For many addicts, substance abuse withdrawal feels like a nightmare from which they will never wake. The fear of detox is so powerful with many addicts that they never get the help they need.
Everything the addict uses lessens or obliterates pain, feeling, and emotion. Over time and repeated ingestion, the nerve receptors in the brain change how they work; they now require the addictive substance in order to function. When that substance is removed, the brain’s failing nerve receptors throw havoc into the entire nervous system. The mind and body are suddenly flooded with physical, mental, and emotional toxins that had long been held at bay.
This traumatic detoxification is what causes the physical and emotional symptoms of substance abuse withdrawal. They vary according to the type of substance, the amounts taken, length of time of the abuse, the age and general health of the patient, and many other factors the addict is probably not aware of; least of all at the time of the trauma.
– Difficulty breathing
– Tightness in the chest
– Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
– Racing heart
– Muscle tension
– Social isolation
– Poor concentration
The conditions of substance withdrawal can be fatal. It has been estimated that between 5 and 25 percent of people going through the severest kinds of withdrawal can die.
This is why is it critically important that people who want to stop using get professional medical help. Every kind of substance withdrawal is different. Fortunately, there are places that provide carefully administered treatments for the physical and mental traumas of detoxification.
Inpatient treatment centers provide the safest, most effective and supportive therapeutics for the many kinds of addictive substance detoxification. All of them offer around the clock care for as long as required to safely manage recovery. Specially trained doctors and nurses supervise the entire process. They evaluate whether it is better to end the substance use right away, or reduce it over time. Monitoring and adjusting to proper levels of liquids and nutrients, vital to safe recovery, are an integral part of treatment. Medications are administered as deemed necessary and appropriate by the medical staff.
The addict’s first tendency is to believe that they can handle quitting on their own. Most have practiced quitting on their own dozens or hundreds of times. The causes, dangers, and treatments of substance abuse detoxification are well known to medical science. It is not something done successfully, or safely, alone.