Young woman struggling with addiction

The period immediately following the last time a drug is used is known as the detoxification period and often comes with withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms are the result of dependencies formed during drug use being broken once the drug is no longer available to the mind and body.

How strong withdrawal symptoms are will depend on the drug being used, how long it’s been abused, the individual’s health and even the genetics they inherited at birth. Each of these not only impacts how severe symptoms are, but they also play a significant role in how quickly an individual becomes addicted to certain substances.

What To Expect From Withdrawals

It takes time for the brain and body to learn how to operate without the presence of drugs or alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms experienced during detox can range from mild discomfort to fatal seizures if left unaddressed.

A good rule of thumb is that withdrawal symptoms are the opposite of the drug’s effect. For example, a stimulant such as cocaine that creates intense periods of pleasure can lead to immediate depression as withdrawals begin within 12 hours.

Understanding the different withdrawal symptoms to expect can help you better support yourself or a loved one through their recovery.

Intense Cravings

The urge to begin using drugs or alcohol again once withdrawal symptoms begin is normal and to be expected during any detox as it’s the quickest answer to painful withdrawals. When detox is tackled alone, these cravings are often what leads to relapse almost immediately after withdrawal symptoms begin.

Cravings will vary in strength depending on the type of drug being abused and how intense the dependencies created have become. Even if it’s been years since someone’s last use of a particular drug, cravings and impulses can still manifest.

Proper addiction treatment will set patients up to safely overcome future cravings in a healthy manner through positive coping mechanisms and relapse prevention mental health specialists.

A Multi-Day Time Commitment

Withdrawal symptoms are considered to be the hardest part of recovering from addiction, and the process of detox will take time to complete. For some drugs, this period only lasts a few days with other drugs leading to lifelong withdrawal symptoms even after others have subsided within a few weeks.

The reason detox takes so long is that the body has to naturally recover from substance abuse, even if medication is used to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. There’s no shortcut when it comes to withdrawal, so it’s important to have proper support to make it as comfortable as possible.

Getting Help With Withdrawals

Every step of recovery should be taken while surrounded by a team of supportive professionals and loved ones. Detox and withdrawal make this practice even more important as improper support can lead to an early failure in treatment.

While recovery often takes multiple attempts, individuals should always do everything they can to boost their odds of success. Choosing to attend medical detox at a rehab facility is one of the easiest ways to make sobriety an attainable goal. Medically-assisted detox provides you with 24/7 support through medication and mental health therapy to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

For those with a strong support system at home and don’t require medical supervision during detox, outpatient treatment is a less intense option that still works towards the ultimate goal of long-term sobriety.

Get Started With America’s Rehab Campus

ARC has helped thousands of guests overcome their battle with addiction and can help you and your loved ones too. With a team of experienced recovery professionals and a wide range of accepted insurances, ARC aims to make addiction treatment as accessible as possible.

If you or someone you know is in need of addiction treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today. Our free and confidential consultations can address any questions or concerns you may have about treatment.