Pain and discomfort are often two main feelings people try to avoid their whole life. Unfortunately, when we are talking about detox and withdrawals for substance abuse there is no getting around the pain and discomfort. It is important to know, when considering rehabilitation, when you should go into detox and if the substances you are abusing requires a medical supervision.
Drugs that are opiate based like heroin or prescription pills will leave you with flu like symptoms, shakes, body aches, and diarrhea. But these are not fatal, even though they can feel like it during the detox process. Drugs like heroin change the way the brain functions causing all hormonal regulation and pain receptors on the body to malfunction. Heroin tends to put you in a numb state where pain is not perceived. When you do not have heroin in your body, your brain craves the numb state and your body begins to ache. Medication can be given to decrease the discomfort but this detox process can be done without medical supervision.
If antidepressants or sleeping pills are your bad habit, you may want to consider medical supervision as antidepressants and sleeping pills regulate hormones. The withdrawals from these drugs are not fatal, it is how the person reacts that makes this detox process dangerous. When detoxing from antidepressants, you can become extremely depressed and may want to take your own life or hurt yourself with self-mutilation. In 2013, emergency department visits for antidepressant misuse or abuse by youth aged 12 to 17 averaged 32 a day. From 2005 to 2011, drug-related suicide attempts have increased across all age groups at an alarming rate. Yes, the withdrawals are not fatal, but if the detox from your antidepressants or sleeping pills are causing serious suicidal thoughts or tendencies, medically supervised detox may be the best option for sustaining your life.
Alcohol and Benzodiazepine
Dr. Dan encourages those who are abusing alcohol or benzodiazepines to get medical supervised detoxification. If you are taking benzodiazepine like Xanax, Ativan, or Clonazepam for anxiety, panic attacks, and seizures; you know how serious this medication is for maintaining a healthy and safe lifestyle. However, if you are abusing this medication for the way it makes you feel, your detoxing must be supervised or you could suffer brain damaging withdrawals like strokes, seizures, and psychotic episodes that could result in taking your own life. You must have a medically supervised detox for both alcohol and benzodiazepine when you decide to kick the addiction and get recovery. Benzodiazepines are used to control epileptic seizures and intense panic attacks, going cold turkey from benzodiazepines even if you are just abusing them for the effects, could induce seizures once the medication it out of your system.
Heavy drinking is often subject to opinion, some believe 5 consecutive drinks is consider heavy binge drinking. Others who have a higher tolerance to alcohol may feel a whole bottle of spirits like vodka or whiskey is cause for alarm. Either way, if you are abusing alcohol for the purposes of self-medicating or other means, you may know the feeling of the withdrawals already. Alcohol withdrawals are potentially life-threatening and can occur in people that have been drinking heavily for as little as a few weeks. Symptoms ranging from anxiety and shakiness to severe life threatening complications can occur for those people who have been abusing it for a long time. Such complications include seizures and delirium tremens, also called DTs, which is a state of severe confusion and tremors.
You Know Yourself the Best
Yes, withdrawals are the worst part of rehabilitation and the discomfort and pain may be too much for you to handle. If you have pre-existing health conditions that would put your life in danger during your detox process, please reach out to your doctor and discuss your goals of getting off the drugs. You and your doctor know best, so if you think there will be complications detoxing from the substance you are abusing, consider a detox program that will ensure a successful recovery. Often time withdrawals become so taxing on the body that people relapse to end the suffering. Your journey through recovery depends on you, so if you need medically assisted detox to ensure you kick your addiction; get the help you need to guarantee your future is a drug free one.