When talking about withdrawal it’s not always easy to pinpoint exactly what to expect as many symptoms, reactions, and timelines will depend on the type of drug and your biological make-up. However, some common factors may occur that can give you an idea of what it is like and how the process will go.
Some of the common symptoms of withdrawal include nervousness, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, lethargy, irritations, and depressed mood. Working with a treatment center is usually a good idea to cope with these symptoms. Some symptoms can become dangerous and a treatment center will help give you the medical attention that’s needed. Many individuals who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms will experience cravings. These cravings come from a physical or mental point of having become dependent on a drug. An important thing to remember is that cravings are normal during this type of process and they will go away eventually. Different people will experience cravings in different ways. Some may be able to ignore it, while others may need to work on strategies to ignore temptations.
The timeline for withdrawal symptoms will differ depending on the individual and the type of drug that is causing the symptoms. There are two phases to withdrawal symptoms called acute withdrawal and protracted withdrawal. Acute symptoms are the ones that appear initially and deal with physical dependence on a drug. An article by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) lists the following timeframe for acute withdrawal symptoms.
After the acute symptoms end, protracted withdrawal symptoms will begin. These are the symptoms that deal with psychological dependence and a behavioral therapy program will be helpful in recreating thought patterns and behavioral patterns that were developed when using drugs.
Some people may attempt to go through withdrawal without medical help for various reasons. Some do not know where to go, don’t know what resources are available, or they fear discrimination. It is important to remember while there may be success stories from people who went through it alone, it may not be the best option for everyone, and treatment programs can do a lot of good. Withdrawal symptoms have the potential to be dangerous and can cause major health concerns. This is why you should consider going to a treatment center so you can get the proper care and rehabilitation. It’s important that you know you don’t have to go through this alone. If you’re unsure where to start you can contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline for information about what the first steps to recovery are and what resources are available in your area.
There are different types of treatment options available for recovery from substance use disorders. Treatment centers are often the best place to start as they can help guide you through the process and provide ways to cope with withdrawal symptoms. There are both residential and outpatient programs and the best fit will depend on the individual. Residential programs involve staying at a treatment center where you can remain in a completely sober environment away from temptations. Outpatient programs allow you to be home at night so you can still see your family. There are also medication-assisted programs that will be able to provide medications that can relieve some symptoms. Depending on the drug that is causing symptoms and your medical history this may or may not be an option. Speaking to a medical professional will help assist you on which option will be the best fit for your needs.
Acamprosate doesn’t decrease alcohol withdrawal symptoms, but it does affect the brain in ways that decrease the urge to drink. Acamprosate has been used by over 1.5 million patients and has shown overall positive results in managing compulsions while experiencing alcohol withdrawal.
Disulfiram is another medication that is used for treating alcohol withdrawal. While it doesn’t help manage the symptoms, it does help as a deterrent to drinking. When Disulfiram is being taken it affects the body’s chemistry so when alcohol is consumed, it causes the individual to feel ill and not want to continue drinking. This has shown to have positive results in redirecting behavior patterns during treatment.
Clonidine is a medication used to treat anxiety and stress levels which can seem overbearing while experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Clonidine does this by lowering the heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels to calm someone down, which can do a lot of good to address the symptoms.
Paroxetine is an antidepressant that has had mixed results in treating meth withdrawal. It has been shown in some studies that it does reduce cravings that are caused by stopping meth use.
Clonazepam is a long-lasting Benzodiazepine that is less addictive than Xanax, It can help reduce cravings.
Diazepam is similar to Clonazepam in that it is a long-lasting Benzo that can help reduce cravings from Benzo withdrawal or during Xanax treatment. This can also help manage things such as Xanax withdrawal symptoms, as it will lower the anxiety and stress that would be caused by going off the drug cold turkey.
The process of recovery from alcohol or drug dependence and going through drug withdrawal symptoms isn’t easy, but you don’t have to go it alone. There are resources available and you can get through this. If you’re struggling to figure out what your first step should be you can contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline for information about what the first steps to recovery are and what resources are available in your area.
If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at
(888) 744-9969 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.