Easing Your Way Through Withdrawal and Detox
First of all, congratulations on making the decision to take care of yourself and get sober. It is not going to be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. Also, depending on the severity of your addiction, the length of time you have been dependent, and the substance you are addicted to, it can be emotionally and physically painful. This is what makes detoxification so important.
Detoxification is normally the first step of treatment an addict will receive on their road to recovery and sobriety. The best thing you can do before entering treatment is to prepare yourself for what the detox process will be like. It’s also important to learn more about how to ease any potential withdrawal symptoms you may develop.
The Detox Process
Part of most drug treatment programs, the detox process flushes the body of any substances that have created a dependency. The length of detox can differ per person based on the length and type of addiction and each client’s personalized drug treatment program.
The process of detoxification is vital, especially for those dealing with long-term addiction. To ensure the safety of every client, Daylight Recovery Services’ drug detox program offers round-the-clock monitoring throughout the withdrawal process. This program typically lasts between 5 and 7 days and includes the use of suitable medications throughout the program.
Tips on Working Through Withdrawal
Although there is no way to completely prevent withdrawal symptoms, there are some things you can do to ease the common side effects of a mild to moderate withdrawal. These may help you feel more comfortable during the process.
This may be the most important thing you can do to ease painful symptoms. During detox, it can be difficult for your body to hold fluids. So, drinking broth, water, or any other type of healthy liquid, like electrolyte-packed Gatorade or coconut water, is important for maintaining your health and overall strength.
Use Safe Medication
While in a detox facility, you may receive prescriptions for various medications for your withdrawal symptom pain. These medications can help prevent vomiting and diarrhea from happening as frequently.
Try Herbal Or Complementary Medication
Complementary medicine may help reduce or ease withdrawal symptoms for some people. Acupuncture can potentially reduce symptoms when combined with certain medications. Also, herbal medicines, like ginseng, Tai-Kang-Ning can be effective at managing overall withdrawal symptoms.
Eat A Nutrient-Rich Diet
Nutritional deficiencies are common in addiction. Those recovering from alcohol addiction are normally lacking folic acid, calcium, and iron, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and C.
When you misuse or abuse a stimulant, like cocaine or methamphetamines, you will likely experience nutritional deficiencies related to protein and omega-3. Those who suffer from opiate addictions tend to experience constipation and digestive issues, so a high-fiber diet is important.
It’s important to remember that, when detoxing from an addictive substance, you should be eating a nutrient-packed diet. But what exactly does that include?
- Proteins. Tuna, turkey, and chicken are great sources of vitamin B6. Poultry and pork provide iron. And fish is an excellent source of calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Dark Green Vegetables. Try to stick to leafy vegetables like romaine, spinach, kale, and other salad greens that contain folic acid, beta-carotene, and vitamin B6.
- Dairy. For calcium and vitamin A, look to whole milk, butter, and cheese. Yogurt is also great for vitamin B2 and promoting good digestive health.
- Fruits. Load up on papayas, oranges, strawberries, and pineapple. They all are extremely high in vitamin C and other vital vitamins.
- Carbs. Complex carbohydrates help the body with digestion and overall energy. Look for potatoes, rice, beans, and whole-grain bread to get the most benefit for your buck.
Eating fried, fatty, or sugary foods may make you feel worse.
Utilize A Heating Pad
While it may seem simple, a heating pad can help with aches and pains that are common when it comes to withdrawal. Keeping the body warm can relax and soothe the body during the detoxification process.
When going through withdrawal, you may also experience excessive sweating. Make sure that you have light blankets, a fan, and extra sheets on-hand so you stay cool and comfortable.
Find Ways to Keep Busy
Activities can serve as a nice distraction as you go through the detoxification process. Get outdoors, exercise, try your hand at yoga, watch a movie, or read a book. If you’re in a residential treatment facility, there are pastimes and diversions you can focus on to pass the time.
What’s Your Addiction? Things You Should Know About Withdrawal
The process of detoxification can be a difficult one for any addict. Those going through the process should keep in mind that, while the symptoms can be painful, they are temporary. These are typically the most serious and most common addictions and encompass the most dangerous symptoms:
Recognizing the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can include:
- Shaky hands
- Nausea and vomiting
More severe symptoms can include:
- Hallucinations (about 12 to 24 hours after the last drink) to:
- Seizures (within the first 2 days after you stop)
- High blood pressure
- Heavy sweating
You may need anti-seizure medications, antipsychotics, and any other drugs as needed to help you. This is why it so important to have medical personnel monitor and guide you during this process.
Identifying the Symptoms of Opiate and Opioid withdrawal
Symptoms of opiate and opioid withdrawal usually begin in the first 24 hours after you stop using the drug and include:
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
- Excessive sweating
- Frequent yawning
More intense symptoms may appear after the first day and include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dilated pupils and possibly blurry vision
Symptoms usually begin to subside within 72 hours. Severe symptoms may require hospitalization and the use of medications. Common medications for opiate/opioid withdrawal are Suboxone and Clonidine. Methadone may be prescribed for long-term maintenance.
Some people may experience symptoms not listed here. That’s another reason why you need to be working closely with a medical provider.
Some Symptoms of Stimulant Withdrawal
Symptoms of stimulant (cocaine, crack, and methamphetamine) withdrawal syndrome may include the following physical and psychological symptoms:
- Intense cravings
- Muscle aches
- Excessive sweating
- Extreme hunger or nausea
- Elevated heart rate and rapid breathing
- Major depression
- Persistent psychosis
- Memory problems
- Inability to focus
- Mood swings
Depending on the stimulant a person uses, withdrawal may begin within as little as an hour after the last dose. Withdrawal symptoms will typically begin to subside over the course of the next week to 10 days.
Since people who abuse stimulants often binge on the drugs until exhausted or their supply is gone, they tend to have poor physical health. This is related to an unhealthy diet, sleep, and hygiene. Many psychological and physical deficits are associated with stimulant use and add to the unpredictability of withdrawal symptoms.
Severe symptoms include:
- Cardiac arrest
- Bleeding in the brain
Understanding the Symptoms of Marijuana Withdrawal
Marijuana withdrawal symptoms are relatively mild when compared to other drugs. However, sometimes they are uncomfortable enough that the individual goes back to using the drug again. Although not the most painful physically, withdrawal from a severe marijuana addiction may cause psychosis.
As previously mentioned there are drugs that can be used to manage specific withdrawal symptoms. They include:
- Anti-anxiety medication
- Drugs meant to treat nausea or sleep problems
While some may experience these symptoms in waves, others may feel them consistently and/or aggressively. These side effects can be exhausting, but over time will lessen and eventually subside.
You Can Make the Call Today
You know the severity of your addiction. And now you know the detox and withdrawal process ahead of you. Now that you have the necessary information, it’s time to make the decision to move past addiction in your life.
You should also realize that detox is the first step to recovery, not the last. A study by Johns Hopkins University found that the relapse rate after detox alone is 65-80%. Patients who continued with treatment were 10 times more likely to stay drug-free.
The amount of time spent in treatment is also important. There is a relationship between the length of time in treatment and the rate of relapse. Continuing treatment can help you beat the odds of relapsing.
Let Daylight Recovery Services Help You!
You don’t have to go through withdrawal and detox alone. Please contact us here at Daylight Recovery Services for your next step to long-term recovery. By continuing care with us you can beat the odds. We have treatment programs that can be developed specifically for your needs, wherever you are in the recovery process.
Our goal is to help addicts and their loved ones recover from the disease of addiction. Our addiction specialists and medical professionals can help you from the first step of detox to understanding yourself and your addiction. Have a question or need more information? Feel free to reach out to our experienced staff today.