Drug abuse is often the beginning of a process that ends with physiological dependence. This is particularly true for people who consume large amounts of addictive substances on a regular basis. When trying to stop using these drugs, they are typically at risk of developing severe withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawals are definitely considered uncomfortable—even painful. But more, they can actually be life threatening. It is crucial that anyone looking to find recovery from drugs or alcohol to find a professional addiction treatment center to monitor their movement away from drugs or alcohol.
What Are Withdrawal Symptoms and Why Do They Occur?
When a person regularly consumes an addictive substance, they are offering their body chemicals that their body should be responsible for. As this continues, their body slows the production and becomes dependent on the outside source.
Withdrawal from drugs refers to the range of physical and psychological symptoms that occur when a person who has developed a physical dependence on a drug abruptly stops using or significantly reduces their use of the drug.
When they suddenly stop or sharply reduce consumption, withdrawal symptoms are a response to the drop in the amounts (or total absence of) the drug in their bloodstream. This is basically what happens in a drug or alcohol detox center.
Who Experiences Withdrawal Symptoms?
Withdrawal can occur in anyone who has developed a physical or psychological dependence on a drug. Physical dependence occurs when the body adapts to the presence of a drug and requires the drug to function normally. Psychological dependence, on the other hand, is a strong desire or craving for a drug, often driven by the pleasure or relief the drug provides.
Many drugs can lead to dependence, including opioids, benzodiazepines, alcohol, nicotine, and stimulants. People who use these drugs regularly and for extended periods are at increased risk of developing dependence and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop using or reduce their drug intake.
Drug Withdrawal Timelines
The typical, initial detoxification at EagleCrest Recovery is 7-10 days. However, depending on a variety of factors, it could take weeks or even months to fully be rid of all withdrawal symptoms. Here are some examples.
Withdrawal Symptoms: Alcohol
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms could start after a few hours and might last for 72 hours. The symptoms tend to gradually increase for the first 1-4 days but they decrease for each day after that. Delirium tremens, which is unique to alcohol and the most severe withdrawals, can cause shaking and hallucinations, usually last 2-3 days but can continue as long as 8 days.
- Hand tremors
- Increased blood pressure
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rapid heart rate
Withdrawal Symptoms: Drugs
There are many types of drugs and each one will have its own version of withdrawals. However, there are some fairly consistent ones you can expect to experience if you are looking to rid your body of a substance.
Opioid withdrawal (or heroin withdrawals) symptoms can start as quickly as 8 hours after use but could last for up to 10 days.
Longer-acting opioids like the Benzodiazepines found in Valium and Xanax may cause withdrawal symptoms within a day – but in severe cases, they can cause protracted withdrawal symptoms that last for years.
Common Drug Withdrawal Symptoms
- Achy or tense muscles
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Increased sensitivity to light, smells, and sounds
- Rapid pulse
Medication Assisted Detox
A professional detox center in Arkansas that can offer medication assisted treatment (MAT) can also offer certain medications that will alleviate some of the pain of detox and also help with cravings. This is a vital aspect of detoxification as it allows clients to focus on recovery instead of the discomfort they are experiencing.
These may include Methodone, Naltrexone, and Vivitrol. Each of these have their benefits in weaning individuals off dependence in a safe and effective way.
EagleCrest recovery is an accredited addiction treatment facility able to offer medication assisted treatment.
Getting Help With Addiction Withdrawals
People with a substance use disorder will need a medical detox program where withdrawal symptoms can be safely managed with the lowest likelihood of negative consequences. If you have come to the realization that you need assistance with your substance use disorder, contact us today. We can help.