Ready to quit?
This could be the 1st step to recovering. Our brains have been chemically altered and we are now dependent and addicted to the drug. When we stop the use of mind altering substances, all kinds of physical and psychological changes happen. Sometimes we must have the help of someone, whether you are at home or in a detox or treatment center. Withdrawal symptoms vary from person, entailing how long, how much, what drug, your own natural biology, etc. There are some common symptoms as well.
Physical withdrawal symptoms:
When we stop using drugs, usually within the next 24 hours, some physical changes take place. Like I said not all the symptoms are concrete for everyone. How long these physical withdrawal last are also different with people depending on how long, what drug, etc. Here is a list that I know of for sure can take place:
Some symptoms are muscle twitching, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, headache, irregular heart rate, dizziness, racing heart, skipped beat, palpitations, body aches, shakes, and sweating,
Psychological withdrawal symptoms:
The changes in our mind during withdrawals can be out of control almost immediately from the decision to stop. These symptoms last longer than the physical because the brain has been the most affected. I remember having to almost constantly “fight” the desire to return to what I have known. Here is a list of some psychological symptoms:
The panic attacks, restlessness, irritability, anxiety and/or depression. Nightmares, social isolation, lack of enjoyment, fatigue, insomnia, short term memory problems, bouts of crying, appetite fluctuations, and poor concentration. Our mind is still obsessing about needing the drug and it takes doing a different routine to get that to stop.
Withdrawal from alcohol, tranquilizers, anti-anxiety medications and mixed opioids can have severe physical symptoms and be life threatening. Elevated BP, respiratory distress, seizures, stroke, and heart attacks are possible. Suicidal thoughts, paranoia, delirium, hallucinations, and feelings of hopelessness and feelings of not going to make it through this horror, There are detox centers available for supervised detox. There are also medications available to assist with detoxification of these drugs.
THE ABOVE IS EXACTLY WHY withdrawal should be managed by a trained professional. Even if the addict thinks they can do it “cold turkey,” it really should at least be overseen. We are not doctors. We do not know how our body and mind are going to react. If we are really ready to stop, we should be humble enough to share our condition with our doctor or professional that specializes in addiction.
I also wanted to share I have detoxed in a treatment center, detoxed with the help of my Dr, and also detoxed with the use of Suboxone. All three had their pros and cons AND all three were monitored and overseen by a Dr or professional in addiction. The main thing is that I was able to get off narcotics which was my drug of choice. I had to and still am learning a different and better way to take care of myself. I also went to NA the day I got out of treatment and did 90 meetings in 90 days. If I can do it, I know anyone can do it.
Change is necessary:
Change is a necessity. Change of the people we are around, change of the places we go, situations we put ourselves in, and so on. Our mind is so conditioned to continue the path we have had for so long. It takes strength, repletion and any self will we have at this point to stay clean and build a different way to live. During detox, eating healthy, exercising, maintaining a structured schedule, and staying hydrated are helpful as well. This is a change from the finding, getting, and using drugs that is necessary.
Detox is the first step to a new life. We do great harm to our bodies. They are put through hell. Just basic things, like eating meals, drinking water, and bathing are difficult. Getting your Dr or another professional educated about addiction and withdrawals involved in your recovery. During detox, eating properly, exercising, maintaining a structured schedule, and staying hydrated are helpful as well. Support of family and friends are good to have around when you feel like talking or being around anyone.
And finally, NOTHING happens overnight. We did not become addicts overnight and getting off drugs will take time. This is the start of your foundation. I learned after several years that drugs were not my PROBLEM. Drugs were my SOLUTION to life problems. It is what I always ran to. I used drugs to COPE with whatever was going on in my life.
A strong foundation must come next after detox. This is where the real work takes place. Please look for posts about that on my site.
I am grateful to be able to share with you. If you have questions, something to add, or any comments, please feel free to reach out below.