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Managing Withdrawal Symptoms

If you’re approaching detox or are already making your way through it, knowledge is your most valuable asset. You’ll want to be as informed as possible so that you can make sure to get the correct form of care. Certain methods have been proven to be especially effective, while others should be avoided due to risk and lack of evidence. Depending on your body, the substance in question, and the relationship between them, you may be best served by medical detox programs and professional supervision. It’s always safer to have access to resources and not need them than need them and not have them.

What Should I Expect During Withdrawal?

While withdrawal is unique for each person, specific symptoms are more common. Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abrupt weight loss or gain
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia and restlessness
  • Nightmares
  • Constant fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Hopelessness or altered self-perception
  • High blood pressure and elevated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Tremors and seizures
  • Paranoia and delusion
  • Hallucinations

Depending on the intensity of your addiction, some of these symptoms may progress to dangerous and even life-threatening levels. Even if you think of yourself as a healthy, robust person, don’t make the mistake of underestimating the power of the chemical changes that substance use can cause. Withdrawal symptoms can first appear as soon as hours after last use and may linger for hours, days, or weeks throughout and after the process of detox. Certain substances tend to have a second stage of withdrawal symptoms known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). Without treatment, PAWS can linger for months or longer, making it even more important to have access to consistent professional care as you navigate recovery.

Medical Detox and Withdrawal

One of the most significant benefits of undergoing detox in the care of a medical facility is that they can supply medication and services designed to mitigate the effects of withdrawal. You’ll be in the hands of expert staff who are prepared to treat you during acute withdrawal and help you make it through any prolonged post-acute withdrawal symptoms you may face. Between medical care and constant supervision, a specialized detox facility is likely the safest and most helpful option for a successful transition into the rest of your recovery. 

Still, medication may not be enough to bring you through detox and withdrawal unscathed on its own; evidence shows that medical detox works best when paired with psychosocial treatment. No amount of inner fortitude can replace the human benefits that a medical detox facility can offer. Because of how substance use can alter your mind, an external source of guidance can provide the certainty that you’re making progress even during the worst moments of withdrawal. Having the emotional support and assurance of a compassionate staff can make a significant difference in your ability to make it through with confidence and approach the next chapter of your life.

After you make it through detox and acute withdrawal, you may go on to experience lingering post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Part of a comprehensive detox and treatment program will include continuing care to manage these symptoms as you return to your regular life. Ongoing check-ins and treatment on an as-needed comprise a vital part of the later stages of recovery. When you begin your course of recovery at a medical detox center, you’ll form relationships with professionals who will be there for you throughout your ongoing process of overcoming addiction.

Rapid Detox

“Rapid detox” is a form of treatment offered by some practitioners who claim to be able to accelerate the unpleasant process of detox through the use of anesthesia, allowing you to effectively rid your body of toxins as you sleep. While this may sound tempting, the process has a welldocumented history of severe risk, unreliability, and unproven accuracy. When it comes to your long-term health, it’s in your best interest to be thorough and face your problems head-on. Rapid detox tends to prey on the escapist mentality that can haunt anyone struggling with such serious challenges. Just remember: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Don’t Stay Home

Whatever your circumstances, don’t turn a blind eye to the potential dangers of withdrawal. Some drugs can cause highly intense withdrawal symptoms even after small amounts of use, and some can lead to prolonged periods of discomfort and illness even if you’ve gone sober in the past. While staying home and toughing it out may sound appealing, no amount of complication or interruption to your daily life is worth the serious risks that you face when attempting to detox alone. For accurate guidance on your specific circumstances, reach out to professional recovery resources. Recovery is an individual undertaking, and most facilities will want to work with you to find a path to wellness that meets your needs.

Because of the long list of unpleasant and potentially dangerous physical and mental symptoms, detox and withdrawal pose some of the largest deterrents for people looking to overcome an addiction. To maximize your safety and comfort throughout this crucial first phase of your recovery, the most useful decision you can make is to avoid going through detox and withdrawal alone. At Cornerstone Healing Center, we provide a wide range of treatments designed to support you at every step of your healing process. From inpatient to post-treatment continuing care, you’ll have access to our complete continuum of recovery services at our safe, supportive facility in Scottsdale, Arizona. Withdrawal can be a prolonged process that gives rise to complications in other areas of your life. Having professional, sympathetic supervision can ease your journey through addiction and get you back on the path to lasting wellness and fulfillment. Call (800) 643-2108 to learn more.

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