Drug addiction is a vast issue all over the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States alone, drug-related deaths are at an all-time high of almost 100,000 per year. Yet all is not lost, and rehabilitation is possible with the correct treatment that addresses the underlying causes and provides ongoing care. The first and most crucial steps to recovery include detoxification and withdrawal, which are harmful if not monitored by trained professionals.
Drugs like cocaine and heroin are mentally and physically addictive. Throughout an addiction period, a user’s body and brain become dependent on specific substances for bodily function. For example, the sudden rush of serotonin caused by cocaine causes the endocrine system and brain to rely on cocaine to produce that chemical, disrupting natural homeostasis.
Therefore, the brain stops producing serotonin naturally when required. Serotonin is essential for making you feel naturally satisfied, such as when eating, having sex, or creating something. Without it, cortisol levels increase, leading to extreme anxiety, depression, and paranoia.
How People are Affected by Withdrawal
In a cocaine-dependent person, halting the use of the substance means they cannot achieve the desired level of satisfaction in life because neurotransmission is severely depleted. In turn, this causes withdrawal symptoms. While different drugs cause different effects on the body when suddenly halting their use, withdrawal symptoms from a substance are typically the same across the board.
Common Drug Withdrawal Symptoms
The sudden halting of a particular substance is shocking to both the mind and the body. Therefore, the mind and body react as they try to cope with being deprived of their required substances. Following detoxification therapy, a patient begins to show signs of withdrawal from their addiction. Withdrawal will manifest in numerous ways. Some of the most prominent include:
- Changes in appetite and mood
- Nasal congestion and a runny nose
- Chronic fatigue
- Muscle pain and restlessness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shaking and sweating
Depending on the substance, a user may experience some or all of these common symptoms. For example, a recovering cocaine addict will almost always succumb to cold-like symptoms. In contrast, a heroin addict will suffer muscle pains and vomiting.
Severe Drug Withdrawal Symptoms
These are typical withdrawal symptoms, yet in some cases, the effects of withdrawal can be more severe. These are usually dependent on the type of drug and for how long a user was addicted. When considering what to expect from bad drug withdrawal symptoms, the following are typical:
Ongoing treatment and monitoring are required throughout withdrawal, and many rehab centers offer fabulous outpatient services. However, the long-term effects such as depression and anxiety mean the road to recovery is rocky, winding, and long.
The physical impact on the body may only last a few days or weeks. Yet, patients might also endure life-long battles with depression and the temptation of addiction that requires further care for the rest of their lives.
How RAC Can Help with Withdrawal
In some cases, as with opiates and alcohol, sudden stoppage can be dangerous, and the body is subject to breaking down. In extreme cases, organs will begin to fail, and fatal seizures may occur. In these cases, professional monitoring by trained substance abuse care workers and physicians is necessary.
The Robert Alexander Center for Recovery is the premier rehabilitation facility in Kentucky. Our treatment services are administered by highly trained professionals dedicated to helping those struggling with withdrawal.
RAC understands the dangers of withdrawal and detoxification. Unfortunately, many substance abusers have a difficult time during this crucial phase. However, we understand the causes of withdrawal and will treat all patients according to their specific needs. Therefore, we compassionately care for our patients with a highly specialized treatment regimen that aims to help patients understand themselves and their issues. If you, or someone you care about, are experiencing substance abuse issues, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Robert Alexander Center for Recovery today.