Home » Addiction Blog » Deadliest Drugs to Detox From

Deadliest Drugs to Detox From

Detox is not a pleasant experience. During detox, your brain and body go into panic mode as they reach for the drug they’ve become dependent on. Detox and drug withdrawal vary from drug to drug, and person to person – but it’s never fun. While detoxing from any drug is tough, detoxing from certain drugs is downright dangerous.

There’s more to detoxing than just letting go of a drug – you may be putting your life at risk. Let’s learn some of the deadliest drugs to detox from including why they’re dangerous and how you can detox in a safe and comfortable manner.


Alcohol is the most pervasive and popular mood-altering substance in the US save for caffeine. We love our beer, wine, and liquor, but alcoholics cannot just have one drink, they need several. Alcoholism is one of the most common forms of addiction in the US and turns otherwise healthy and normal people into lunatics who will do anything for a drink.

Eventually, alcoholics must sober up, and the first step in sobering up is ceasing alcohol consumption and going into detox. Unfortunately for alcoholics, things can get messy during the detox process making alcohol one of the most dangerous substances to detox from.

Why It’s Dangerous

If you’ve ever read Huckleberry Finn, you’ll remember the scene where Huck discusses his dad’s ‘delirium tremens,’ and the accompanying psychosis. If you haven’t read it Huck’s dad is in a state of psychosis caused by alcohol withdrawal and is in full-blown panic due to auditory and visual hallucinations. Though Huckleberry Finn is fiction, delirium tremens and other scary side effects from alcohol withdrawal are very real.

Certain drugs affect certain neurotransmitters, but alcohol affects nearly every nook and cranny of your brain and its neurotransmitter highway. When you cease alcohol consumption your brain panics. It’s used to the release of neurotransmitters caused by alcohol and thinks those floods of brain chemicals are normal. You’re chemically dependent on alcohol to function normally.

Because of alcohol’s entrenchment in your brain, detox from alcohol is very dangerous and could result in death. Let’s learn some of the most unpleasant effects of alcohol withdrawal:

  • Shakes and tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Seizures
  • Delirium Tremens (Psychosis)
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Death

These side effects of alcohol withdrawal make it dangerous to attempt without professional help. You don’t have to be an alcoholic for forty years to die with from withdrawal.

drug addicts overdosing


Benzodiazepines, referred to as benzos, are used to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizure disorders, and other conditions. Most benzos are prescribed in small doses and small quantities but even these small quantities can be enough to get some hooked. Though benzos replaced barbiturates due to barbiturates’ addictive qualities and dangerous side effects, benzos come with their own danger of addiction and negative health consequences – including during withdrawal. What makes detoxing from benzos so dangerous?

Why It’s Dangerous

Our brains treat benzos much in the same way it treats alcohol and the effects of benzo withdrawal are like alcohol withdrawal. Benzos are so similar to alcohol that many treatment facilities use benzos to taper alcoholics into sobriety. When benzos are pulled from the body, your brain sends a barrage of erratic electrical impulses which may lead to:

  • Tremors and shakes
  • Seizure
  • Hallucinations (auditory and visual)
  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Death

Benzo withdrawal has its own dangers which means you should never attempt to detox from them without supervised care.


Barbiturates were discovered in the early 20th century and remained a popular drug up until the 1960s when they were largely replaced by benzos. Barbiturates were a prevalent drug of psychiatrists during this era and were used to treat sleep disorders, psychosis, seizure disorders, and a variety of mental illness. The doctor simply provided powerful barbiturates and the patient would become stoned and docile. Though barbiturates were wildly popular with doctors, the negative effects on patients were obvious.

While barbiturate prescriptions don’t see the same numbers they did in the roaring 20s, barbiturates still have use today in treating sleep disorders, seizure disorders, migraine headaches, and more. Though they aren’t as prescribed as once before – they’re still extremely dangerous.

Why It’s Dangerous

Barbiturates are both highly addictive and difficult for your body to detox from. Just like alcohol and benzo withdrawal can send your brain into panic mode due to the areas they affect, so can barbiturates make your brain think you’re dying during detox. What can you expect during barbiturate withdrawal?

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety / panic attacks
  • Psychosis
  • Tremors and shakes
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Like alcohol and benzos, barbiturate withdrawal symptoms are no joke and should be treated seriously.

Say No to Home Detox

Several glasses of water and a healthy diet is not enough to detox safely from the drugs listed above. If you’re chemically dependent on alcohol, benzos, or barbiturates, home detox could lead to seizures, heart attack, or death. You don’t have to check into a primary treatment facility if you don’t want to, but you must talk with a physician before considering detox. Be safe, don’t hurt yourself when you’re trying to get better.

How to Detox Safely

If you’re detoxing from alcohol, benzos, or barbiturates, you need professional help. Modern treatment centers and detox facilities can assist you through the detox process by slowly tapering your body off your drug of choice while supplementing you with any necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Though you’re not in a hospital, a detox facility or primary treatment center is a medical facility and has the right staff and training to safely, effectively, and comfortably handle the detox process.

Get Help Today

If you or a loved one is addicted to one of the above drugs and needs to detox, be safe about it. Ohio ARC’s treatment facility and detox center can treat you through the dangers of withdrawal and set yourself up on a path to long-term recovery. Contact us today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content