Quitting a drug or alcohol seems like it’s just a matter of stopping. To many non-addicts, it does appear this simple. But anyone who has suffered this condition knows that it isn’t that easy. There are many factors that make quitting an addictive substance difficult and, in some cases, even dangerous for you.
The Results of Chemical Dependence:
Continuous use of alcohol and drugs can interfere with your brain’s reward and motivation centers, leading to dependence and serious cravings. Before long, you’re hooked and the reality of your physical addiction finally sets in. As soon as this occurs, the symptoms begin once you try to remove the substance.
The Most Common Symptoms of Withdrawal:
The specific symptoms experienced during withdrawal depend on the length of use, methods for taking the substance, and the specific substance involved. Someone who, for instance, has been injecting heroin in large amounts for years in a row is going to experience stronger symptoms for longer than someone who has only tried it sparingly.
The following are some of the more commonly abused substances and the symptoms that are caused by withdrawal from them:
Flu-like Symptoms: While going through withdrawal of heroin and prescription painkillers, the withdrawal symptoms feel a lot like the typical flu, including body aches, shivers, and sweating. Withdrawal from alcohol can also involve similar symptoms for some people.
Depression: Many drug withdrawal periods include a depressed state of mind. This is especially true of cocaine, with which restlessness and depression can last for up to 10 days. This type of issue can make quitting seem pointless or life without drugs hopeless.
Anxiety: Anxiety is a common withdrawal symptom for many drugs including opiates, benzodiazepines, and alcohol. This symptom can last anywhere from a few days up to months, depending on the substance. As a user of an addictive substance, you may already have underlying anxiety issues that need treatment.
Irritability: When you go through withdrawals after being addicted to drugs or alcohol, it takes a while to get used to feeling happy sober again, so initially you will feel very irritable. Many are tempted to use again at this stage, so this is where help from an addiction treatment facility can be of real value.
Sleeplessness: Sleep is hard to come by when your system is suffering withdrawal from drugs (such as heroin and meth) or alcohol. When you’re used to taking something to calm down, and that crutch is no longer there, sleep is far more difficult, especially without the assistance of licensed professionals at a rehab facility.
Many drugs or substances have all of these symptoms during the withdrawal period, which can scare users immensely when they think about quitting. Maybe you, as an addict, also feel as though your substance of choice is the happiest feeling you can possibly attain.
Here’s a visually presented summary of the withdrawal symptoms:
Changes in the Brain
Alcohol and addictive drugs change how your brain regulates mood and processes emotions. A lot of these changes flood the brain with neurotransmitters, such as serotonin or dopamine, which cause a feeling of artificial pleasure. As an addict, these chemical changes in the brain can bring relief to your psychological or emotional pain.
You might feel as though there is no higher feeling than this, but many recovered addicts can attest to the fact that that is a myth. Recovery is possible, and looking into Sacramento rehab centers can help you realize that.
Rehab Helps you with Specifics:
Since different substances have varying symptoms and withdrawal timelines, and every drug user has different underlying reasons for using, it’s important that treatment is tailored to the individual. If you are a poly-drug user or are suffering mental health conditions in addition to your addiction, this is even more important.
Here are some benefits to choosing to go to rehab instead of quitting on your own:
Medical Detox: Sacramento rehab centers offer substance abuse treatment, inpatient, or residential care for this stage of getting clean. Detoxing under the care of professionals is the smoothest (and most safe and comfortable) possible way to get off addictive substances or alcohol.
Tapering or Controlling Withdrawal: Depending on the substance, medical professionals at your Sacramento drug rehabilitation center may choose to use longer acting substances to control withdrawal. They may also use mood stabilizers to treat psychological issues while detoxing.
Peace of Mind: Many addicts even put off quitting out of fear of these symptoms, so having a trained professional to assist you and tailor the program to your needs is ideal. They will assess your emotional and physical symptoms in order to personalize care that will lead to an effective treatment plan.
As you can see, it’s much more comfortable (not to mention safer) to go through the detox period with professionals who know what they’re doing.