Generally, symptoms start out mild and heighten for most substance abusers around two to three days after last use of the substance in question. Many people admit themselves to detox programs every year to help deal with the discomfort felt during withdrawal. An approximate 28,955 people were in detox on a typical day in 2011, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports. The symptoms a person can experience during withdrawal vary from one substance to the next and also change based on how much of, and how often, a substance is used. That being said, typical symptoms that stem from withdrawing from just about any substance include:
- Mood swings
- Fatigue and/or insomnia
- Respiratory depression
Some symptoms are fairly mild while others can get quite intense. Withdrawal from certain substances even poses the risk of death, such as withdrawal from alcohol and benzodiazepines.
Sometimes, death during withdrawal can stem from emotional instability. Individuals afflicted with depression, anxiety, rage, or paranoia during withdrawal may act out with self-destructive behavior. Suicide is a real risk among substance abusers. Psychology Today attests to the rate of suicide among substance abusers who fail to seek treatment being as high as 45 percent. Often, matters are far more complex than the mood swings that come alongside withdrawal. In many cases, mental health is a larger concern. Depression and anxiety are often at an all-time high during withdrawal from a substance. On top of that, approximately 50 percent of people who are severely mentally ill are also substance abusers, according to Helpguide. Letting a mental health disorder grow makes it harder to treat in the long-term, and it may very well lead right back to substance abuse.
It’s Time to Get Help
Treatment for alcoholism is often managed with benzodiazepines to calm symptoms; they work fairly effectively, considering the only way to withdraw from alcohol is to cease drinking. The benzodiazepine addict benefits most from a treatment protocol that focuses on tapering the dosage over time in incremental doses that decrease by about 25 percent for every quarter of time that one expects to be withdrawing, as recommended by AFP. Addiction to opiates is one of the most severe substance dependencies there is. Whether you’re battling prescription opioid pain relievers or heroin, the treatment approach is the same. The most popular form of managing withdrawal from opiate addiction is via a methadone maintenance program, something the California Society of Addiction Medicine reports to be 60-90 percent effective in all patients. Buprenorphine is another option for patients wishing to detox slowly and avoid the harsh and abrupt effects of detoxing from opiates, though success rates are more variable for this drug. Recent research points toward a 49 percent success rate, per the National Institutes of Health. Regardless of which method you choose, the objective is the same — gradually weaning you off of opiates. If you are ready to accept help, call Futures of Palm Beach today. We can answer your questions about the detox process and help you get started.