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What Goes on with Your Body When You Stop Substance Abuse?

When you stop using drugs, you undergo drug withdrawal. During this phase, you will be experiencing a number of symptoms. This is because you’ve stopped using the drugs or reduced your intake of it. The symptoms of withdrawal can vary depending on the type of drug you were using, how long you’ve been taking it, and how heavy you were using the substance. If you’re planning to stop your drug use and are wondering what goes on with your body when you stop substance abuse, read along. We’ll share with you pieces of information that can help you on your road to drug addiction recovery.

The symptoms of withdrawal may be dangerous as well as life-threatening. Therefore, it is important to know and remember that you shouldn’t attempt to stop drug use on your own especially if you’ve become addicted to the substance. Your best course of action would be to go to the best drug rehab facility in your area so you can have a safe and comfortable detox. The withdrawal symptoms you’ll be experiencing may also be more tolerable if you are in a rehab centre.

Related article: Can Online Recovery Programs Help with Drug Addiction?

What Goes on During Drug Withdrawal?

When a person becomes physically dependent on a particular substance, then their body will eventually adapt to the drug’s presence in their system. However, if drug use is stopped suddenly after a long time of using the substance, then the body may become seriously ill. It can produce a number of uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. This is the body trying to adapt to the drug’s absence in the system.

An example here is with opioids such as painkillers and heroin. These substances act on dopamine which is a neurotransmitter in the brain. It can create feelings of intense euphoria and happiness. When you use opioids for a long time, then the brain ceases to produce its own dopamine because it now relies on the opioids to get the desired effects. Therefore, when the use of opioids is stopped suddenly, depression and anxiety will be the strongest withdrawal symptoms that the addicted individual will feel.

What are Common Withdrawal Symptoms?

The symptoms of withdrawal can vary. The effects of detox will depend on the type of substance that you have a dependence on. For stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine, psychological symptoms are the usual effects. With heroin, prescription meds, and alcohol, you may experience both physical as well as psychological symptoms. You may experience withdrawal symptoms that may last from a number of days to weeks. Here are some of the common symptoms of withdrawal that you may experience:

  • Seizures
  • Delirium
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Dehydration
  • Changes in appetite
  • Increase in blood pressure and heart rate
  • Inability to focus and remember
  • Tremors
  • Muscle aches and tension
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Teary eyes and runny nose

If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure that you tell your healthcare provider about it so that you may be assisted properly on how you can deal with them. Also, do your best to prepare for the withdrawal symptoms. It will be a tough journey but with enough preparation, you will be able to overcome them successfully.

Related article: How to Prepare for Drug Withdrawal Symptoms?

What You Should Know About Drug Detox?

Alcohol and drug detox will be able to help you deal with withdrawal symptoms safely. Going through detox will ensure that there will be a reduced risk in terms of complications and other dangerous effects of withdrawal. For example, you may experience dehydration, seizures, and an increase in your blood pressure. These can be fatal if they are not dealt with properly in a medical environment.

With drug detox, you can undergo recovery from your dependence on drugs while you’re receiving proper medical supervision and care. In most cases, medications are used so that you’ll have some relief from the really bad withdrawal symptoms.

Among the most dangerous substances to withdraw from are benzodiazepines, alcohol, painkillers, and heroin. This is because of the way that these substances affect your body and how they interact with particular brain receptors. It is important that you seek assistance from a drug detox centre so that you can reduce the risks involved when it comes to getting rid of your drug use habits.

Can Drug Withdrawal be Prevented?

The truth about drug withdrawal is that it can be painful and scary. On top of that, when it is not managed properly, it can be life-threatening. But there is something that can be done to minimize the withdrawal symptoms. If you’re planning to stop using drugs, make sure that you go to the best drug detox facility in your area so that healthcare professionals can help you in every step of the way on your recovery journey.

When you’re in a detox centre, you’ll be given proper care and supervision so that you’ll have a safe detox from drugs. The symptoms you’ll experience will also be more tolerable. This is important because sometimes when the symptoms are just too much, you may just resort to going back to drug use so that you can ease the discomforts that you are feeling.

For individuals suffering from a painkiller and heroin addiction, medications are available during detox. Those meds can help relieve the cravings for the substance. Some of these meds are naltrexone, buprenorphine, and methadone. They are used for the treatment of opioid dependence and addiction. The meds may be prescribed as a part of your medication-assisted treatment. Also included in this type of treatment are counselling sessions and behavioural therapies.

People suffering from prescription meds addiction such as sleeping pills, amphetamine, and benzodiazepines can undergo a tapering schedule so that withdrawal can be avoided. With tapering, the physician will reduce the doses of the drugs. This will be done gradually for a certain period until such time that the individual no longer needs to use the meds. Medication management and tapering schedules are part of a drug detox program.

How to Manage Withdrawal Symptoms?

Anyone who has quit using drugs will always tell you how they feel a lot better now that they are no longer dependent on their substance of choice. This is very inspiring for you if you’re trying to quit drugs. But to be able to enjoy the benefits of a drug-free life, you will have to go through a challenging face during your recovery. Everyone who has been addicted to anything goes through withdrawal. Always remember that if they can do it, then you can as well.

There are many symptoms of withdrawal that people who are quitting drug use could experience. It can vary from case to case and other factors. Here are some of the more common symptoms and some tips on how you can manage them so that you can have a successful recovery from drug addiction.

How to Manage Depression?

Depression is among the symptoms that you may experience as you go through withdrawal. Depression is not just the kind of sadness that you feel on an average day. It is an intense feeling of isolation, hopelessness, and despair. Many recovering addicts may say that the depression they feel during withdrawal is the exact opposite of what they feel when they are high. You may feel unmotivated to do anything. Nothing excited you. You only think about going back to drug use so you can feel great again. But don’t; there’s a way to manage depression.

Whenever you feel that depression is creeping in, try to talk to someone. Go to your good friends and family and talk to them. It doesn’t have to be about anything serious. You can just enjoy some small talk and that may help you take your mind off of your depression. Also, if you’re open to them about how you’re feeling, you can describe the hopelessness you feel. You’ll be surprised at how supportive they will be to you.

It’s important that you don’t isolate yourself during the times that you feel depressed. Don’t let your thoughts get the better of you. Think about activities where you can go out and get some sun. Go walking or running around the neighbourhood. That will definitely help you feel better. For sure, you may not find the motivation to really do anything during this time but you have to try to fight off the depressive thoughts.

Remember that negative feelings and thoughts will not last for a long time. Always think about it as a challenge that you have to overcome, and it is something that you will definitely overcome. When you feel hopeless, write about how you feel and then write about what you think will make you feel better. Do you like reading or watching movies? Give yourself time for some entertainment. There are so many things that you can do; so, keep fighting!

How to Manage Anxiety?

Anxiety is not just feeling nervous; you feel like something very scary is going on and so many things are out of your control. Your heart rate and breathing can increase. Sometimes, you may not even catch your breath; you’ll feel like you’re having a heart attack. Anxiety is mentally and physically uncomfortable and exhausting. The mind plays so many surprising tricks on you. You’ll be having scary thoughts about so many things that are not real.

In managing anxiety, it is vital that you’re not alone so that you can be reminded that you’re safe and there’s nothing wrong going on in your immediate environment. It’s just your mind feeding your thoughts that make you feel paranoid. Going through this withdrawal symptom alone can be very frightening. That’s why inpatient rehab is still the best choice if you want to stop using drugs because, in the facility, you’ll be given ample supervision and care all the time.

How to Manage Fatigue?

Fatigue is another common symptom of withdrawal. Depression and anxiety can cause mental and emotional fatigue. Along with these, you’ll also feel physical exhaustion even if you’re not doing anything strenuous. The best way to deal with fatigue is to give your body time to rest. For some time during your detox, you’ll feel like you don’t know what to do because you no longer have the habit of using drugs. But take this time to rediscover the activities you once enjoyed before you started using drugs. That can definitely help you sleep better.

At the same time, make sure that you don’t overdo anything. For example, you may want to start working out. Start slowly and only do light exercises. That’s already enough and you can always adjust the difficulty and length of time in the next few weeks. What you should focus on is getting plenty of sleep and rest. Whenever you feel tired, go ahead and lie down. You may not be able to sleep but at least let your body relax. That will do wonders for your health.

It may also be a good time to practice some relaxation techniques. This can include breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga. You don’t need to be a spiritual person to practice these exercises. It’s more about emptying your mind from the worries and other thoughts that are causing you to be depressed and anxious. It helps you to control your thoughts so that you won’t be overwhelmed by them. Try them out; they may work well for you.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the things that you need to know when you will be going through drug detox. The withdrawal symptoms can be tough and scary but don’t let that stop you from your goal of becoming sober. Always remind yourself that it’s just part of the process and the negative feelings won’t last forever. You will reach that goal in time. Make sure that you go to the best drug addiction treatment facility so you can get the care and supervision that you need during your detox and recovery.

Related article: Addiction Counselling Therapy