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What Is Drug Withdrawal Detox?

Read on to learn about what drug withdrawal is, along with how it works and why it’s important to detox from drugs until medical supervision.

Why Does Withdrawal Occur?

Withdrawal symptoms can occur when a person suddenly stops taking a drug or dramatically reduces their usage of it. Drug withdrawal occurs because the body has become used to the presence of the drug and is now not able to function properly without it.1

There are many different symptoms of withdrawal, and they differ from person to person depending on the type of drug that was taken, how frequently one used it, and individual genetics. Some of the most common symptoms will be detailed below.

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Muscle Pain or Aches

One of the first stages for withdrawal manifests in muscle aches and pains. This is the body’s way of telling you that it needs drugs back in its system for it to function “normally.”

Fatigue

Addiction withdrawal also comes with feelings of fatigue. It will be hard to concentrate on anything or even get out of bed in the morning.

Sweating

When you detox from drugs, you may also find yourself sweating more than usual. This is the body’s way of getting rid of toxins.

Depression and Anxiety

Depression is among the most common drug withdrawal symptoms because the body is no longer getting the dopamine it’s used to. This can lead to suicidal thoughts in severe cases. Other drug addiction withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, can be so severe that they mimic a panic attack.

Nausea and Vomiting

Withdrawing from drugs can elicit physical withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea. If nausea gets too severe, it may lead to vomiting. This is often seen in heroin withdrawal symptoms.

Confusion

When you detox from drugs, it can cause confusion and disorientation. This is because drug use alters the brain’s chemistry.

Insomnia

Other withdrawal side effects include insomnia and other troubles with sleeping, like vivid dreams.

Seizures

Severe withdrawal symptoms can also include seizures. This is especially common in alcohol withdrawal detox or substance abuse withdrawal from Xanax.

Dilated Pupils

Dilated pupils are another common drug withdrawal symptom. This is caused by the drug no longer being present in the body to stimulate the nervous system.

What Determines Drug Withdrawal Symptoms?

There are many different factors that can impact drug withdrawal symptoms in the body. They include:
  • Type of Drug: Drug withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the type of drug the body is used to receiving. For example, opiate withdrawal symptoms will be different from alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  • Length of Time of Abuse: Getting off prescription drugs can be more difficult the longer you’ve been taking them. This is because the body becomes more dependent on the drug over time.
  • Method of Usage:Withdrawing from drugs can also be different depending on how you’ve been taking them. For example, withdrawal from smoking cocaine will be different from withdrawal from snorting cocaine.
  • Dosage Size:The larger the dosage, the more difficult drug withdrawal can be. This is because the body becomes more dependent on the drug at higher doses.
  • Family History: Withdrawal symptoms can also be influenced by family history. This is because some people are more prone to addiction than others.
  • Other Medical or Mental Health Factors:Other factors, such as other medical or mental health conditions, can also influence drug withdrawal symptoms.

Can Withdrawal Be Lethal?

Drug detox symptoms can be uncomfortable, but they are rarely deadly. However, in some cases, drug withdrawal can be life-threatening, especially when it’s not done under medical supervision. This is usually only seen in cases of severe drug addiction.
Alcohol withdrawal, for example, can be deadly if not done under medical supervision. This is because alcohol withdrawal can lead to delirium tremens, which is a potentially fatal condition. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can also be deadly if not done under medical supervision. Thus, medication for withdrawal is sometimes needed to ensure the health and safety of the patient going through withdrawal.

Types of Drug Withdrawal

There are different types of withdrawal depending on what drug the body is ridding itself of. It is important to know the types of drug withdrawal, as well as any relevant accompanying symptoms, in order to best identify drug addiction and administer effective treatment.
The various types of drug withdrawal will be detailed below.

Heroin

When a user chooses to withdraw from drugs like heroin, they will experience drug withdrawal symptoms, such as:2

Alcohol

Going through withdrawal from alcohol can cause mental and physical withdrawal symptoms, such as:

Cocaine

Someone suffering withdrawal symptoms from cocaine use may experience the following:

Marijuana

Drug detox symptoms from marijuana may result in:

Why Is Drug Detox Important for Withdrawal?

Drug detoxing is an integral step in the withdrawal process. It’s truly what starts the process itself and helps to rid the body of toxins. However, it’s not always a pleasant experience, and in order to mitigate symptoms, here are some things you can do:

Start with a Lower Dose

If you’re starting a new drug, it’s always best to start with a lower dose. This will help your body get used to the drug and reduce the chance of withdrawal.

Gradually Increase the Dose

If you’re increasing your dose of a drug, do so gradually. This will help your body get used to the new dose and reduce the chance of withdrawal.

Don’t Stop Abruptly

If you’re going to stop taking a drug, don’t do so abruptly. This can cause drug withdrawal symptoms. Instead, slowly taper off the drug over time.3

Get Help from a Medical Professional

If you’re worried about drug withdrawal, it’s always best to get help from a medical professional. They can help you taper off the drug safely and reduce the chance of withdrawal.

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What Are the Types of Drug Addiction Treatment Programs?

There are many different programs available for drug addiction treatment. They include:

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs are typically less intense than inpatient treatment programs. They can be a good option for people who have a mild drug addiction and a strong support system at home.

Intensive Outpatient

Intensive outpatient treatment programs are typically more intense than outpatient treatment programs. Patients who have a moderate drug addiction and a strong support system at home are better fits for this type of program.

Partial Hospitalization

Partial hospitalization programs are typically more intense than outpatient and intensive outpatient treatment programs, and typically involve more medication and counseling.

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment programs are the most intense type of drug addiction treatment program. They’re typically best for people who have a severe substance abuse disorder and need constant care.4

Medically Managed Inpatient Drug Treatment

Medically managed inpatient drug treatment programs are the most intense type of drug addiction treatment program. They’re typically best for people who have a severe drug addiction and are suffering from the psychological effects of drug withdrawal.
Some common drug withdrawal medications that may be prescribed to you include:

Get Help For Drug Withdrawal at Alta Centers

Alta Centers is a drug detox and withdrawal treatment center in Los Angeles, California. We offer a variety of drug detox and withdrawal treatment programs to fit your needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn more about our programs and how we can help you.

Questions About Treatment?

Our knowledgeable team is ready to discuss your situation and options. Your call is confidential with no obligation required.

What is an Intervention?

In a situation involving substance use disorder, planning an intervention may be the best, and safest, option to help someone who is living with an addiction. So, what does intervention mean? An intervention is a strategically planned process of confronting the person who is living with addiction about the consequences of their actions while simultaneously encouraging them to accept help and treatment for their addiction.1

The key feature of an intercession is that while it can be an immensely helpful option in convincing a person that they should seek treatment, it should not be done solely by friends and family members. Without the aid of a specialist, or someone who is equally trained in the process of interventions, an intervention may do more harm than good.

An intervention specialist is someone that has been professionally trained in helping people break free from their addictions. They can help a person without judgment, emotions, or blame to understand how their actions are negatively impacting themselves and those that they care about.

When performed properly, without judgment or pressure, and with the aid of a qualified intercession specialist, 80-90% of substance use interventions are successful in convincing the patient to seek help.

Early Intervention

Treatment is more effective the earlier that it begins for an alcohol or drug abuse disorder. As with any other health condition, early intervention and treatment can prevent more significant problems further on in life.

Unfortunately, in many cases, an alcohol addiction intervention or a drug abuse intercession does not take place until most other options have been exhausted. It can be difficult for those struggling with a substance use disorder to realize or admit that they need help.

It often takes a life-altering event, such as a divorce, loss of employment, or a housing crisis for a person to be willing to seek treatment. Because early
alcohol and drug intercession can be so beneficial, first responders must be able to recognize the symptoms of substance abuse.3

What is a Nursing Intervention?

Nursing interventions are often the first time a patient will experience care for their disorder. It takes place when someone enters a care facility such as a clinic or hospital for a condition that may or may not be caused or exacerbated by their substance use disorder.

After initial evaluation and stabilization, a nurse will take action to help their patient by suggesting healthy physical or emotional coping mechanisms for a patient that wants to quit using the substance that they are addicted to. The nurse will also be able to offer education and information to the patient about other treatment facilities or care providers that can help them on their road to recovery.

Alcohol Intervention

A Further Look at Interventions

Nearly 50% of adults in America regularly drink alcohol, and it is believed that as many as 25% of those Americans have an alcohol addiction, most commonly in the form of binge drinking. In many situations, once a person with an alcohol use disorder realizes the way that alcohol is negatively impacting their life, they can reduce the amount that they drink, or even quit entirely, without outside assistance.

However, some people that have an alcohol use disorder are unable to see how their addiction is negatively affecting them. In this situation, an alcohol use intercession can be extremely beneficial. Some of the benefits of interventions include:

Drug Intervention

A Further Look at Interventions

Over nineteen million adults struggle with a drug abuse disorder and of those, nearly 74% also struggle with a co-existing alcohol abuse disorder. Drug abuse and addiction can be a much harder disorder to recover from than alcohol addiction, particularly due to the high rate of co-use that most people with a substance use disorder experience.

In many cases, suddenly stopping the use of an illicit substance can be just as harmful, if not more so than using the substance itself. The side effects and withdrawal symptoms that a person may experience when they decide to stop using a substance can be severe and at times life-threatening.

Luckily, substance use is a highly treatable disorder and several medications can help a person wean off of illicit substances in a safe, sustained, and monitored manner. A drug abuse intervention can help someone realize that they have options and that they can recover safely and healthily.

What is an Intervention?

In a situation involving substance use disorder, planning an intervention may be the best, and safest, option to help someone who is living with an addiction. So, what does intervention mean? An intervention is a strategically planned process of confronting the person who is living with addiction about the consequences of their actions while simultaneously encouraging them to accept help and treatment for their addiction.1

The key feature of an intercession is that while it can be an immensely helpful option in convincing a person that they should seek treatment, it should not be done solely by friends and family members. Without the aid of a specialist, or someone who is equally trained in the process of interventions, an intervention may do more harm than good.

An intervention specialist is someone that has been professionally trained in helping people break free from their addictions. They can help a person without judgment, emotions, or blame to understand how their actions are negatively impacting themselves and those that they care about.

When performed properly, without judgment or pressure, and with the aid of a qualified intercession specialist, 80-90% of substance use interventions are successful in convincing the patient to seek help.

Early Intervention

Treatment is more effective the earlier that it begins for an alcohol or drug abuse disorder. As with any other health condition, early intervention and treatment can prevent more significant problems further on in life.

Unfortunately, in many cases, an alcohol addiction intervention or a drug abuse intercession does not take place until most other options have been exhausted. It can be difficult for those struggling with a substance use disorder to realize or admit that they need help.

It often takes a life-altering event, such as a divorce, loss of employment, or a housing crisis for a person to be willing to seek treatment. Because early
alcohol and drug intercession can be so beneficial, first responders must be able to recognize the symptoms of substance abuse.3

What is a Nursing Intervention?

Nursing interventions are often the first time a patient will experience care for their disorder. It takes place when someone enters a care facility such as a clinic or hospital for a condition that may or may not be caused or exacerbated by their substance use disorder.

After initial evaluation and stabilization, a nurse will take action to help their patient by suggesting healthy physical or emotional coping mechanisms for a patient that wants to quit using the substance that they are addicted to. The nurse will also be able to offer education and information to the patient about other treatment facilities or care providers that can help them on their road to recovery.

Alcohol Intervention

A Further Look at Interventions

Nearly 50% of adults in America regularly drink alcohol, and it is believed that as many as 25% of those Americans have an alcohol addiction, most commonly in the form of binge drinking. In many situations, once a person with an alcohol use disorder realizes the way that alcohol is negatively impacting their life, they can reduce the amount that they drink, or even quit entirely, without outside assistance.

However, some people that have an alcohol use disorder are unable to see how their addiction is negatively affecting them. In this situation, an alcohol use intercession can be extremely beneficial. Some of the benefits of interventions include:

Drug Intervention

A Further Look at Interventions

Over nineteen million adults struggle with a drug abuse disorder and of those, nearly 74% also struggle with a co-existing alcohol abuse disorder. Drug abuse and addiction can be a much harder disorder to recover from than alcohol addiction, particularly due to the high rate of co-use that most people with a substance use disorder experience.

In many cases, suddenly stopping the use of an illicit substance can be just as harmful, if not more so than using the substance itself. The side effects and withdrawal symptoms that a person may experience when they decide to stop using a substance can be severe and at times life-threatening.

Luckily, substance use is a highly treatable disorder and several medications can help a person wean off of illicit substances in a safe, sustained, and monitored manner. A drug abuse intervention can help someone realize that they have options and that they can recover safely and healthily.

Questions About Treatment?

Our knowledgeable team is ready to discuss your situation and options. Your call is confidential with no obligation required.