It is estimated that millions of individuals around the world suffer from opioid addiction alone. This statistic doesn’t even begin to address the millions of people struggling with amphetamine and alcohol dependency as well. Making the decision to embark on a journey to sobriety is not always easy, and many are wondering what they can expect from detox and how to reduce the distressing symptoms that they may experience along the way.
Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms and Remedies
The symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal can be quite troublesome to say the least, but the good news is that they are typically not life threatening. After 12 hours of not using heroin or prescription opiates, many start experiencing the first batch of withdrawal symptoms such as: muscle aches, a runny nose, excessive sweating, and anxiety. The second batch of symptoms follows later on, and often include: stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and sometimes vomiting. Of course these symptoms are somewhat intimidating to those just entering detox, but there are effective ways to treat the symptoms in groups, or individually, in order to promote a much less traumatic detox experience.
Many detox centers prescribe patients clonidine when withdrawing from opiates to help ease the anxiety, muscle aches, and mood disruption that often go along with this particular process. Some physicians will offer patients medications to reduce the amount of diarrhea and vomiting that they may be experiencing as well.
If you prefer to stick to more natural approaches in the detoxification process, one of the most helpful practices to indulge in is taking a hot shower or bath. These not only help relieve the muscle aches that you may encounter, but they also helps alleviate both physical and mental tension. It is also important to ensure that you are eating and drinking frequently enough to maintain sufficient vitamin, nutrient, and hydration levels, even if your appetite is suppressed at this time. The detox process takes a huge toll on the body, so it is vital to nourish and replenish it as much as needed.
Stimulant Withdrawal Symptoms and Remedies
Stimulant withdrawal symptoms are a bit different from opiate withdrawal symptoms, and research hasn’t made as many strides in treatment. Fortunately, there are still some behaviors to adapt and resources to take hold of in order to create a more comfortable experience. The most commonly reported symptoms related to amphetamine withdrawal are suicidal thoughts, depression, sleep problems such as fatigue and insomnia, as well as an increase in appetite.
The most successful treatment options in regards to stimulant/amphetamine withdrawal are long-term supportive care options such as counseling or support groups. Some doctors may prescribe medications such as Benzodiazepines to temporarily treat anxiety symptoms, but most tend to advise that nurturing and supportive environments are the best method in successful amphetamine detox.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms and Remedies
Detoxing from alcohol may not be discussed as widely as other withdrawal processes, but it is actually the most serious form of detox. Patients withdrawing from alcohol use are classified as suffering from, “alcohol withdrawal syndrome.” Symptoms can appear as soon as two hours after the individual’s last alcoholic beverage. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome typically include: anxiety, shakiness, seizures, and something referred to as delirium tremens (DT). DT impacts around one to five percent of detox patients withdrawing from alcohol, and can cause the patient’s heartbeat to accelerate, and also cause confusion and a spike in fever. These symptoms are highly dangerous and require professional monitoring immediately.
Like those going through amphetamine withdrawal, many patients are prescribed antidepressants for emotional and behavioral symptoms, and benzodiazepines to treat anxiety and any tremors that the individual may be experiencing. Physicians at treatment centers may also prescribe beta-blockers to avoid any complications stemming from the rapid heart rate and hypertensive symptoms.
IT is recommended to be continuously monitored while detoxing from alcohol use, so trained professionals can administer any assistance or supplements needed. For example, alcoholism is known for causing vitamin B deficiency, so it could help to take a vitamin B supplement during withdrawal.
The Keys to Making it Through Detox
These remedies and techniques are sure to guide you through a more comfortable detoxification process, but there are also some more factors to remember during this journey, regardless of which substance you are detoxing from. It is important to make sure that you have a solid system to reach out to when you’re in need, whether it be family, friends, or a support group. It is also critical to keep an open line of communication with your physicians to safeguard your withdrawal process by knowing that you are being monitored under quality care.
Going through detox can be somewhat frightening to envision, but people are able to successfully undergo the process with the right professionals and resources every day. With these tips and reliable support, the process is sure to be much more comfortable, safe, and successful in the long run.