Going through withdrawal can be a scary experience. You might feel like you’re going to die, but the reality is that it isn’t as bad as you think. When an addict goes through addiction withdrawal, they will go through physical and emotional pain. This blog post covers what happens to your body when withdrawing from drugs or alcohol and more.
Why do people go through withdrawal?
When people stop using opioids such as heroin or prescription painkillers, which are drugs that interact with opioid receptors in the brain and body, this can happen when someone doesn’t want to use it anymore or a doctor decides to stop prescribing a medication. For people recovering from opioid use disorder (OUD), withdrawal is part of the process of becoming clean and sober, which should be overseen by medical help.
Withdrawal is the body’s response to not having opioids in it. What happens when you have a withdrawal is someone stops taking drugs that affect opioid receptors in the brain; usually, after a period of heavy use, the body adjusts by releasing corticosteroids and adrenaline, causing symptoms such as feeling sick or vomiting. In some cases, what withdrawal can do to your body is lead to a heightened risk for seizures.
How does withdrawal work in the body?
Withdrawal typically starts within 6-12 hours after stopping opioids, with symptoms peaking between 24-72 hours. Symptoms can last for about 5-14 days. Most symptoms are psychological, including cravings for opioids, feeling angry or irritable, anxiety, loss of appetite, and trouble sleeping. Physical symptoms include muscle aches, runny nose or tearing eyes, sweating, diarrhea, and vomiting. For some people who are withdrawing from opioids, this can be very uncomfortable, but with the proper treatment, these symptoms can be managed.
What are the symptoms of withdrawal?
Withdrawal symptoms depend on the drug and the severity of use. Some common signs of going through withdrawal include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cold flashes with goosebumps (termed “cold turkey”)
- Stomach cramps, aching muscles, and bones, restlessness; tears, rage, or self-pity
- Anxiety and agitation
- Rapid heartbeat and respiration
- High blood pressure is followed by a rapid heart rate known as “blood sugar blues.”
- Hallucinations, confusion, tremors
- Seizures (“DTs”) typically occur 36-72 hours after the last dose.
As the other symptoms subside, they are replaced by depression, which can last for months.
Why turn to professional help?
When someone has stopped taking opioids, there are certain things that will happen in the body within the first 24 hours. The person may experience flu-like symptoms. These symptoms may increase in intensity over the next few days, which is why early medical supervision should be sought to avoid any long-term negative effects.
Some people decide to go through opioid withdrawal on their own without the support of medical drug abuse treatment or other medications that are available, such as methadone. This is not advised as it can be dangerous and lead to long-term health problems. Withdrawal symptoms may last for weeks or even months after stopping opioid use, and there is a chance that they will return to using drugs if their withdrawal symptoms become too difficult to handle.
This process needs to be taken seriously with slow, controlled tapering of the drug under medical supervision. This gives people a chance to deal with their addiction in a safe manner, which will also reduce the risk of returning to drug use.
At the Addictions Coach, we treat withdrawal symptoms using the following treatments:
A sober companion is a person who helps you through the withdrawal process by being there 24/7 to answer any questions about your treatment and provide emotional support. A lot of people may have been using it for a while, and it can be hard to get back into normal day-to-day life. Having someone stay with them throughout the process makes this transition much less daunting for the person who is withdrawing from opioids.
At The Addictions Coach and our sister company, Sober on Demand, all of our Sober Companions are certified, trained, and have a minimum of 5 years of sobriety. We do a personality match and make sure that the sober buddy best suits your personality and lifestyle. You allow our clients to meet their sober companions via ZOOM ahead of time as well.
There are other medications available to help ease the overall withdrawal process, which may include antidepressants or even anti-anxiety medication if needed. Doctors will prescribe what they believe is best for each individual to ensure that the withdrawal experience is as comfortable as possible.
If you are interested in medications, check out our neurotransmitter supplements. Pro Recovery Rx Supplements which are researched based natural supplement supporting brain health through the addiction recovery process.
Addiction recovery coach
If you are considering stopping opioids but are worried about what to expect during the withdrawal process, then this is another option. Addiction recovery coach services will help prepare you for the physical and mental challenges that come with detoxification. You will learn coping strategies on how to get through each step of the withdrawal process, including what to expect, how long it may take, and how to deal with the cravings.
At the addictions coach, we will not only be able to work with you not only on your drug or alcohol addiction, but we also offer services for gambling addiction, sex addiction, and more. We can also address any possible co-occurring mental health issues.
Concierge Private Addiction Retreat
If you have a serious opioid addiction and don’t want to go through withdrawal, then this is an option. This type of treatment is also effective for those who feel uncomfortable going into a detox facility, or they do not have the time available to go through medically assisted withdrawal at home. With this type of treatment, the individual will be monitored by doctors and nurses around the clock while they go through detoxification in a private environment. Prefer a Concierge Private Retreat? We can do that!
Life Coaching is a form of therapy that can help people who are recovering from an addiction. This type of treatment will teach the individual about relapse prevention and how to avoid the triggers that led them into addiction in the first place. It’s also helpful with stress management as well as learning healthier ways to cope with life difficulties, such as stress and anxiety.
In fact, Dr. Estes, who has over 25 years of experience working with clients, believes that everyone should be given a chance to ‘UnPause their life’ to combat issues and behaviors that prevent them in life and limit their goals and aspirations.
Counseling and therapy
Counseling and therapy is an effective way to deal with the psychological side of addiction that may have led to the problem. This type of treatment is aimed at teaching people how to cope with their problems in healthier ways which can help them avoid relapse.
If you are going through withdrawal, it may be time for some professional help. We’re here to help with addiction recovery options that will put your life back on the right track. Call us today or check out our website for more information!