Withdrawal is a complex event that the public often doesn’t understand. Some people think that withdrawals are simply something to overcome with willpower, while others might suffer from addiction and cite a fear of withdrawals as a reason not to quit. Can withdrawals ever be worse than continued drug addiction, and what exactly are the consequences of drug withdrawals?
Are Withdrawals Bad For Your Health?
First of all, it’s important to establish what withdrawals are. They’re the consequence of chemical dependency that addictive substances foster. Essentially, the brain and body as a whole become accustomed to the presence of this compound and adjust your default internal state to accommodate it. Once you begin going through withdrawals, your body essentially undergoes the inversion of a drug-induced high as you feel deeply miserable and uncomfortable in your skin.
Depending on the drug, withdrawals can involve symptoms as severe as hallucinations and seizures. When a severely addicted person undergoes withdrawals without proper medical care and supervision, it’s not unheard of for withdrawals to be fatal. However, there’s also one other situation in which withdrawals can have a severe negative effect besides the agonizing symptoms.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)
Acute withdrawals are the one to two-week long stretches of intense symptoms that most people are aware of. However, many people have never heard of PAWS, a condition that can occur after withdrawals. In this case, the person who’s struggling with addiction can experience enduring cravings, discomfort, and a sort of brain fog that can last for months or longer.
The good news is that PAWS symptoms are not always that severe and that they always seem to fade away with time. Furthermore, they’re often avoidable with proper care. Studies show that PAWS is almost certain to result when a person experiences full, unmitigated withdrawal symptoms after quitting cold turkey. Quitting alcohol or opioids cold turkey will make a person almost certain to develop PAWS, with a deeper addiction correlating to more severe post-acute withdrawal symptoms. On the other hand, proper treatment for withdrawals greatly reduces the incidence and severity of withdrawals.
Seek Out Withdrawal Treatment
So while withdrawals can be bad for your health, this is only the truth when you lack proper care. If you seek out a clinic that can help you safely wean off of the drug with the level of support and supervision that withdrawal warrants, your odds of death become nil and PAWS becomes a much smaller risk.
But even if you suffer from post-acute withdrawal syndrome, it’s false to say that withdrawals are bad for your health on balance. Addiction kills tens of thousands of people each year via overdose and shortens hundreds of thousands of lives besides. While everyone who struggles with an addiction deserves proper care to make withdrawals as manageable as possible, the worst case of withdrawals is less dangerous than continued addiction.
Get Clean with America’s Rehab Campuses
At America’s Rehab Campuses, we appreciate that overcoming drug addiction is a difficult battle. This is why we make use of modern addiction science and follow the latest treatment methods to help make withdrawals manageable and to make your recovery a lasting one. When you or a loved one needs help beating addiction, get in touch.