The acute stage of drug withdrawal.
Drug withdrawal occurs in two stages. The first, the acute stage, typically lasts for about 2 weeks and involves the following physical and psychological symptoms:
- Muscle and
in the chest
loss due to loss of appetite
breathing or racing heart
(occasionally combined with suicidal thoughts or hopelessness)
(preoccupation with obtaining drugs)
Symptoms associated with detox
More severe drug withdrawal symptoms can occur after quitting abruptly without medical assistance, especially when the patient is detoxing from tranquilizers. They include:
The post-acute phase and post
acute withdrawal syndrome.
For many, the more difficult stage of drug withdrawal is the second, post-acute phase. Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) is likely to occur during this stage. The symptoms of PAWS can severely impact the recovery process. They include:
to process and organize thoughts
instability or inability to feel emotions
- Lack of
to cope with stress
assisted drug detox.
Drug withdrawal symptoms can be quite painful for and potentially dangerous to patients—so much so that, sometimes, addicted persons attempt to self-medicate. For these reasons and more, medically assisted detox is strongly recommended.
Medical detox safely manages the physical symptoms of drug withdrawal. Although detox alone is rarely sufficient to help patients achieve long-term abstinence, it is a strongly indicated precursor to effective drug addiction treatment.
Medically assisted detox can take place in outpatient and inpatient settings, but the latter is preferable (and often more successful) for several reasons. For starters, inpatient facilities are able to dedicate teams of specialists to care for the addict 24 hours a day. They’re well equipped to handle severe drug withdrawal symptoms. Not to mention, they remove the addict from the environment in which they were abusing drugs. Lastly, detoxing in the inpatient setting affords patients the opportunity to remain at the facility as they transition to the treatment stage of recovery. Fully completed inpatient programs have very high success rates.
Detox is just the beginning.
It is important for drug addicts and their families to remember that detox, while essential, is only the first step in an effective treatment plan. In fact, those who do not begin a treatment program following detox are rarely able to overcome addiction. Nevertheless, with the right help and holistic, individualized treatment, there is hope. Contact Caron and explore our programs for more information.