The fear of withdrawal keeps many individuals from getting the help they need to quit their alcohol or drug addiction. Perhaps they have heard someone talk about their painful and frightening withdrawal symptoms and now they are afraid that they will experience the same.

However, it is important to understand that there are many factors that can contribute to and affect the outcome of withdrawal symptoms such as the amount of substance abuse and the method of detox. Understanding how you can address the symptoms is the first step in reaching your goal of sobriety.

What are Withdrawal Symptoms?

Abusing drugs and alcohol over time will cause a tolerance to develop. Tolerance means that it will require more of the substance with each use to achieve the same level of euphoria as with previous use. The longer the individual uses drugs and alcohol the higher amount of the substance(s) will be in their system.

When the individual stops using, the body will begin to react to the fact that it is not getting what it is used to. Withdrawal symptoms generally begin when substances are decreased or stopped altogether.

What to Expect

The type and severity of withdrawal symptoms will depend on the substance abuse: alcohol, opiates, depressants and stimulants present different symptoms.

Alcohol withdrawal may include headache; depression; nausea and vomiting; insomnia; anxiety; loss of consciousness; tremors; seizures and a condition known as the DT which appears within three to five days after you stop drinking. The DTs include hallucinations, disorientation and confusion along with sweating and uncontrollable shakes and can be fatal if not treated appropriately.

Opiates include prescription pain killers such as Oxycontin, Vicodin and Lortab; but also illicit drugs such as Heroin. Symptoms may include intense cravings, insomnia, sweating, muscle and bone pain, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, depression, tremors and increased heart rate.

Depressants including Benzodiazepines and Barbiturates such as Valium and Xanax may present the individual with insomnia, loss of appetite, diarrhea and anxiety.
Stimulants include prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin, as well as illicit drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine may present withdrawal symptoms that include cravings, depression, anxiety, fatigue, suicidal thoughts and psychosis.

Is it Possible to Avoid Painful Withdrawal?

The best way to increase your chances of a safe detox and minimize uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms is to enter a professional medical detox center. While detox methods differ, the most effective and recommended method available is IV therapy medical detox. The reason IV therapy is so successful at controlling withdrawal symptoms is because it allows the medication to be adjusted as the symptoms change for an immediate effect. The patient remains comfortable and is able to complete the detox process.

Author's Bio: 

Lara Schuster writes for Gallus Medical Detox Centers. Gallus Detox provides safe drug and alcohol detox with customized IV therapy to comfortably alleviate withdrawal symptoms and patients are monitored 24/7 by ICU level nurses. This proven detox method was developed by Dr. Patrick Gallus after 15-plus years as an emergency room physician caring for alcohol and drug addicted patients. Gallus Medical Detox Centers features upscale private rooms, HDTV, Wi-Fi and personal massage. Patient confidentiality is always protected.