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How To Get Off Cocaine

Cocaine addiction and drug abuse can be devastating; they can cause you to feel lost, helpless, and out of control. Acknowledging the problem takes a lot of strength, so well done for getting this far. Once you have admitted that you need help, you can begin the recovery journey and tackle your substance addiction.

While cocaine is not the most physically challenging drug to get off, it can be challenging psychologically. Some psychological symptoms can be severe, making it essential to undergo detox and cocaine withdrawal under medical guidance. Detox can be completed at an inpatient treatment facility or at an outpatient treatment center, where medical professionals can guide you through overcoming drug use.

In addition to seeking treatment, healthy lifestyle choices, behavioral therapy, and community-based recovery groups are all recommended for those recovering from substance abuse.

Addiction treatment can help you to combat substance abuse and pave the way for a healthy, fulfilled life free from the ties of cocaine dependence.

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is an illicit stimulant drug that works by increasing activity in the central nervous system, which causes users to feel alert, highly energized, and experience euphoric sensations. The feelings of happiness and pleasure that arise upon using cocaine are due to the release of dopamine, which is triggered into production when cocaine is taken. These feelings contribute to cocaine’s addictive qualities.

Although many cocaine users use cocaine in its white, powdery form by snorting it or rubbing it on their gums, some people who participate in cocaine drug abuse use crack cocaine or crack, as it is otherwise known. Crack cocaine is rock-like in appearance and is generally administered by intravenous injection or via smoking it.

What Are the Effects of Cocaine Addiction and Abuse?

Cocaine is a fast-acting drug, meaning it gets to work quickly after entering your system. Usually, a cocaine high peaks after 15 to 30 minutes, while a crack cocaine high typically peaks after two to five minutes.

The duration and intensity of the high depend on several factors, such as the way it is administered, the purity of the substance, whether it is taken alongside other drugs, and the amount consumed.

Cocaine addiction can severely affect both the body and the brain. For example, cocaine elevates blood pressure and damages the cardiovascular system, putting a significant strain on the heart. As a result, cocaine addiction can put users at an increased risk of cardiac arrest, seizures, and stroke.

In addition to the physical effects of cocaine use, some mental health issues linked to cocaine abuse include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms?

When it comes to getting off cocaine, medical detox is needed. However, cocaine impacts the reward system in the brain, making it harder for some people to quit the drug altogether.

When detoxing from cocaine, withdrawal symptoms will arise as the body tries to readjust to functioning without the drug. Some cocaine withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable. Sadly, this is why many people will binge cocaine or continue using to avoid withdrawal. However, this is dangerous and can lead to a cocaine overdose.

Upon commencing a medical detox, withdrawal symptoms tend to be physical and psychological. Some of the psychological withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Unpleasant dreams or nightmares
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Suicidal thoughts

Although these withdrawal symptoms are commonly experienced, the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms depend on various factors, including:

  • The amount of cocaine taken
  • The duration of cocaine abuse
  • Polysubstance dependence
  • Your mental health
  • Your physical health

What Is the Cocaine Withdrawal Process?

To cease your physical cocaine dependency and start treatment, you will, as touched on above, need to go through cocaine detox. Detox involves ridding the body of toxic substances that accompany drug abuse.

Cocaine detox can be completed as part of an outpatient program at an outpatient treatment center or via an inpatient treatment center where round-the-clock care and medical supervision are available.

Although it is possible for some people to detox via an outpatient center or at home under medical guidance, inpatient rehab centers are usually recommended. This is because treatment is available at all times at an inpatient treatment facility.

Inpatient detox is recommended if you:

  • suffer from co-occurring mental illnesses.
  • have attempted withdrawal previously but failed.
  • are suffering from severe cocaine addiction.
  • are experiencing severe depression or intense cocaine withdrawal symptoms.

If you are worried about the detox process, plenty of support is available. Contacting a treatment center, such as our own, will ensure that you have the information and treatment you need to get off of cocaine.

The Withdrawal Timeline

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms generally ease after around seven to 10 days, but cocaine cravings can continue for a while after this.

The half-life of cocaine is relatively short, meaning that cocaine withdrawal symptoms can develop in as little as 90 minutes after the final dose. The withdrawal process can generally be broken down as follows:

  • One to three hours after last using cocaine will see symptoms such as irritability, exhaustion, anxiety, and an increased appetite arise.
  • Intense cocaine cravings often surface during the first week of cocaine withdrawal, as does insomnia, fatigue, vivid nightmares, anxiety, and depression.
  • Cocaine withdrawal symptoms often persist into the fourth week of cocaine withdrawal. During this time, you may feel emotionally unstable, agitated, and lack concentration.
  • Although anxiety and cravings may persist, cocaine withdrawal symptoms start to decrease five to 10 weeks after withdrawal starts.

What Addiction Treatment Options Are Available?

At present, there aren’t any Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications to treat cocaine withdrawal specifically. However, promising medications point toward the possibility of pharmacological treatment. In addition, certain anxiety medications exist, as do medications that block the pleasure response, which can help ease the withdrawal process.

With regards to treatment options for cocaine addiction, upon completing detox, you may be offered a range of treatments such as therapy and support groups. However, these treatments depend on whether you attend an inpatient or outpatient rehab. Should you attend our rehab for treatment, we will offer you a personalized treatment program that is individually tailored to your needs, ensuring that your physical and mental health requirements are taken into account.

Intense cravings make cocaine a hard drug to quit, especially as they can reappear a month after quitting. However, we can help you learn how to handle these as best possible and beat your cocaine use for good.

Treatment facilities, such as our own, generally offer therapy sessions, support groups (such as Narcotics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous), and behavioral therapy. Rehab also includes education surrounding relapse prevention and planning for aftercare.

Meanwhile, long-term cocaine addiction treatment focuses on emotional support to continue tackling the psychological addiction. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is recommended for cocaine addiction recovery.


If you have developed an addiction to cocaine, getting off the drug may feel like an impossible task. But with our help, overcoming an addiction is entirely achievable. The process can be intense, but luckily the withdrawal timeline is relatively short for most people.

However, to make a long-term recovery, a medically supervised detox is in your best interest. Likewise, treatment options such as inpatient or outpatient detox followed by rehab treatment programs will help you tackle your cocaine use and treat cocaine addiction safely and with guidance.

To find out more about our addiction treatment, please get in touch with us today. In doing so, our medical professionals can explain our addiction treatment, what a medical detox involves, and discuss our rehab facilities with you. We can also offer any mental health support that you may need.

Can You Die From Alcohol Withdrawal?

Sometimes quitting alcohol can simply mean making small and manageable changes to your lifestyle. But for many, alcohol withdrawal can make stopping drinking more difficult.

When you engage in prolonged heavy drinking, there is potential for addiction. Cutting out alcohol when you have a physical dependence can have adverse effects, including intense cravings and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms are usually unpleasant, but they can be dangerous on rare occasions, and, in extremely rare cases, they can be fatal. This is why you should never quit alcohol cold turkey at home without seeking medical advice.

If your relationship with alcohol has taken a turn for the worst and you find yourself struggling with an addiction, detoxing and going through alcohol withdrawal at a rehab center, such as our own, is recommended.

During your time in rehab, you will receive constant care and support, and your alcohol withdrawal will be monitored.


What Are the Dangers of Alcohol?

Alcohol is a powerful drug that can profoundly affect your mind and body when abused. As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol consumption slows down messages sent between your brain and body, leading to a range of rapid-onset effects, such as:

  • Euphoria
  • A warming sensation
  • A feeling of relaxation
  • Lowered heart rate and blood pressure
  • Reduced reflexes and coordination
  • Reduced cognitive function

Government guidelines advise women not to drink more than one drink containing alcohol per day. In contrast, men should avoid drinking more than two drinks a day. However, many people often overlook this advice to feed their addiction.

What Are the Dangers of Alcohol Abuse?

Drinking heavily is defined as consuming around eight drinks or more per week for women and 15 drinks or more per week for men. Binge drinking typically occurs if a woman consumes four or more drinks within a two-hour period or five for a man. This kind of excessive drinking is considered alcohol abuse.

Alcohol abuse can cause adverse short and long-term health problems to arise. Potential long-term health consequences of alcohol include:

  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Mouth, colon, liver, and pancreas cancer
  • Brain damage

In addition to the above, long-term health consequences of alcohol abuse can include alcohol poisoning, a condition that requires medical attention. Some signs of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Severe confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Low heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Unresponsiveness

If you think you may have an alcohol addiction, securing help is in your best interest. At our rehab center, we can provide you with the treatment you need to withdraw from alcohol in a safe environment. Likewise, don’t be afraid to talk to someone if you have a problem with alcohol abuse or addiction.

Alcohol rehab support area:

What Does Alcohol Addiction Look Like?

Alcohol triggers your brain to release dopamine, which causes the state of euphoria to occur after a few drinks. Through drinking heavily and frequently, alcohol corrupts our brain’s natural reward pathways.

Many things activate our reward pathways, such as music, food, and exercise. But our brains soon learn that alcohol causes instant pleasure and begins to crave it at all costs.

An addiction to alcohol causes both physical and psychological symptoms. However, you might not realize you are experiencing these symptoms, or you may not be ready to accept them. Yet, the only way to prevent them and combat an alcohol use disorder is via treatment.

Common physical signs of addiction include:

  • Tolerance to alcohol and needing more for the desired effect
  • Sudden weight gain or weight loss
  • Sleep problems, such as insomnia
  • Unexplained bruises and injuries
  • Lethargy
  • A disorganized appearance
  • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms

Common psychological symptoms of addiction include:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Exacerbated mental health issues

If you have developed an addiction to alcohol, your behavior will also begin to change, causing behavioral symptoms to impair your life. Changes in your behavior might be the first clue that you need help. Likewise, changes in your behavior may cause your loved ones to question your health and well-being.

Like many other people, you might not believe that your behavior is changing, and you may not believe you have an alcohol use disorder. However, if you notice that alcohol has slowly gotten the better of you, reach out for help.

Behavioral signs of addiction include:

  • An obsession with getting your next drink
  • Finding excuses to drink
  • Drinking in secret
  • Irritability and agitation when you can’t drink alcohol
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Poor hygiene
  • Prioritizing alcohol above things you once loved and enjoyed
  • Prioritizing alcohol over spending time with your friends and family
  • Defensiveness, secrecy, and lying about the extent of your alcohol use
  • Risky behavior, such as driving under the influence or unprotected sex

Sadly, addiction can slowly take over every aspect of your life. With addiction, you are no longer in control. But treatment is available to support you through the withdrawal process and help you make a long-term recovery.

What Are Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

If you have an alcohol dependence, the only way to overcome your problem is by seeking treatment at a rehab center. Usually, the first stage of treatment is detoxification.

During detoxification, alcohol withdrawal occurs as alcohol is removed from your body, which enables you to physically begin to recover. However, due to being physically dependent on alcohol, detox can cause you to experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can be uncomfortable, but detoxing is an essential step to becoming alcohol-free, and such symptoms are a sign that your body is rewiring itself.

Common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping problems
  • Vivid dreams
  • Low mood and depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Cravings

Symptoms can start as soon as six hours after your last drink and peak at around 72 hours before tapering off. Rehab centers are designed to keep you comfortable throughout the duration of your detox. They also provide other resources for your recovery, such as therapy and mental health support.

For most people, the detox process only takes up to one week. However, for others, detox may take longer to complete, and more intense and severe withdrawal symptoms may arise.

What Are Delirium Tremens (DTs)?

In the case of severe addiction, detoxing may give way to more intense withdrawal symptoms. These are called delirium tremens (DTs). This particular withdrawal symptom is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition; however, they usually only occur in about 5% of detox cases when a person has a severe prolonged alcohol addiction.

People who experience delirium tremens usually do so around 24 to 48 hours after they stop drinking.

Symptoms of delirium tremens include:

  • Panic attacks
  • Shaking
  • Chest pains
  • Agitation
  • Nightmares

More serious symptoms of delirium tremens include:

  • Severe confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever and sweating
  • Heart palpitations
  • Grand mal seizures

If you experience delirium tremens, supervision from medical professionals is vital. This is because life-threatening complications include sepsis, cardiac arrest, coma, and seizures. However, by attending a rehab center, these symptoms can be managed using medications, such as benzodiazepines.

Can You Die From Alcohol Withdrawal?

Like other people, you may wonder whether you can die from alcohol withdrawal. Due to the treatments available via rehab centers, such as our own, and medication, the chances of this are very rare.

The risk of DTs and other withdrawal symptoms make it important to detox at a specialized rehab facility such as ours. Here you will receive personalized treatment under the supervision of dedicated medical professionals, and all effort will be made to keep you safe and comfortable during your alcohol detox and alcohol withdrawal.

To find out more about alcohol withdrawal at our rehab center, please contact us today.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Cocaine is a widely abused, illegal drug. Highly addictive, cocaine can severely impact a person’s physical and mental health.

When cocaine is abused, it often leads to addiction. Though a medical illness, addiction is treatable. Fortunately, many addiction treatment centers in the US focus on cocaine addiction. Drug abuse treatment programs and detox help break the chemical dependency and treat the psychological symptoms of drug abuse.

Behavioral interventions, therapy, support from family members, support groups, and lifestyle changes can help you break free from substance abuse and overcome cocaine addiction.

Find out more about cocaine addiction treatment and rehab here, or contact us today to discuss the impact of your cocaine abuse and uncover how we can support you at our rehab center.

What Is Cocaine?

A stimulant drug, cocaine can cause you to feel alert and energized. Cocaine also increases attention and offers a sense of euphoria. Although healthcare providers occasionally use it as an anesthetic, cocaine is potent and addictive and is therefore illegal.

Cocaine is derived from the coca plant, which is native to South America. Sadly, the cocaine trade accounts for tremendous levels of violence, gangs, and murder in South America, particularly in Mexico and Colombia.

Like other drugs, cocaine can be found in various forms. However, it is most commonly sold as a fine, white powder and is generally snorted. It can also be rubbed on gums, dissolved in water and injected, or smoked.

What Are the Effects of Cocaine?

Cocaine affects the central nervous system by speeding it up. It also works by flooding the brain with dopamine. As dopamine is associated with pleasure and forms part of the brain’s reward system, the effects of cocaine make the drug addictive.

Once taken, the effects of cocaine can include:

  • High levels of confidence
  • Alertness
  • Anxiety
  • Excitement
  • Talkativeness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Risk-taking behavior
  • Increased blood pressure

Cocaine is a very dangerous drug because it can cause long-term consequences for those who use it. It can have a host of unpleasant and destructive physical and mental health effects, some of which can be long-lasting.

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms Associated With Cocaine Addiction?

Over time, a tolerance to cocaine will develop, which will likely cause you to take higher doses of cocaine to take advantage of its desired effects. Due to cocaine increasing dopamine production, you will eventually find that you rely on the drug to feel ‘normal’ because the brain starts to produce less dopamine naturally.

This results in withdrawal symptoms developing when the drug is no longer in your system. Some people will often binge cocaine to delay these unpleasant side effects, which can be fatal and lead to overdose.

Although the withdrawal symptoms you experience may differ from those that other people experience, some common symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • Paranoia
  • Nightmares
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Suicidal thoughts

What Is the Timeline for Cocaine Withdrawal?

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms typically begin within a few hours after quitting the drug. However, the severity depends on how often cocaine has been abused and the amount taken.

Typically, within the first one to three hours of cocaine withdrawal, symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite

During the first week of quitting cocaine, it is also common to experience intense cocaine cravings. Insomnia and fatigue may also arise, as might vivid nightmares, depression, and mood swings.

Two to four weeks after beginning to withdraw from cocaine, the symptoms experienced in week one persist. Emotional stability, concentration, and irritability are additionally typical during this stage. However, symptoms will decrease between the fifth and tenth week, although anxiety and drug cravings may still happen.

Unfortunately, if you attempt to stop using cocaine alone or decide to go cold turkey, the risk of severe depression and suicidal thoughts increases.

While cocaine can be challenging to quit, it is entirely possible to overcome a cocaine addiction with the correct support and guidance.

What Can Impact the Timeline of Cocaine Withdrawal?

The intensity of cocaine withdrawal symptoms will depend on a number of different factors. These include:

  • Quantity of cocaine used
  • Length of drug abuse and cocaine addiction
  • Dependence on other drugs
  • Co-occurring disorders
  • Environmental factors

What Cocaine Addiction Treatment Services Are Available?

The first stage of cocaine addiction treatment is accepting that you need help, so well done for getting this far. If you are struggling with cocaine addiction, the next stage is attending a rehab center, such as our own, for substance abuse treatment. A substance abuse assessment will help you decide on a treatment program that is best for you. However, treatment typically commences with detox.

Residential and outpatient settings are effective in helping to begin substance abuse treatment and safely rid cocaine from the system. Inpatient treatment is recommended for those who have tried to detox previously but have relapsed or have a severe addiction.

After detox, treatment continues at an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab center. An addiction treatment center will have rehab programs designed to tackle the psychological addiction and support you through this time.

Residential treatment programs provide 24-hour support and supervision from the guidance of a clinical professional. This immersive, caring environment provides the best chance for a successful recovery.

If you opt for outpatient rehab, the treatments will be similar to those offered at inpatient rehab centers. However, you will not have access to around-the-clock care, making you more vulnerable to social and environmental triggers and relapse. However, outpatient rehab is a great option for many people who seek treatment. After all, it will allow you to continue your life and routine, maintain privacy, and get support from loved ones at home.

Regardless of whether you attend inpatient or outpatient treatment, centers for cocaine abuse are generally similar. A treatment program at an addiction treatment center may offer:

  • Mental health services, such as counseling or therapy
  • 12-step programs
  • Support groups
  • Education for preventing relapse
  • Planning for aftercare

Individual and group therapy are important in addressing the underlying reason for cocaine dependence. Not only will therapy help you understand the root cause of your cocaine addiction, but it will encourage you to talk about your cocaine use, which can be very helpful.

If you have co-occurring disorders, it is important to also treat the mental illness that is present to prevent your substance use disorder from returning.

Often, some people withdrawing from drugs require medication to help them progress through detox. In terms of medications, there are currently no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medicines that treat cocaine withdrawal. However, some anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications can be used to ease symptoms. Make sure to consult your doctor or healthcare professional about safe medication options.

Continuing Treatment for Drug Abuse

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be extremely helpful in terms of ongoing treatment. Behavioral therapies work by retraining the brain and helping you learn and identify unhealthy thought patterns, which often lead to cocaine use.

Support Groups

After addiction treatment, it is important to continue to work on your behavioral health. One way to do this is to join a support group such as Cocaine Anonymous (CA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

These therapeutic communities can help keep you on track by enabling you to feel connected and supported by others who also suffer from cocaine addiction.

To Conclude

Cocaine addiction can be frightening, but treatment facilities and help from professionals can help you tackle substance use disorder.

Treatment for cocaine involves withdrawing from the drug and completing inpatient or outpatient rehab, where you will learn healthy coping mechanisms and how to reduce the chance of relapse.

If you would like to know more about cocaine addiction treatment and rehab, please contact us today. In doing so, we can talk you through your treatment options and inform you of our medical services.

When Does Alcohol Withdrawal Start?

When you decide to stop drinking, it is best to prepare for the withdrawal symptoms you may experience.

Detoxing from alcohol is the first step on the road to recovery and, although not everyone will experience severe withdrawal symptoms, it is helpful to know what they are, when they start, and how to deal with them.

What Is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

If you abuse alcohol regularly, your body will eventually develop a physical dependence on it. When you suddenly stop drinking alcohol or reduce your consumption, your body reacts by displaying a set of symptoms, commonly known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are the body’s psychological response to metabolizing harmful toxins that are ingested upon consuming alcohol.

Like many other people, you may only experience mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It is also possible to experience potentially life-threatening symptoms. The severity of your withdrawal symptoms will depend on factors such as:

  • Your weight
  • Your age
  • Length of your alcohol use
  • The severity of your alcohol use

Each person’s experience with alcohol abuse is different, and the same is said for alcohol withdrawal. For some, withdrawal symptoms are a part of their addiction cycle; they continue to drink heavily to avoid or eradicate any withdrawal symptoms after drinking.

The risk of experiencing severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms if alcohol abuse is heavy is considerable. As a result, it is best to complete alcohol withdrawal in a medical setting where trained professionals can monitor you throughout the process.

This ensures you are comfortable, safe, and in the best place if any medication is needed.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms differ from person to person. However, there are a common set of symptoms that you may experience. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Profuse sweating
  • Lack of appetite

The most severe form of alcohol withdrawal is delirium tremens (DTs). Unfortunately, these can be potentially life-threatening and may result in severe health conditions, such as respiratory arrest or cardiac arrhythmia.

You are more likely to experience these if you are middle-aged, have a mental illness, or have a severe alcohol addiction.

Alcohol Withdrawal Stages and Timeline

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms and their differences in severity have been categorized into three categories. These are used to assess symptoms and keep track of the progression of symptoms.

  • Mild symptoms. These may include less severe symptoms like headaches, anxiety, and insomnia.
  • Moderate symptoms. Similar to mild symptoms, moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms may additionally include confusion, fevers, sweating, and a rapid heart rate.
  • Severe symptoms. Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms are the most severe and include hallucinations, seizures, and impaired attention.

Withdrawal symptoms can be easily managed if treatment begins when they are mild. If treatment is not available at this stage, you may progress through the other stages very quickly.

As all people experience alcohol withdrawal differently, a precise timeline will vary. However, according to research, there is a typical alcohol withdrawal timeline that includes expectations of withdrawal symptoms.

  • Four to 10 hours after your last drink – Minor withdrawal symptoms are felt at this point, and they tend to start around six hours after your last drink. You may experience mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, quick breathing, or vomiting here.
  • 12 to 24 hours after your last drink – Hallucinations have been noted by a small percentage of people at this stage. This symptom can be scary, but it is not considered a serious complication.
  • 24 to 48 hours after your last drink – If your alcohol use and addiction are minimal, you will likely only experience mild withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms typically peak at 18 to 24 hours and will slowly decrease after day four or five.
  • 48 to 72 hours after your last drink – If you consume large volumes of alcohol or have an alcohol use disorder, you may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms that are more severe, such as DTs. This often requires medical treatment. However, this symptom is very rare and only occurs in about 5% of people who experience withdrawal symptoms.
  • 72 hours after your last drink – Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are typically worse at this stage. In some rare cases, moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be felt for up to one month.

Though these symptoms may sound daunting, they are easy to manage with the correct help and support. Medical detox is most effective in helping those experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol Abuse Treatment Options

The first stage in addiction treatment is detox. Alcohol detox helps the body recover from alcohol abuse by encouraging it to clear itself of any toxins consumed when drinking.

Professional alcohol withdrawal treatment aims to make the experience of withdrawal more comfortable by reducing symptoms while offering support in other aspects of your life.

There are several options for substance abuse treatment, such as:

  • Inpatient treatment – Inpatient treatment involves living in a treatment facility where you receive 24-hour care and intensive therapy to support your recovery as you complete detox and any additional treatments.
  • Outpatient treatment – Unlike inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment includes living in the comfort of your own home and having regular check-ins and scheduled appointments to track your progress.

If you experience mild to moderate symptoms, you may have the option to complete an outpatient program. However, inpatient care is recommended if your alcohol use disorder is more severe.

As mentioned above, detox is only the first step in recovery. To successfully recover, you will need to commit to your recovery journey and additional treatments. Some examples of post-detox treatments include:

  • Therapy for family members
  • 12-step meetings
  • Support groups
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

Medication for Withdrawal Symptoms

To ease alcohol withdrawal, certain medications are available. These are typically administered during a medical detox in a medical facility where your symptoms can be monitored.

Some commonly prescribed medications to help with the withdrawal process include:

  • Anti-anxiety drugs, such as benzodiazepines, can help reduce anxiety or any mental illnesses that may arise.
  • Anti-seizure drugs to manage any potential seizures.
  • Beta-blockers can help reduce heart rate and tremors. They are also successful in assisting with cravings for alcohol.

Detox from alcohol abuse and alcoholism can be mentally, emotionally, and physically draining. This is why medical professionals recommend you receive treatment during the detoxification process. Detox is the first step towards a successful, sober life, and so it must be completed safely.

Seeking Help

If you have an alcohol use disorder and feel ready to complete detox and alcohol withdrawal, please reach out to us and seek medical attention.

Likewise, if you have started to self-detox and now find yourself experiencing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, please get in touch with us and speak to a member of our medical team for advice on how to detox from alcohol and the next steps to take.

Medical support is the safest way to recover from an alcohol use disorder. At Empowered Recovery, we are here to help you begin your journey to recovery, and we will be with you every step of the way.

After all, we know that having the right resources, education, and support can be the best direction to take for lasting recovery.

How To Detox Your Body From Drugs

Addiction is a complex condition with both physical and psychological aspects. Regardless of the substance abused, drug addiction is broadly defined as the uncontrollable or difficult-to-control use of a mind-altering substance that continues compulsively despite experiencing negative consequences.

If you or a loved one are struggling to overcome drug or alcohol use, you will have likely seen some manifestation of the physiological and mental consequences of acute withdrawal.

The First Step

Modern drug addiction treatment often breaks down the recovery process into distinct – although highly interrelated – steps.

Drug detoxification, commonly known as detox, is the first step you or a loved one will need to take in the addiction recovery journey. Detox can be understood as the physiological cleansing of the body from drugs.

This describes one of two things:

  • The natural and often difficult processes that our bodies, livers, and kidneys go through in ridding themselves of psychoactive compounds.
  • A medical intervention completed as part of a professional detox program.

Going through the detoxification process does not mean that the addiction is resolved. Still, it is a physiological turning point that enables you or a loved one to start to deal with the psychological side of addiction without the shackle of dependence.

Different Addictions, Different Detoxes

The question of how you can detox from drugs is, of course, extremely individual. This is why consulting with an addiction specialist, licensed treatment facility, or other qualified healthcare provider is the best thing you can do for yourself or your loved one before embarking on withdrawal and detox.

To demonstrate the wide range of withdrawal symptoms out there, we have shared a few below:

  • Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Fever
  • Hypothermia
  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Coma
  • Agitation
  • Jitters
  • Exhaustion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia

Unfortunately, this is only a short list. Not only does each form of alcohol and drug abuse interact differently with our brain chemistry, but we also each metabolize substances differently and have different health backgrounds that need to be considered to plan the safest detox possible.

It may be frustrating to hear, but in the name of client safety, no one can define a one-size-fits-all approach in a blog post. That said, let’s get into some of the general trends in medical detox.

Natural or Medical Detox?

The first categories you’ll probably come across when deciding how to detox are the descriptors natural and medical. Both options have advantages and disadvantages; however, safety concerns depend on the substance and your health background.

Natural Detox

Natural detox refers to undergoing the body’s process of eliminating harmful toxins without assistance from any kind of prescribed medication. This means weathering the physical and emotional side effects of withdrawal without any kind of chemical help to delay, alleviate, or taper off withdrawal symptoms or cravings.

The natural route is commonly associated with home detoxes, but some addiction clinics offer unmedicated treatment options for individuals who can safely go through them.

Natural drug detox in or in association with a clinic is likely to include alternative or ancient therapies to alleviate pain and relieve stress. These modalities include acupuncture, movement therapies, herbal remedies, and counseling.

If you choose an inpatient option (more on this later), you’ll also be in a supervised and substance-free environment with access to lots of social, medical, and emotional support.

Unsupported Drug Withdrawal: The Risks

Natural detox is not often recommended due to the potentially dangerous side-effects of acute withdrawal syndrome for many substances of abuse. Detoxing at home or quitting cold turkey can be particularly risky for cases of heavy addiction to alcohol or benzodiazepines.

Unfortunately, abruptly quitting these types of sedatives can lead to many health complications, such as seizures. Tapering off an addiction to certain drugs with the help of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications and professional supervision is safer, more successful, and easier.

Withdrawal symptoms, even in reasonably severe cases of addiction to cocaine and heroin, do not directly result in lethal or long-term complications. However, even so, choosing a natural detox over a medical one could put you or a loved one at greater risk of relapse during the withdrawal period. Because tolerance to both of these substances falls swiftly after cold turkey cessation, relapse is far more likely to result in a dangerous or deadly overdose.

Natural detox is theoretically possible, but it is less safe. It is strongly advised that you or your loved one book a consultation with an addiction specialist to assess the safety of detox and create a plan to keep your physical and mental health protected during this vulnerable time.

Medical Detox

Withdrawal is safest and most successful when accompanied by a medical detox program. This form of addiction treatment can take place either in a medical setting or at home. Either way, it involves the short-term prescription of FDA-approved medications that taper chemical dependence back to the healthy baseline and alleviate withdrawal symptoms.

What you can expect from medically-assisted detox depends on your addiction and personal health circumstances.

Severe withdrawal from benzodiazepines and alcohol are both frequently treated by prescribing very long-acting sedatives and incrementally lowering the dose over the treatment period. Research into heroin withdrawal, on the other hand, has shown great success when clients are treated with buprenorphine or methadone taper methods.

Should I Choose an Inpatient or Outpatient Detox Program?

The next defining factor in drug detox programs to understand is whether you want to go for an inpatient (also known as residential) program or choose an at-home detox.

Put simply, detox programs vary between ones where you can stay at home and commute to your clinic for appointments and therapy or reside on-campus as part of a fully supervised inclusive program.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient detox is most helpful for people with severe substance addiction. If withdrawal will put your health at serious risk, or if you have a history of relapse in intensive outpatient programs, this may be the best option.

If you choose inpatient treatment, you can expect:

  • a substance-free environment
  • medically supervised detox and care for withdrawal symptoms
  • twenty-four-hour health support from licensed medical professionals
  • mental health support
  • ongoing evaluation of the detox process from start to finish
  • on-call therapeutic and mental health support
  • community support for and from other inpatient residents seeking recovery from drug use

Medically supervised detox ensures that you have the support you need at all times as you progress through a residential program. Many inpatient programs also offer natural drug detox options with holistic schedules of alternative, experiential, group, and individual therapies to ease withdrawal symptoms and the recovery process.

However, staying at a detox facility is often more expensive and may require you to take long periods of time away from your daily life to detox your body.

Outpatient Treatment

Detox and substance abuse treatment can be offered via an outpatient program. This means that you undergo the program from the comfort of your own home, commuting into your chosen treatment center for evaluations, drug tests, therapeutic appointments, and support sessions according to your personalized schedule.

This allows you to keep your commitments during detox and integrate recovery from the get-go into your personal life. However, if you experience severe withdrawal symptoms or cannot ensure that your home environment is safe and substance-free, you may benefit from greater access to a treatment team and doctor supervision.

To Conclude

On a large scale, efficacy rates are similar for inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment options. Seeking out professional medical advice is the best way to choose between these two types of detox options.

Many people will find that the choice is made by medical or financial necessity, but others may be able to choose according to preference and lifestyle.

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