Permanently quitting drugs after being addicted for even a year can prove to be one of life’s most significant challenges, but even detox, the act of ridding the body of all drugs for an extended period can be just as difficult. Withdrawal symptoms like nausea, headaches, chills, anxiety, and seizures are brutal. They build up until the individual feels like they are going to explode from the pressure.
This is why detox is part of the majority of drug rehabilitation facilities today. Quitting a substance right away without weening it out can result in life-threatening consequences. There is a fine line between continuing the use of the substance, which can lead to more addiction, and quit the substance instantly, which can cause severe withdrawal symptoms that could potentially lead to death. Death usually results from overdose or uncontrolled seizures. A process has already been formed to handle the stages of withdrawal during detox.
The process of detox consists of an evaluation by a professional, stabilization, and a transition into treatment. Evaluation involves blood tests to determine how much of the drug is still in the user’s system, psychological screening, medical history, assessment of the individual’s social situation, and a risk assessment for withdrawal intensity. Stabilization provides medications to ease withdrawal symptoms, that can only be obtained by seeking professional help, a monitored diet to maintain physical health during the transition, information about treatment, and meeting with loved ones for emotional support. Emotional support is a tremendous player and can make a significant difference on whether the individual makes it through detox.
For example, when experiencing detox from alcohol, individuals can expect to go through 3 general stages of withdrawal. The first stage involves anxiety, nausea, and abdominal pain. Then in the second stage, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, confusion, and heightened body temperature. In the most severe stage, the individual starts having hallucinations, fever, seizures, and intense irritability. This all happens within the course of about five to seven days.
Some drugs present withdrawal symptoms that can be life-threatening if not managed by professionals and these drugs include alcohol, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines; however, it is strongly encouraged to also seek help for detox from opioids and stimulants like cocaine. There are two types of withdrawal to be expected. Acute withdrawal (psychical) and post-acute withdrawal (psychological).
involves the physical symptoms, some of which were mentioned above, and include insomnia, body aches, shakiness, and vomiting. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms can linger for up to 2 years and include depression, numbness, stress sensitivity, mood changes, and sleeping problems. However, these can be managed and simply be aware of these symptoms will help one prepare for them, instead of going in blind.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Self-Help Groups can treat the symptoms of post-acute withdrawal. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy identifies thoughts and behaviors that trigger the symptoms so the individual can recognize and prevent those triggers. Motivational Interviewing boosts their self-worth, which is necessary to keep them motivated to get through withdrawal. Self-Help Groups provide emotional support, so they do not have to face their struggles alone.
Asana Recovery offers a detox program with physician supervision. They provide evidence-based withdrawal symptom management and care with 24-hour monitoring. Medications are provided to ease the symptoms of withdrawal, and alternative treatments can be administered if desired. Contact Asana Recovery at 949-438-4504 to learn more about their treatment programs.