Detox and Dangers of Withdrawal
In order for therapy and addiction education to be successful, a person must first remove all the chemicals that would interfere with cognition. In the haze of drug and alcohol abuse, people can’t identify and work through potentially tough issues. Recognizing that you need help is the first step to overcoming addiction. Then the work begins.
Although stopping drugs and alcohol is a frightening prospect, it is possible and probably not as painful as you may think. The disease of addiction is centered in the brain and tells the user not to stop despite negative consequences. This is simply the disease talking. The brain is tricked by the drugs to believe that they are necessary for survival, which is a lie. Stopping is the only way to survive and continuing to use all too often results in death.
Science of Detox
The disease of addiction infiltrates every aspect of the drug user’s life and reality. The negative consequences of using drugs and alcohol are seemingly endless, reaching into a person’s mental and physical health. Drugs affect the brain by essentially hijacking the production of certain neurochemicals and flooding the brain. The neurochemical dopamine, responsible for feelings of pleasure and euphoria, is experienced at an unnaturally high level. The neuropathways become desensitized over time, requiring more and more of the drug to achieve the high.
As a result of the introduction of drugs, the brain produces less dopamine. Once the drug is no longer introduced, the mind is left with a deficit of neurochemicals and the consequence is withdrawal symptoms. The variety of symptoms experienced depend on the drug or drugs used, amount used, person’s physiology, and length of use.
Withdrawal symptoms vary, yet medically managed detox may decrease them. With today’s medical technology, people can stop using with much less suffering than previously in history. Often doctors will prescribe medication to alleviate symptoms and that allows for a more gradual and safe withdrawal.
Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance and leads more people than any other substance to seek treatment. Alcohol withdrawal can be deadly due to the seizures that can come as a result. For those entering a detox facility due to alcohol, solely or partially, benzodiazepines are prescribed to prevent these dangerous and uncomfortable symptoms.
Methadone is commonly prescribed for those withdrawing from heroin. The withdrawal from heroin can be extremely uncomfortable and often lead the person to go back to using before the withdrawal is complete. Methadone is used in an effort to reduce suffering and allow the person to finally stop using for good.
Recovery is Possible
Regardless of the substances of use, detoxing is less miserable than continuing to use. It is the first stage of recovery and marks the beginning of a new wonderful life, better than you can imagine. Many people have found themselves addicted to drugs or alcohol and been able to overcome their addiction, one day at a time. Detox can be difficult but it is the key to unlocking the restraints of addiction.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, reach out and get the help you need and deserve. A life spent enslaved to drugs is hell and you don’t have to suffer another day more. Give us a call at 1-910-729-6829. We have expert professionals ready to answer any questions you may have and walk you through the process of finding a program that best fits your needs. It is never too late to start on your road to recovery!