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The first step any individual must go through to begin his or her substance abuse treatment known as detox. Detox is the process that happens after an individual has stopped ingesting drugs and/ or alcohol. An individual that successfully completes the detox stage rids his or her body of all foreign substances. Any individual who struggles with substance abuse and/ or addiction has used drugs and/ or alcohol to the point where his or her body no longer functions properly in the absence of the substance or substances. While some people may suggest quitting cold turkey, this method can actually be dangerous, in some cases. There are several different methods as well as varying levels of support available for an individual going through detox.


A large component of detox is the onset of withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms occur as a result of one’s body reacting to the absence of a substance or substances to which it had previously become accustomed. The types of withdrawal symptoms, the severity of the symptoms as well as the duration of the symptoms will vary from person to person. Withdrawal symptoms are commonly physically uncomfortable, and in some cases painful. Typically, the onset of withdrawal symptoms will occur approximately six to twelve hours after one’s last ingestion of drugs and/ or alcohol. While the intense discomforts that may arise generally taper off after three days, withdrawal symptoms can last long after the detox is completed. 

At Home Detox

The at home detox method is when an individual attempts to undergo detox at home without any medical supervision. At home detox can be a viable option for individuals who are withdrawing from certain drugs (i.e. cocaine, amphetamines…etc.) as certain substances do not necessarily cause severe physical withdrawal symptoms. While an at home detox is feasible it is not uncommon for an individual to return to the use of the abused substance or substances due to the discomforts of the withdrawal symptoms. 


There are a myriad of risks associated with detoxing at home. Every person going through detox will experience withdrawal symptoms. Some examples of risks as well as withdrawal symptoms that may occur during detox include but are not limited to the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Increased heart rate
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • Panic attacks
  • Muscle pain

Each individual is different and each will experience varying combinations and intensities of withdrawal symptoms. It is important to note that individuals who undergo detox at home place themselves at greater risk for overdose. 

Does the Thomas Recipe Work?

There are a number of different at home remedies that individuals often attempt to help alleviate some of the discomforts associated with detox and the withdrawal symptoms. The Thomas Recipe, for example, is an opioid detox regimen that was posted to an online forum by an anonymous user. While there have been reported, albeit inconsistent, successes, official organizations such as NIDA (the National Institute for Drug Abuse) and SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services) do not recommend nor endorse the Thomas Recipe as a safe or effective detox method. 

Medical Detox

Aside from the at home detox method, there are other options available to individuals in need of detox. A medical detox provides an individual going through detox medical supervision throughout the duration of his or her detox process. This ensures the individual’s physical safety. Additionally, many medical detox programs can help to reduce some of the discomforts of withdrawal symptoms by providing medications to the individual to address and alleviate specific symptoms. 

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to substance abuse and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one.