For the regular readers of our blog, you’re familiar with the topic of relapse and how the fear of relapse can be so strong, it can actually prevent people from seeking treatment. Unfortunately, the risk of relapse isn’t the only barrier to treatment; withdrawal is too.
If you’ve ever heard anyone talk about withdrawal before, you know that it isn’t fun. It can be physically painful and uncomfortable, as well as emotionally and psychologically exhausting. The very thought of having to function in the world without drugs or alcohol is scary enough for an addict. Add the pain and discomfort from withdrawal, and some addicts feel that it’s easier to just keep using.
What is Withdrawal?
Withdrawal refers to stopping the alcohol or drug use, and there are many symptoms that can occur, depending on the drug that is being abused. Some of the most common general symptoms include agitation, high blood pressure, the inability to sleep and sweating. Opiate and narcotic withdrawal symptoms are some of the most difficult to endure, while withdrawal from alcohol and barbiturates can cause life-threatening side effects.
Withdrawal is necessary when seeking treatment, as the drug must be stopped in order for healing to begin. That being said, it’s extremely dangerous for a person to withdraw from alcohol or drugs on their own. They run the risk of experiencing life-threatening symptoms, as well as enduring side effects that should be monitored and treated in a professional setting, such as seizures, increased heart rate, depression, nausea, vomiting, fast breathing and tremors.
Going through withdrawal is no picnic, but it’s the first step in getting clean and sober. At The River Source, we offer naturopathic detoxification that includes Vitamin IV Therapy and Dry Sauna Detox. The idea is to naturally sweat out all of the bad toxins, including remnants from the drug, and then build the body back up with essential vitamins and nutrients. This makes our clients healthier, stronger and more able-bodied to focus on their recovery. All clients must be fully detoxed before starting a recovery program.
What are the Symptoms of Withdrawal?
Below are the most common symptoms experienced in withdrawal.
Alcohol: Sweating, tremors, fluctuations in blood pressure, increased heart rate, seizures, psychosis and delirium tremens
Opiates and Narcotics: Anxiety, insomnia, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, dilated pupils, nausea and vomiting
Stimulants: Depression and extreme fatigue
Barbiturates: Fast breathing, rapid heartbeat, tremors, muscle pain, insomnia, hallucinations, nausea, convulsions and delirium
Benzodiazepines: Muscle twitches, hallucinations, delirium, tingling, numbness, insomnia, sensitivity to light and sound
The Two Stages of Withdrawal
There are two stages of withdrawal: the acute stage and the post-acute stage. The first stage of withdrawal is the most intense and includes physical side effects. Remember, every drug is different, and every person is different. What you experience will be unique to the next person, which is why each client receives a personalized treatment plan at The River Source.
The post-acute stage of withdrawal involves emotional and psychological symptoms because the brain is gradually returning to normal. Post-acute symptoms last much longer, so it’s important to be prepared. You may wake up feeling motivated and confident one day, and then tired, irritable and low energy the next. There’s not always a reason for these episodes, but with continued counseling, nutrition, coping mechanisms and a strict schedule, you can keep pushing forward.
The Withdrawal Process at The River Source
As a client at The River Source, you can expect that your experience with withdrawal will be as positive as possible. We prepare our clients for what’s to come, and after a comprehensive evaluation, we’ll know exactly what we’re dealing with. Each client receives a personalized treatment plan based on the individual, what drug they are addicted to, when they last used that drug and how much they normally take. This way, we’re prepared for the symptoms and the degree of severity that they will take.
We do treat our clients during the detox and withdrawal process; we do NOT let our clients suffer through the symptoms. We use a mix of conventional medication and holistic therapies to ease the symptoms, and we monitor all clients for blood pressure, heart rate and tremors. All clients are kept in a comfortable, secure environment that makes this process as agreeable as possible. Additionally, many of our staff members have personal experience with addiction, so they can offer our clients the support that is needed during this difficult time.
Anyone who wants to quit using must go through the detox and withdrawal process. Fortunately, going through the process in a fully equipped, naturopathic treatment center with medical oversight ensures that withdrawal is comfortable, safe and effective. Contact The River Source at 866-294-9331 to learn more about our holistic healing process.