Important Facts About Detox and Withdrawal

Attending a treatment program gives the user more time to recover before returning to the stresses of life, and will help them to determine the root of their addiction and their triggers.
Developing a dependency on drugs or alcohol, which often times results in addiction, can leave the user feeling hopeless, like there is no way out.

Chemical dependency can disrupt relationships, careers and entire lives. It is necessary to enter a medical detoxification program to successfully begin abstinence from many drugs, and always for an alcohol dependency. The addict or alcoholic will endure withdrawal symptoms that are associated with each drug; however, detoxing in a professional medical detox program will help to make this experience as comfortable as possible.

What Are Some Withdrawal Symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms will differ according to which substance was used, how long the substance was used, how much was being used, and the current overall health of the user. Symptoms that can be expected with any substance are high anxiety, body aches and muscle spasms, disruptions in the sleep cycle resulting in insomnia, and tremors or intense shakiness. There are some medications that can help reverse some of these symptoms, but the doctor should use caution when prescribing these medications so as not to exchange one dependency for another.

Can Withdrawal Result in Death?

Some symptoms can be so severe and intense that they are possibly life-threatening, especially if the user is already in poor health. Life-threatening symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, serious confusion, and irritability leading to violent behavior. A serious condition that occurs with alcohol withdrawal is called delirium tremens, which is when the alcoholic has visual or auditory hallucinations, extreme shakiness, excessive perspiration, irregular heart rates, and sometimes very high blood pressure or seizures. This makes alcohol one of the most dangerous substances to detox from, especially without medical supervision.

What To Expect After A Detox Program

There is a second stage to the withdrawal process called post acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS. This phase of withdrawal occurs typically within seven to fourteen days after abstinence begins and can last as long as ninety days to two years depending on which substance was used and the intensity of use. PAWS includes:

The inability to think clearly

• Extreme anxiety

• Cravings

• Problems sleeping

• Memory problems

• Emotional overreactions or under reactions

• Coordination problems

• The inability to focus on schoolwork or job related tasks

It is important to know that not every substance will result in PAWS once abstinence begins; however, because some of the most commonly abused substances do, it is important to enter a treatment program after completing a detox program. Having a treatment program to attend gives the user more time to recover before returning to the stresses of life, and will help them to determine the root of their addiction and their triggers. Treatment programs will also help the user determine their goals in recovery, help them learn about chemical dependency, and teach them coping skills to use in place of using the substance. A treatment program will ensure the addict or alcoholic have a better chance at maintaining recovery for life than attempting recovery on their own.

Distributed by Client Initiative

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