Symptoms of withdrawal are not to be ignored, learn the signs
One of the many reasons that it can be so difficult to break an addiction to drugs or alcohol is the withdrawal symptoms that occur when a person tries to quit abusing drugs or alcohol. Detoxification, also known more commonly as detox, is the first step in any addiction recovery program or plan. And when a person is going through the detox process, their body and brain will react against detoxing and cause symptoms of withdrawal. While there are many different symptoms of withdrawal that can occur, there are some that are the most common and universal among all different types of drug addictions. Get to know some of these top symptoms of withdrawal as well as the important facts about withdrawal from drugs or alcohol so you can be sure you get the best possible care and treatment for your detox process.
Top Withdrawal Symptom #1: Nausea
Nausea is one of the most prevalent symptoms of withdrawal from any drug. Whether you are detoxing from alcohol or heroin, nausea often occurs. This symptom can range from mild to severe and is due to the chemical imbalances that occur in the body when it is denied the substance it is addicted to.
In other words, because the brain is not receiving chemical signals from the addicted substance, the person’s internal systems are all going to be out of sync. When this happens, nausea is a common side effect. One of the drug withdrawal remedies available for nausea is anti-nausea medications. Additionally, having a bland diet that is primarily based on clear fluids can help reduce nausea.
Top Withdrawal Symptom #2: Dehydration
Many people going through detox will become dehydrated in the process. There are several reasons this happens. Oftentimes, the nausea that people feel in the process will make them avoid eating and drinking which increases the likelihood of dehydration. Additionally, the body is trying to process the drug out of the system. This can dehydrate the body as the kidneys and liver work in overdrive to remove the drug, leading to more liquid (water) loss in the process.
Luckily, there are many drug withdrawal remedies for dehydration during detox. This includes encouraging water intake, drinking specialty electrolyte beverages, and receiving IV fluids. Doctors can oversee the administration of fluids to ensure the person does not become dangerously dehydrated.
Top Withdrawal Symptom #3: Muscle Cramps
Another of the common symptoms of withdrawal is the problem of muscle cramps. Muscle cramps can occur from detox itself or can be a side effect of the dehydration that can accompany detox. These cramps can occur throughout the body but are most common in the legs. Abdominal cramping is also quite common.
Muscle cramps during detox can be treated in various ways. Sometimes, light stretching or exercise can help to reduce muscle cramps. Increasing fluid intake can help as well. Some patients will also be given potassium supplements or foods high in potassium like bananas to reduce severe and frequent muscle cramping.
How Long Does Drug Withdrawal Last?
When you are looking at the top symptoms of withdrawal, you may also be asking yourself, “How long does drug withdrawal last?” The answer will vary from person to person and be based on the drug that the person is addicted to. However, there are some similarities between most people and addictive substances. The withdrawal symptoms generally begin within the first 12 to 24 hours after discontinuing drug abuse and peak at about two to three days into the detox process. Once symptoms of withdrawal have peaked, the reduction in symptoms is gradual and some symptoms can linger for several weeks or even months (such as occasional drug cravings).
With this knowledge of some of the most common drug and alcohol addiction withdrawal symptoms, you can see why getting treatment for even the typical withdrawal symptoms is vitally important.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.