Substances affect all aspects of your body and your mind. An element that is often neglected when it should never be are the physical needs that come into play when a person stops using it.
It is essential to understand how serious detox is. While detoxing, the body goes through many withdrawal symptoms that will range from mild to life-threateningly severe:
- Increased blood pressure/heart rate
The longer your loved one has been using, the more severe the symptoms will be, and the longer the detox and withdrawal symptoms will last. This is normal and best done under the care of medical professionals.
If you and someone you care about are looking at the end of a path of addiction and wonder if detox may be the next step, here are some signs you should look for.
Multiple Attempts To Stop
Multiple unsuccessful breaks in using should signify that your loved one is a candidate for first having a stent in a detox program. If a person has reached the point where they want to stop using and have tried repeatedly, they likely need detox to get through the withdrawal symptoms and onto the rehab portion of treatment.
Also, keep in mind that addiction and withdrawal are both too taxing, both physically and mentally. The more times your body is put through that, the harder it gets to handle each time.
An inevitable effect of stopping a substance that was abused is actual physical withdrawal. No matter the substance, your body will eventually grow used to it when used in addiction and adjust accordingly. No matter the potency of the substance used, there will be a side effect of suddenly taking it away.
Though timelines can be generalized depending on the substance of choice and the length and severity of the usage, each person will have an individualized timeline. It is safe to say that the addict will start to feel the physical withdrawal symptoms 24 hours with any substance. They will often peak anywhere between 36-72 hours after last use and last for up to seven to ten days.
As an addict, I thought I knew what cravings were. Then I went through withdrawal and realized I knew nothing. The cravings experiences while using never become full-fledged cravings because you meet them. You give your body what it is demanding. You fulfill the need.
When you have stopped using and detox, your body has to deal with its physical and mental side effects, but the cravings feel more than that. They feel like an average person would imagine they might feel like being deprived of oxygen. Your body now believes it needs your substance in that same way.
These cravings are often the downfall for even the strongest person in recovery – no matter their physical or mental fortitude. Detox counselors and doctors are often the only people who will help an addict make it past these uncontrollable urges.
I applaud anyone who is looking to take the step forward and stop using. I implore you all to understand that it is not something that should ever be employed on your own, however. If these aspects are not held in check by trained professionals, it could set your loved one up for a fall that they may not come back from.
There are many terrific options across the country for a great detox program Los Angeles to New York City.