Table of Contents
- Is It Possible to Stop?
- Can You Get Better From Withdrawal?
- Steps For Managing Drug Addiction Withdrawal
A Comprehensive Guide To Managing Drug Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms And Challenges
Today’s highly mechanized and overstressed world has made it easy for people to find relief and comfort in instant fixes. Such is the case for many people who regularly take illicit substances.
The problem is that taking drugs has a significant impact on a person’s life. It starts with you developing a tolerance to the effects of the substances you take. The brain is an adaptive tissue that processes the chemicals these provide and takes them as part of its regular function. Over time, the same level of intake starts to lose its impact, making your body crave the substances more.
This is called dependence. At this point, your brain’s chemistry has changed to rely on alcohol and drugs to continue doing what it does. If you can’t obtain the same level of impact, the body crashes. So, you’re forced to take more and more. This vicious cycle is called addiction, which is the natural end of substance abuse.
Is It Possible to Stop?
Yes, it always is.
However, the issue is how you should stop. Quitting cold turkey is actually dangerous. After a long period of reliance, your brain will malfunction if it doesn’t get the chemicals it needs.
When this happens, you go into withdrawal. This is a condition where your body tries to readjust itself to its regular state before the onset of your substance abuse problem. The process can get serious, making you experience fatigue, nausea, mood swings, vomiting, shakiness, hallucinations, fever, rapid heart rate, confusion, insomnia, and sweating. More drastic cases often involve seizures.
The addiction withdrawal process is one of the biggest challenges to overcoming addiction. Almost everyone who has been on the path of recovery can attest to how difficult it is. Some find it hard since they’ve relied on substance abuse to cope with the symptoms of mental health problems: a condition called dual diagnosis. For more insight into this problem, you can check out links like this one: https://www.jacksonhouserehab.com/treatment/substance-abuse-mental-illness/
Can You Get Better From Withdrawal?
The answer is also yes. Rehabilitative care has made it possible for persons with substance abuse disorder or a dual diagnosis to get comprehensive treatment and support. You or someone you know can reach out to professional care facilities to find ways to safely cut back on your drug use and rebuild your life.
The process won’t be easy. But the sober, clear future that waits ahead is always worth it.
Steps For Managing Drug Addiction Withdrawal
Every recovering patient will experience addiction withdrawal differently. However, there are common, effective ways to manage it. Here are some of them:
1. Join A Support Group
There’s nothing as fulfilling as finding people who have or have had the same struggle as the one you’re going through. Support groups provide a safe space and time to share your experiences without fearing judgment or rejection.
Once you share the challenges you’re going through, you can get helpful feedback. Your companions can either tell you what they did to help them or refer you to professionals.
Apart from the typical support group, keeping trustworthy friends and family close is essential. They can aid you in maintaining your lifestyle adjustments and serve as your accountability partner in case you relapse. You must avoid walking the journey alone and get the proper support to manage the addiction withdrawal symptoms effectively.
2. Create An Exercise Routine
Exercise is extremely helpful in your recovery journey. The reason is it provides a natural trigger for the release of dopamine, a hormone responsible for feelings of enjoyment and satisfaction. Therefore, the more you engage in your favorite sport or exercise, whether basketball, football, jogging, or volleyball, the more you realign your brain’s chemistry to healthier habits.
Moreover, it improves your physical fitness, allowing you to handle withdrawal symptoms better. As the saying goes, you can’t have a sound mind without a sound body.
The other advantages of exercise include:
- Relieving tension and stress
- Enhancing your self-esteem
- Reducing your risk of relapse
- Fixing your sleep schedule
- Reducing your reliance on drugs
- Improving your brain’s functions, like memory recall, mood regulation, and concentration
It’s best to work with a health professional to develop an exercise plan that suits your needs.
3. Have A Balanced Diet And Stay Hydrated
As you recover, you should be careful about what you eat. Your bodily systems will need plenty of nourishment to regain normal levels of function. This means you’ll have to cut down on junk food and any other meals that don’t provide much nutritional value.
Work with a care team to design a diet that provides the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed to restore your health. This will be key to a sustainable recovery process.
Consequently, you’ll need to cut back on the following:
- Processed food
- Refined sugars
- Saturated foods
A balanced diet also contributes to your brain chemistry’s realignment to healthier habits. People who eat healthy, experience the following benefits:
- Better energy levels
- Better moods
- Reduced stress and irritation
- Improved self-esteem
- Smoother relationships with others
- Greater satisfaction in their daily routines
Of course, your body will also need plenty of water. Your brain is highly dependent on hydration. So, make sure to drink more than eight glasses of water a day. This, combined with a proper diet and regular exercise, can keep you on track with your recovery goals.
4. Follow A Well-Planned Sleep Schedule
Drastic changes in sleeping patterns are one of the common symptoms of substance abuse. So, you may find your sleep schedule getting harder to pin down as you go along the withdrawal process.
Fortunately, you can still plan it out to get the appropriate amount of sleep. You can try having a ritual to make transitioning into bed easier. That refers to a specific set of activities to signal to yourself that it’s time to rest. This can include a moment of meditation, an afternoon walk, a few minutes reading a book, and so on.
Also, you should try staying active during the day so your body clock naturally prepares itself for sleep at night. Other ways to follow a sleep schedule include:
- Using mood lamps instead of harsh lighting in your bedroom
- Visiting a physician to get professional advice
- Spacing out naps during the day
- Listening to soothing music
No two people sleep the same way. So, it’s essential that you figure out what works for you to help you maintain a schedule. After all, you need it to recharge your body, and allow your brain to repair itself and recover.
5. Try Practicing Meditation
Aside from medical interventions and lifestyle adjustments, more therapeutic methods can help you in your journey through addiction withdrawal.
Meditation practices have always been a good choice. If you’re interested, you can try yoga.
It’s an activity that involves developing the connection between your mind and body. You’ll be doing poses and movements that encourage bodily awareness while promoting the stillness of your thoughts.
In most yoga sessions, the instructor encourages the participants to focus their attention within. This lets you become more in tune and aware of your body. From there, the poses serve as pathways for directing your mental energy only to your body’s inner workings, developing your sense of appreciation for what you have. In this sense, yoga helps you on two fronts: physically and mentally.
Meditation also provides the time and space for self-reflection. As you slow down your sensations and perceptions, you can gain a better grasp of where you are in your recovery journey. Which temptations have been hard to beat? Where have you succeeded? Have the people around been helpful? Finding your answers to these questions is empowering and keeps you motivated as you navigate the addiction withdrawal process.
6. Avoid Keeping Matters To Yourself
When you’re going through addiction withdrawal, keeping things to yourself is the last thing you should do. Even if you believe what you’re going through can only be something you alone should experience, you need to share it with someone you can trust.
Nobody falls into drug addiction the same way. You may have started using drugs after a traumatic experience. Perhaps you were under pressure to make ends meet, so you resorted to stimulants. Or maybe the big decision you made in your life ended up way different from what you expected, and drugs became your source of comfort. Any of these circumstances can feel unique to you alone, and it’s valid to think so.
But nothing is more freeing than knowing that someone can understand and lend a hand. Give yourself a chance, talk to your trusted loved ones, and seek help from a mental health expert. You have nothing to lose and the world to gain.
Quitting substance abuse isn’t easy. But there’s no greater relief from your problems than gaining control of your life once more. You’re bound to experience relapses and setbacks as you go along. But take these as signs of how far you’ve come from where you once were. If you employ these tips, you should be able to stay on track. Here’s to a better, sober life.