If you’ve used drugs like alcohol, opioids, or benzodiazepines for a long time, you may discover that quitting or tapering off is more challenging than you expected. Unpleasant withdrawal symptoms can make the experience painful or even dangerous, especially in the absence of medical supervision.
This post explains what causes drug withdrawal, its most common symptoms, and what factors might make it hazardous for you. We’ll also explore how an outpatient detox program can make your experience far more comfortable.
What Causes Withdrawal?
To understand why withdrawal happens, you must recognize how prolonged drug use affects the brain’s innate reward system. Drugs flood the brain with dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasurable activities. This excessive chemical release reinforces drug-taking behavior by creating a positive association between substance use and desirable feelings.
With regular use, the brain starts adapting to the surplus dopamine, which leads to a tolerance. Eventually, you will require higher doses of the drug to achieve the same desirable effect, perpetuating the cycle of addiction. Once you try quitting or tapering off, your reward circuit will struggle to maintain equilibrium, which manifests in physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.
Common Drug Withdrawal Symptoms
Drug withdrawal symptoms can differ depending on the substance you used, how long you took it, and your physical and mental health. However, many people experience varying degrees of the following.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sweating and chills
- Shaking or tremors
- Extreme fatigue
- Insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns
- Muscle aches and cramps
- Anxiety and agitation
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Cravings for the substance
- Hallucinations or delusions
The Dangers of Severe Drug Withdrawal
In severe cases, withdrawal can lead to life-threatening conditions like these.
- Delirium tremens: Typically associated with extreme alcohol withdrawal, DTs can lead to severe confusion, rapid heartbeat, and high blood pressure.
- Seizures: Abruptly discontinuing some substances can trigger seizures.
- Dehydration: You may risk dehydration if you have vomiting and diarrhea.
- Heart complications: Drug withdrawal may cause heart-related issues, including arrhythmia or heart attacks.
How Outpatient Detox Can Help
Acworth Outpatient Detox provides safe, supportive treatments to minimize the acute withdrawal phase.
- Medical supervision: Our experienced medical team will closely monitor you, ensuring safety throughout the detox process. They will stabilize you if severe or life-threatening side effects emerge.
- Medication-assisted treatment: We use non-addictive, FDA-approved medications to ease your symptoms, reduce your cravings, and make your detox process more comfortable.
- Personalized care plans: Recognizing everyone’s experience is unique, we will tailor a detox plan to fit your specific needs.
- Mental health support: Withdrawal is simultaneously a physical and psychological challenge. Our team includes mental health professionals who provide counseling to address addiction’s multifaceted nature.
- Flexibility and convenience: One of the primary benefits of an outpatient detox program is the ability to receive treatment without disrupting your daily life. You can keep prioritizing your career and stay involved with your spouse, children, pets, and friends while undergoing detox.
- Continued resources: Detox is only the first phase of recovery. We offer ongoing support to help you transition into long-term treatment programs, ensuring sustained recovery.
Start Your Recovery at Half the Cost of Residential Detox
Drug withdrawal can be daunting and often dangerous. Outpatient detox offers a safe, discreet, and affordable way to manage unwanted symptoms. Our dedicated team and comprehensive approach provide the best possible care to start recovering.
If you need detox, you don’t have to face it alone. We are always here to provide the compassionate support and flexible scheduling you need. Contact us to get started.