According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, about 20 million Americans, including those aged 12-18, have used drugs in the past 30 days. This is about 20 percent of the population. Drug addiction and alcoholism cost more than $190 billion in the United States and impact entire neighborhoods by adding to crime and homelessness.
Drug use can lead to memory problems, loss of motivation, impaired judgment, a poor immune system, disease, overdose, or even death. Many people worry about getting treatment because they fear the withdrawal process but knowing what to expect from the process can help to diminish fears and lead people on the path to recovery.
Why Withdrawal Occurs
When you take drugs or alcohol in large amounts and on a regular basis, they suppress the neurotransmitters that your brain produces, including noradrenaline. When you quit drinking or taking drugs, the brain surges back to life, producing more adrenaline than you’re used to, which causes the symptoms of withdrawal.
Depending on what substance you are addicted to, the symptoms can be physical, mental, or both, and some substances, such as alcohol and opiates, have more severe physical withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, it is recommended to quit using alcohol or some drugs by tapering off your use and being under medical supervision. Other drugs, such as marijuana or cocaine, do not have serious physical withdrawal symptoms but may cause severe mental and emotional ones.
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
Physical symptoms of withdrawal affect the head, chest, heart, gastrointestinal tract, muscles and skin. The most common physical symptoms include headaches, sweating and tingling, muscle problems such as twitches, shakes, aches, and tension, and nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some people may experience dizziness, tightness in the chest and problems taking a full breath, or a racing heart.
Because alcohol, opiates, and tranquilizers are especially dangerous to quit “cold turkey,” it is important to research Port Saint Lucie drug detox and do so under supervision. Unsupervised detox from these substances could lead to very serious complications, including hallucinations, grand mal seizures, stroke, heart attack, and even death.
Mental and Emotional Withdrawal Symptoms
For most people, the hardest part of detox is the emotional withdrawal symptoms, which affect cognitive health, sleep patterns, anxiety, and depression. The most common symptoms include feeling restless and irritable, having insomnia or sleeping much more than normal, and having trouble concentrating or remembering things. Some people also eat less or more than normal, feel a lack of enjoyment, isolate themselves socially, and have panic attacks.
How Long Withdrawal Lasts
Withdrawal is divided into two stages: acute and post-acute. The first stage is the acute stage, which typically lasts a few weeks. This is when people are most likely to experience physical withdrawal symptoms. The second stage is known as Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, which is when you are more likely to develop psychological symptoms of withdrawal. This stage lasts about two years and involves periods when you feel fine, dotted with hours or days at a time where you experience symptoms. During this time, you’ll need to be patient, practice self-care, and avoid triggers that might cause you to relapse.
How To Find Help
The best way to find help is to find a qualified drug and alcohol detox program such as those available at Just Believe Recovery Center. These programs are supervised by qualified professionals who can help you through the physical and emotional symptoms of withdrawal and set you on the path to recovery.
Remember, overcoming addiction and getting your life back on track is a marathon, not a sprint. Many people do not succeed the first, second, or even third times that they try to overcome their addictions. Be kind to yourself and keep trying. With the right mindset and a qualified detox program, you can overcome addiction to become a happier and healthier individual.