What Helps Ease Withdrawal Symptoms? Get the Facts

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The first few days of detoxification from drug addiction are typically the most intense in terms of withdrawal symptoms. As the body works hard to rid itself of drugs and other toxins, there are side effects that occur as a result. These may include vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, and insomnia to name a few. For some, it may feel like an aggressive case of the flu. For others, the pain and discomfort may come in waves. Withdrawal symptoms can feel painful and exhausting. It is often what prevents those suffering from addiction from seeking the help they need. However, the withdrawal phase and its symptoms are temporary. Over time, they begin to lessen in intensity and eventually subside altogether.

There are several ways to help ease your withdrawal symptoms to make you feel more comfortable. Hydration is key, especially because of the symptoms listed above. It may be difficult for your body to hold any kind of fluids, which means drinking water, broth, or other healthy liquids are important in helping you to maintain your health and strength.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may also be prescribed certain medications to help ease withdrawal symptom pain. Medication may also help to prevent diarrhea and vomiting from occurring quite as frequently.

Another way to ease withdrawal symptoms is to have a heating pad to help with aches and pains. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you may be prescribed certain remedies to help. Additionally, when in the care of a treatment facility, there’s opportunity to have your mind focused on activities that can help serve as a distraction you as you go through the days or weeks of detox. Each situation is different and will be monitored to decide the best course of treatment. Communicate with those who are helping you, so they can provide you the best possible care.

Withdrawal from drug addiction is painful, but there are ways to make the days pass a little bit easier. Each day that passes is one day closer to you a fresh start toward your path to sobriety. With the right assistance and care, your withdrawal symptoms can feel a little more manageable as you prepare for the next stage of treatment.

Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline

If you are suffering from addiction and decide to stop using drugs, withdrawal symptoms will typically begin within 12 hours past the last drug use. They may start slowly, but quickly increase in pain and frequency. During this time is when many people often relapse.

The timeline for withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. The average span is 7-10 days but it could be longer depending on a few factors. General health plays a factor in how long it will take to go through the detox period and how long the withdrawal symptoms will last. Age, history of drug addiction, and how often you’ve taken drugs will also contribute to the amount of time it takes to fully detox.

It can take one person a week to be ready for the next stage of treatment, while others may experience withdrawal symptoms for weeks or even months. The side effects that last beyond the initial 7-10 days are referred to as protracted withdrawal symptoms and may include fatigue and depression. These may hinder your progress if left untreated but do not have to mean a setback in your recovery.

By starting to understand what your body needs to be healthy and continuing a path to achieve that, you’ll start to regain strength that will help both your body and mind. Your progress is may look or feel differently than someone else’s. However, you’re still headed toward the same goal of being sober.

Dealing with Withdrawal Symptoms Solo

Prior to seeking professional treatment, you may consider going through withdrawal symptoms on your own. This is difficult because when you get to the point of drug addiction; you don’t have control over your body. What you want and what your body thinks it needs can be two different things.

At-home care for drug withdrawal requires diligent focus on the time it takes to fully detox. You don’t know how your body will react when going through withdrawal symptoms. How will you monitor your hydration levels or organ function? Additionally, if you decide to go through withdrawal symptoms on your own, what comes next? In order for it to be sustainable, there needs to be a next step or it becomes all too easy to fall back into old temptations and have the same, strong cravings.

Addiction is a disease that requires the right medical attention in order to recover. While home remedies may temporarily help, they are rarely long-term solution. There are too many contributing factors that can hinder your progress and cause you to return to the same addiction cycle as before.

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Why Seek Help from a Treatment Facility?

You shouldn’t have to go through withdrawal symptoms alone. Drug detoxification in the care of medical supervision is highly recommended for several reasons. First, you are in a safe, secure place where outside factors and temptations won’t affect you. Secondly, you are monitored to ensure your health is well taken care of. The process of detoxification can be hard on your body. It’s best that your vitals and well-being are checked at all times. Third, detox centers are set up to help you go through the process in the most comfortable way as possible.

With the support of a treatment facility team, you are in the best hands to help you avoid relapse, make it through the days of detox with continual support, and have assistance to help ease withdrawal symptoms. Medical staff will monitor your health and make adjustments as needed based on your condition. This may include prescribing medication that will help lessen the severity of the symptoms you’re experiencing.

Getting help in a detox center means there will be close monitoring of your nutrition and water intake. This is especially important as you go through withdrawal symptoms. Since many withdrawal symptoms can quickly lead to dehydration, ensuring you receive plenty of fluids during this time is crucial to sustain your health.

The emotional support is also a strong reason to receive help from a detox facility. Going through any big change can be difficult. By having people who support, rather than enable, you can keep you moving forward. They are there to help ease your pain and discomfort as much as possible. The withdrawal period is not an easy feat, but it is a doable one that’s well worth it.

How Professional Care Provides a Long-Term Action Plan

Professional care through a treatment facility sets you up on a long-term health plan. This will include the detoxification process, inpatient and/or outpatient care, as well as relapse prevention and post-rehab assistance. A full rehabilitation plan can take several months in order to be successful. The end goal is to reach sobriety, but also to have the health, strength, and knowledge to maintain it.

Following detox, the first thing to do is decide what kind of treatment will work best for you. This will depend on the environment you wish to receive care, how long you will need to be in rehab, what concurrent health problems you may need to address, etc. Your progress will be checked along the way to ensure that you are receiving the care necessary for your long-term health.

Inpatient care is an opportunity for you to temporarily reside where you will receive treatment. The benefits of this include removing yourself from a possibly, unhealthy environment. It also gives you a chance to focus on your healing with the help of others who have experience dealing with addiction. Through inpatient care, you have the chance to speak with others about their challenges with addiction and learn what’s been helpful to them. Plus, you’ll be able to work with a counselor to uncover where your own addiction stems from and how you can handle future triggers after rehab is over.

Outpatient treatment includes all of these benefits but doesn’t require a stay at the facility. This may be helpful for people who wish to stick with their support system at home or who may have other conditions that tie them to where they are. Choosing outpatient care is a great option for those who are ready for the next phase after detox or for those who have received inpatient care, but would still like to continue their treatment.

Both types of treatment has monitoring in place to help track your progress, so your plan can be adjusted as your health starts to improve. There are several options available for both kinds of facilities. It all depends on what you feel will be most beneficial to help you on your road to recovery.

Seeking professional treatment also helps to prevent relapse from occurring. Due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms, experiencing relapse is not uncommon. Also, if you are not receiving inpatient or outpatient care, you may have additional temptations or influences that could derail your progress. Through treatment, you’ll learn ways to cope with your outside environment that may affect your sobriety down the road. If you relapse, it doesn’t mean failure; it just means you must start again at the point of detox before moving forward.
The information you receive on how to transition back to your life after rehabilitation is an important part of care. This may include entering the workforce again, finding a stable residence, and getting connected with a support group. You most likely will have questions once your time in rehab is through, but we are here to help ease your concerns and build your confidence for your future.

Maintaining Your Sobriety

Sobriety isn’t a singular end goal, but becomes an active, ongoing part of your life. Once you reach the point of sober living, you then become aware of the effort it takes to maintain your new lifestyle. It requires dedication to your health and well-being. As you’ll learn, each stage of treatment comes with its own challenges. While it may be difficult, every step you take is progress headed in the right direction. You won’t achieve sobriety immediately after detox, at least not in a sense where you will be able to successfully maintain it on your own. However, the stages build upon each other to make you stronger as you go.

By looking at addiction as a disease, how it changes the body, and how it affects you specifically will help you deal with challenges in the future. When you are triggered, you’ll have the tools to cope. When you become tempted, you’ll have support you can turn to. This all comes through your rehabilitative care.

When you return to your “regular” life post-rehab, it’ll likely look differently than how you left it. How will you address people or situations that no longer serve you? How will you acclimate back to a working routine? Where can you turn to if you need some extra guidance? The questions may seem overwhelming, but you’ll get the answers you need.

With time, you’ll build confidence through the education and resources you receive. They all will help you maintain your sobriety following rehab. By starting this journey with the help of others, you’ll find out how much support truly matters during your recovery. This support continues even once your time in treatment is through.

Medical assistance is necessary to keep you healthy, but emotional support is crucial as well. You don’t have to feel alone with your addiction. There is help available. In the early days of detox, when the withdrawal symptoms feel unbearable, it helps knowing you have people to help you in any way they can. The process isn’t easy, but there are ways to ease your way through the tougher days. By the end of treatment, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come and how much you’ve achieved. We are here to stand by you when you’re ready to start your journey.

Find hope. Find recovery. Begin a commitment to lifelong recovery today – for yourself, your friend, or for your loved one.
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Sources: 

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Treatment Approaches For Drug Addiction. Revised Jan. 2018, Accessed March 17, 2016.

Better Health Channel. Withdrawal. June 2012, Accessed March 17, 2016.

NCBI. 4 Physical Detoxification Services for Withdrawal From Specific Substances. Accessed March 18, 2016.

Mental Health. The Facts About Buprenorphine. Accessed March 18, 2016.

Medline Plus. Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal. Revised aug. 2018, Accessed March 17, 2018.

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