Withdrawal symptoms are the body’s natural reactionto being deprived of a chemical substance like drugs or alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms are experienced by anyone who is attempting to quit or stop using drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol chemically alter the brain, and both the brain and body adjust or rewire themselves to function with the drug present. If enough time passes, or if the drug is powerful enough, a person can develop a dependency on the drug. This means the brain now believes it needs the drug to function. This can result in both physical and psychological cravings and make it difficult to quit using. When a person does attempt to quit using a substance that his or her body relies on, the body has a physical reaction. This reaction includes withdrawal symptoms.
What Are Common Withdrawal Symptoms?
Withdrawal symptoms can be physical, psychological and behavioral. Some symptoms can be mild and uncomfortable, while others can be extremely painful or evenlife-threatening. Withdrawal symptoms vary depending upon the substance abused and the physical health of the user. The most common symptoms of withdrawal include the following:
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Muscle tension
- Muscle or joint pain
- Respiratory impairment
- Heart palpitations or increased heart rate
- Restlessness or irritability
- Social isolation or loneliness
How to Treat Symptoms of Withdrawal
In some cases withdrawal can be dangerous without the help of medical professionals. Quitting drugs or alcohol “cold turkey” is difficult to do, and it increases withdrawal symptoms. Recovery professionals will often have users gradually taper off their substance of choice to reduce the impact of withdrawal. Suddenly stopping heavy or chronic drug use could result in life-threatening withdrawal symptoms such as the following:
- Heart attack
- Delirium tremens
Withdrawal symptoms are one reason why specialists recommend treatment or detox programs for those wishing to quit taking drugs or drinking. Treatment programs provide 24 hour medically supervised detox programs. This is the only guaranteed way to safely detox from a substance. Rehab professionals can help patients gradually taper off the drug of choice in a safe environment while minimizing the discomforts of withdrawal.
How to Overcome Withdrawal Symptoms and End Substance Abuse
Many people who want to quit using drugs or drinking do not believe they can overcome withdrawal symptoms and convince themselves that it is easier to keep using. Withdrawal can be difficult, but it should not get in the way of recovery desires. If you are serious about ending a substance abuse problem, call our toll-free helpline today. Let us help you meet your recovery goals. We are here 24 hours a day to answer any questions or concerns you may have or to get you started on your path to recovery. Please stop your struggle and get help now.