Should I Go to Detox During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

woman in detox during the pandemic

A pandemic is an interesting time to pursue any major life changes, such as buying a house, starting a new academic program, or getting sober. Although you may recognize that you need help to overcome your addiction, you may also be hesitant to go to detox due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19.

Common concerns about going to detox during the coronavirus outbreak include:

  • Receiving inpatient detox treatment at a facility that sees a large number of revolving clients regularly.
  • Interacting with other detox patients who have traveled from areas with high infection rates or who come from living situations that pose additional risks for infection.
  • Interacting with doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, and detox counselors who come into contact with dozens of clients daily.

While these concerns are completely valid, it’s important to know that drug and alcohol detox centers are taking precautions to protect your health and safety.

Is It Safe to Go to Drug Detox Despite the Coronavirus and COVID-19?

Yes, it is safe to go to drug detox during the coronavirus outbreak. Reputable and high-quality detox centers are taking precautions to ensure that their facilities remain safe and free of the coronavirus. By choosing the right detox center, you can make sure that you or a loved one receives adequate medical and clinical care so you can recover, even during a pandemic. 

To ensure that you or your loved one is safe during detox treatment, you should take the time to ask questions to determine whether a detox center has responded appropriately to protect the health and safety of all clients and staff members. 

Here are some potential questions you may want to ask a detox center before enrolling in treatment during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • How has your detox facility adjusted the admissions process to protect the health and safety of current clients?
  • Do you regularly test patients and potential new patients for COVID-19?
  • How have you adapted your detox programs to comply with social-distancing guidelines?
  • How are you making sure your facility, staff, and clients have access to an adequate supply of hand sanitizer and disinfectant cleaning supplies at all times?

Is Now the Right Time To Get Sober?

It may be tempting to just stay home and avoid going to detox until the risk of contracting coronavirus is lower, but if you wait for the perfect timing, you may never make the choice to get help and recover. Ultimately, the best time to get sober is whenever you decide it is. 

If you are suffering from addiction and you recognize you need help, now is a great time to go to detox and start your recovery journey. Times of international crisis always produce fear, stress, and anxiety among the general public, but those who are addicted may face even more serious implications.

Many addicted individuals struggle with mental health issues like depression or anxiety, which can be further exacerbated by COVID-19. They may also have a hard time acquiring their substance of choice, which can lead to severe cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and a growing feeling of desperation. Even people who are not currently addicted may face negative emotions such as loneliness, isolation, depression, anxiety, stress, and boredom, which are all closely linked with substance abuse.

People who abuse drugs and alcohol may also be more susceptible to the new coronavirus, as addiction can reduce a person’s ability to fight off disease and increase their risk of infection due to underlying health problems.

While the coronavirus is all over the news, on everyone’s mind, and is wreaking havoc on public health and unemployment rates, drug and alcohol addiction is still very much a present threat and continues to destroy families and cause overdoses.

Can I Just Detox at Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

If you’re struggling with addiction during this pandemic, it may also be tempting to just stay home and detox on your own. However, detoxing from alcohol and many other drugs without medical assistance can be very uncomfortable, dangerous, or even deadly. General drug withdrawal symptoms can vary in intensity but may include:1

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Shakiness
  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Digestive problems
  • Loss of appetite

If you take multiple kinds of drugs, the detox process can be highly unpredictable and the withdrawal symptoms are often more severe. Death from detox can occur due to a variety of reasons, but the most common causes are seizures, heart failure, or suicidal behavior due to severe depression or suicidal thoughts.

You are also much more likely to relapse if you choose to detox at home without the professional support of doctors, nurses, and clinicians who can help you get through those strong cravings, uncomfortable withdrawal, and psychological symptoms like anxiety.

While some people do successfully detox from drugs or alcohol at home, it’s a good idea to consult with an addiction treatment professional or doctor before attempting to do it on your own.

Are Drug and Alcohol Detox Centers Open During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Yes, drug and alcohol detox centers are still open during the coronavirus pandemic. Although many of America’s businesses are still shut down or are providing limited services, medical detox programs are an essential service, much like hospitals and clinics.

At Briarwood Detox Center, we have taken preventative measures to ensure that all clients and staff are protected from a potential coronavirus outbreak on-site.

  • All potential clients are evaluated for COVID-19 symptoms, possible exposure, due to close contact with someone who was sick, and recent travel to an area with high infection rates. 
  • Individuals who do not pass our initial screening may be tested using a COVID-19 instant test kit, which we have on-site.
  • We have increased sanitization and hygiene practices throughout our detox centers.
  • We have an organized and well-documented process of securing cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and other essential products to ensure the health and well-being of our staff and clients.

All of the uncertainty surrounding a global pandemic can contribute to an ongoing substance use issue. If you are struggling to cope with the coronavirus outbreak in America and you’ve turned to drugs or alcohol, you may find yourself facing an even greater foe than COVID-19: addiction. Don’t let your fear of the pandemic keep you from getting the help you need. Start your recovery today by calling (888) 857-0557. Our certified professional staff is here to help when you’re ready.


  1. https://adf.org.au/reducing-risk/withdrawal/

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