08 May Medical Detox: Don’t Face Withdrawal Symptoms Alone
How drug and alcohol addiction works
Substance abuse disorders affect dopamine levels in the brain, creating an unnatural chemical change. When intense psychological and physical cravings are developed and fed on a regular basis it results in physical and emotional dependence on drugs and alcohol.
The longer a person uses drugs or alcohol, the more of a tolerance they develop for the substance in question. This results in a higher volume of usage, strengthening the dependence over time just to get “the same high”.
The more the cycle spins the more it spins out of control. Strong dependence puts the user at an elevated risk for a dangerous detox. If you or a loved one is concerned about out-of-control your drug or alcohol abuse, it is necessary to involve a trained healthcare professional who specializes in treating addiction. Denial keeps people from seeking addiction treatment. It’s a barrier that needs to be overcome. Once a substance abuse disorder is properly diagnosed, addiction professionals can help guide you to the most effective treatment options.
The dangers of unsupervised detox
For people with substance abuse disorders, the withdrawal process can range from incredibly painful to life-threatening. It is best to be under the care and supervision of trained addiction professionals when attempting to detox your body from drugs and alcohol.
Different substances have different detox symptoms and withdrawal timelines. It’s important to understand the process works when considering detox treatment options.
Dangerous detox symptoms
Here is an overview of the general withdrawal process for commonly abused substances that result in dangerous detox symptoms:
Benzodiazepines: Valium, Xanax & Ativan
Withdrawal symptoms begin within a few days of quitting benzos. Symptoms typically peak within 1-2 weeks. A chemical imbalance occurs in the brain when quitting benzodiazepines that often results in short-term memory loss, nausea, irregular heartbeat, panic attacks, tremors, and more.
In rare cases, benzodiazepine withdrawal causes life-threatening symptoms such as delirium, hallucinations, and seizures – which can ultimately lead to a coma or even death. Detoxing from benzodiazepines should be done in a medically managed situation, by addiction treatment professionals, in order to monitor potentially life-threatening symptoms.
Stimulants: Cocaine & Methamphetamine
Cocaine withdrawal typically begins within a few hours of use. The most immediate symptoms are associated with “crashing”. They last between a few hours and several days and can include trouble concentrating, fatigue, and agitation.
The second round of withdrawal symptoms can last between 1-3 weeks. These symptoms are more serious, and commonly include intense drug cravings, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Detoxing from stimulants is not normally life-threatening, but it is recommended that you have professional supervision and guidance during this process. Medical supervision helps with overcoming the physical, psychological, and emotional toll that withdrawal takes. An added benefit is that cocaine addiction treatment professionals can help you overcome setbacks such as craving, anxiety, and depression – helping to avoid relapse.
Heroin & Opiates: Morphine, Oxycodone, Methadone
Within 12 hours of taking the last drug, withdrawal from heroin or prescription opiates (such as Oxycontin) typically begins, increasing in severity over the ensuing 12-48 hours. Symptoms intensify for up to a week, including anxiety, muscle aches, agitation, and flu-like symptoms. Towards the end of a heroin or opiate detox, withdrawal can become unbearable. New symptoms emerge, including chills, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Opiate withdrawal is not normally life-threatening, but it is painful and uncomfortable, which makes it challenging to achieve sobriety. It is among the most addictive substances. Anyone attempting to detox from opiates should seek the assistance of trained medical and mental health professionals. This can keep the painful symptoms manageable, increasing the odds of successful detox.
Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol begin within 8 hours to a few days of taking the last drink. The social acceptance of alcohol addiction tends to make people underestimate its dangers. Symptoms related to alcohol detox are some of the severe during the first week of detox. They can include life-threatening medical issues such as hallucinations, extreme confusion, tremors, seizures, and delirium tremens. Other symptoms of alcohol detox include insomnia, depression, mood swings, shakiness, and shallow breathing.
Alcohol withdrawal can and should be considered life-threatening. Symptoms often occur in sudden and abnormal patterns, making them difficult to manage. People at a high risk for alcohol dependence need to seek professional medical assistance when quitting drinking. Detox should always be done under medical supervision.
Know when it’s time to detox
It is crucial to seek professional help if you or a loved one has developed a dependence on drugs or alcohol. There are options. There are several therapeutic options, both medical and behavioral, that can ease the pain and discomfort of withdrawal symptoms, and manage potentially life-threatening complications such as delirium, seizures, and suicidal thoughts.
MD Home Detox offers solutions that offer privacy, comfort, and convenience. Our home detox treatment concierge services allow addicted individuals to detox in the privacy and comfort of their own home. No need to vacate your life and responsibilities to get clean and sober. Our trained professionals will come to you and provide you with the assistance, care, and expertise required for a successful detox from drugs or alcohol.