Certain substances, especially opiates and alcohol, create tolerance in the human body. Organs, tissues, and other bodily systems become accustomed to the drug’s presence. Over time, a user must successively imbibe greater and greater amounts of their drug of choice. This is not only a recipe for overdose, but it also results in withdrawal symptoms when the individual stops using their drug of choice abruptly. The body returns to its previous equilibrium, which may result in sweats, changes in body temperature, headaches, nausea, and even seizures, coma, or death in extreme cases. The one- to seven-day detox process is intended to mitigate extreme symptoms with medications and remove all pernicious drug residues from the patient’s system before rehab begins.
Though it may be a tempting proposition to try quitting “cold turkey,” this is not a good idea. As stated previously, some types of withdrawal (especially alcohol withdrawal) can be fatal if not treated by a medical professional. There is also a much higher chance of relapse after cold turkey detox is completed—the underlying mental issues which contribute to addiction have not been addressed.
It’s vital to remember that detox is not treatment. While trained medical personnel are removing toxic substances from your body, they are not addressing your mental health—that will be done in therapy and counseling as part of rehabilitation proper. The latter is vital to preventing relapse and setting an individual on the path to permanent sobriety.
Withdrawal: How it Hurts
Everyone wants to know how withdrawal will affect them personally. The question is difficult to answer. Each person is different, and reacts to a drug in various ways. The sheer variety of drugs on the market today further complicates the question. The duration and intensity of the addiction and the purity and potency of the substance abused are important factors. Many people also abuse multiple drugs at the same time, such as marijuana and cocaine, or alcohol and GHB. The pileup effect of these drugs on the human system can create drastic effects, both during the physiological peak (the “high”) and the comedown.
Generic withdrawal symptoms, however, may include some or all of the following:
- Inability to relax or settle down
- Sleeping problems
- Aches and pains
- Loss of concentration
- Loss of muscular control
- Diaphragm tightness
- Respiratory difficulties
- Physical sickness, diarrhea, and/or vomiting
- Cardiovascular problems, strokes, and heart attacks
- DTs (delirium tremens)
A notable exception to the above list is heroin—though heroin withdrawal is far from pleasant, such symptoms as DTs, stroke, heart attack, or seizures do not take place. No matter which drug is being abused, however, it’s vital to get clinical help during detoxification to avoid the most drastic withdrawal symptoms and ensure the patient’s absolute safety.
Boston Drug Alcohol Rehab has one mission, and that’s to get you through the detox process safely and efficiently and prepare you for rehabilitation. Our professional team of medical specialists can usher you through a detox regimen with aplomb and acumen, paving the way for a successful rehab episode. Let the capable experts at Boston Drug Alcohol Rehab set your feet on the path to sobriety today.