Withdrawal Symptoms: What Can I Expect?The process of withdrawal involves the adverse reaction the human body undergoes after abruptly stopping substance use. When you suddenly quit using a substance–whether drugs or alcohol–the chemicals remain in your body for a period of time.Gradually, the effects of and presence of the substance dissipates. If prior substance use has been chronic, your body has grown accustomed to the effects of the drugs. When these effects wear off, you experience negative withdrawal symptoms. It’s your body’s way of readjusting to this new drug-free state.
The Serious Problem with Withdrawal SymptomsThese adverse reactions can often prevent successful sobriety. Why? It is because symptoms can become absolutely unbearable. Withdrawal symptoms can vary from anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and difficulty keeping an appetite.They can also get far worse. Nausea and vomiting and even hallucinations can follow some bouts of chronic drug use. Plus, these symptoms can go on and on for days. Only once your body has fully detoxed the substance and become closer to its pre-addiction state will these harsh symptoms abate.Sometimes, the symptoms get so bad that you’d rather use drugs again just to make the pain and discomfort go away. Ensure that withdrawal doesn’t cause you to relapse by placing your detoxification and recovery in the hands of professionals.
How Can I Get Help During Withdrawal?Severe instances exist in which individuals experience fatal or life-threatening reactions during withdrawal. It is always best to manage these symptoms with a trained physician who has a background of treating addiction.There are many choices of detoxification or withdrawal treatment services. The type of treatment program you choose will depend on your unique needs and the recommendations of your health care team.
Detoxification without MedicationThis method will typically be suggested to individuals with less severe addictions or those who are battling addiction for the first time. This treatment may take place either in an outpatient or inpatient treatment center. You will receive support, education, and assistance as your body adjusts to this new state. As the drugs wear off, you will notice a decrease in cravings, increased energy, and will finally begin to feel more confident in your recovery.After detox, you might participate in individual, group, or family therapy to teach skills and coping mechanisms to prevent future substance abuse.
Detoxification with MedicationMedically-managed detoxification involves your physician either tapering, or gradually reducing, your current dosage of medication to ease withdrawal symptoms. Many treatment centers may also provide a substitute substance which delivers the same effects but has less addictive potential or hazardous reactions.Over time, this substitute substance will be tapered until you are no longer dependent on any substance. Your body may not experience the harsh and unfavorable symptoms associated with “cold turkey” withdrawal if you take this route. The tapering approach is much slower and gradual. It may take several weeks or months to reduce the dosage down to a drug-free state.Regardless of which withdrawal option you choose, you will probably experience some discomfort and intense cravings. However, you will be surrounded by other clients who are going through the same process as well as knowledgeable and friendly staff. Your family will typically be allowed to visit and offer their encouragement as you continue to transition to a healthier you.
- Christian Nordqvist, “What are the treatment options for addiction?”, Medical News Today, December 2012, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/addiction/treatment-for-addiction.php;
- “Signs and Symptoms”, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., https://ncadd.org/learn-about-drugs/signs-and-symptoms;
- “Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction”, National Institute on Drug Abuse, http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction
Whatever path to recovery you choose, our staff has access to hundreds of treatment centers to assure the best personalized treatment for you, then with continued follow up to help you make the transition to sober living as seamless as possible.
Our trained staff of professionals are qualified to help you assess what type of treatment will be the best fit to ensure you or your loved one gets the help you need.
But how does one go about finding the right program?
If this all looks very overwhelming....it is! But that's what we are here for. Call us at 888-205-8608 and we can help make this process much easier. We will narrow down all of these aspects and find the best program for you or your loved one with all your concerns considered. It's as simple as making that first call. And the best part is that we are a free service. The road to recovery starts here!
We are a free service