of people that have an alcohol addiction. Those numbers are nothing to scoff at, especially since about 5-15% of untreated delirium tremens cases end up being lethal. If you don’t want to “roll the dice”, it is always better to enroll in an alcohol rehab Pennsylvania program.

person with a wine glass
Alcohol may have lethal consequences.

This condition usually manifests in people that have been abusing alcohol for ten years or more, and it can cause significant health concerns such as cardiac arrhythmias, extremely high fevers, trauma, and can even induce hyperthermia. In most cases, fatalities due to delirium tremens are caused due to infections, cardiovascular complications, or metabolic complications.

Vitamin depletion

The second danger of detoxing at home is that you may experience vitamin depletion. This is due to the fact that detoxing from alcohol usually comes with loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. In other words, chances are that eating healthily will be the least of your concerns while suffering the effects of alcohol withdrawal. But that is where the greatest danger lies. Most people that are going through alcohol detox end up with a B1 deficiency. While this may not sound to be a large issue, B1 deficiency can lead to serious health concerns and can even lead to the development of Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff syndrome, both of which are serious disorders that may impair your memory and coordination, as well as induce confusion and loss of control over eye movements.

Due to all the dangers of improper substance detoxification in PA, it is easy to see why even ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) advises against trying to detox at home. The best course of action is always to seek treatment from a professional detox institution.

Dangers of improper drug detoxification in PA

Trying to detox from drugs on your own comes with several dangers. The first is the danger of relapse. Relapse while trying to detox is particularly dangerous as it can easily lead to overdose. And, as you may already be aware, an overdose can easily lead to death. The fact of the matter is that almost every single person that is trying to deal with their drug addiction will experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Even if you get addiction help from a friend, dealing with everything that addiction throws in front of you can be all but impossible. Here are some statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to illustrate the point:

  • The relapse rate for drug use disorder is around 50%
  • In 2020, there were 93,331 recorded deaths due to drug overdose
  • Over 60% of overdose deaths were caused by synthetic opioids
a graveyard
Drugs take many lives each year.

If you attempt to detox at home, you are at the mercy of these statistics. By choosing to enroll in a treatment program, you will have access to medical personnel that can help you prevent both relapse and overdose, as well as help you manage all the other withdrawal symptoms.

Mental issues

Aside from physical difficulties, people who require a drug detox will also face numerous struggles with their mental well-being. Detoxing from drugs may induce panic, frustration, depression, exhaustion, and a number of other mental side effects. However, one of the most important dangers of improper substance detoxification in PA is the possibility of suicide. Many people simply do not think they can handle the withdrawal symptoms. Dealing with both physical and mental issues can be extremely difficult for most people, all but impossible for some. And that is precisely why they need professional medical assistance.

How to detox the right way

If you want to avoid the dangers of improper substance detoxification in PA, the best way to do so is to enroll in a professional detox program. However, if you are simply looking to help your body detox on its own, here’s what you can do:

  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Drink more water (but not too much)
  • Get as much quality sleep as you can
  • Reduce the amount of sugar and processed foods in your diet
  • Decrease your intake of salt
  • Be more active
two people jumping
Activity is a great way to reduce your body’s toxicity.

While the above suggestions will help with mild toxicity, they are simply not enough to deal with toxic overload due to substance abuse. For that, you will need to visit your rehab center. You can choose from the following treatment options:

  • Medical detox
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Intensive outpatient treatment

Medical detox

If you are only concerned with your body’s toxic overload, medical detox is the best form of treatment for you. You will get access to medications that will help you manage your withdrawal symptoms, professional supervision, and support. However, if you are suffering from severe addiction, medical detox is only the first step of treatment.

Inpatient treatment

Inpatient treatment is the most comprehensive treatment program for detox and drug addiction. It offers a place for patients to live during rehab and a place where they can receive full care and support. Every rehab center provides a different form of inpatient treatment. At Little Creek Recovery center, we specialize in providing personalized treatment plans for male patients. We believe that specializing in one particular group allows us to provide our patients with the best possible results.

Outpatient treatment

Outpatient treatment is a form of detox and addiction rehab that allows patients to only attend rehab for a few hours a day, once or twice a week. The patients receive full support and care during this timeframe. Due to its limitations, this treatment option is best suited for patients that have mild addiction issues.

Intensive outpatient treatment

IOP presents a “middle ground” between inpatient and outpatient treatments. It is best used for patients that have mild to less severe addictions. Patients will participate in individual and group therapy and they will be required to attend the rehab for a couple of hours several days a week.

Enrolling in any professional rehab program is the best way to avoid any of the dangers of improper substance detoxification in PA. With so many options to choose from, there is absolutely no reason why you should try to detox on your own!

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