The first point of action for any recovery plan for an addict is detoxing the body from the substances that have been abused. One of the typical symptoms of addiction includes using a substance in order to stave off the effects of withdrawal. Thus, it serves as a practical explanation that the withdrawal experience is worrisome enough to cause a lot of addicts to never even broach the subject of getting help, much less seek it out. In fact, only 2.5 million of the 23.1 million people who needed help for their substance abuse in 2012 actually got it, per the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that there were 17 million people with alcohol use disorders in America as of 2012. A lasting disease that impacts the user and those connected to them, alcoholism rips families apart, destroys careers, and claims lives with each passing year. In addition, drug abuse and addiction affects millions of individuals, with drugs of abuse ranging from prescription painkillers and stimulants to street drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, and marijuana.
What Is Withdrawal?
As soon as a substance begins to wear off, users know they have a limited amount of time before they must use again or face the effects of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms vary from one substance to another, and their severity varies according to the length of time the drug has been abused, as well as the average dosage level. Withdrawal symptoms are often more intense when detox is attempted at home, without medical supervision, as medical professionals can prescribe medications and treatments that can help to mitigate these symptoms.
In 2012, 335,000 Americans admitted to using heroin in the preceding month, the United States Department of Health and Human Services reports.
Heroin and prescription opioid pain reliever addicts can expect withdrawal symptoms like:
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle pain
- Cramping and diarrhea
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Vivid nightmares
Those dependent on amphetamines are likely to endure:
- Extreme drowsiness and excessive sleeping
- Volatile mood swings
- Irritable mood
Alcohol addicts often suffer through withdrawal symptoms like:
How Detox Can Be Managed
In order to get clean, addicts have to go through withdrawal, but it doesn’t have to be a torturous or painful experience. Medicated detox means that withdrawal symptoms can be managed, making detox more comfortable for the recovering addict. Since detox from certain drugs, such as heroin, prescription painkillers, and alcohol, can be dangerous and even life-threatening, it’s imperative that the process is supervised by medical professionals. Do not attempt an at-home detox as serious health complications could occur.
With proper medical care and supervision, detox can be effectively managed, and you can then begin the more intensive portion of recovery – therapy and treatment to address the underlying reasons behind your substance abuse. If you’re ready to take that first step on your journey to sustained recovery, contact us today. We are here 24 hours a day to take your call and to answer any questions you may have about detox and the recovery process.