Dependency and Detox
At a certain point in life we decided to have that extra drink, hit a blunt, sniff a line, or any other variation of substance abuse. It started as a choice, but then the addiction took hold and the disease was cemented into the body. This is the state of dependency: your mind and body develop a need for the substance, or in some case substances, and the addict is no longer capable of saying no. It no longer becomes a matter of willpower.
During the stage of dependency, the substance comes first. Whether that drug is alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, heroin, meth, or any other form of illegal or prescription drug is mostly irrelevant because the need to have the next “fix” is the most prevalent. Because of this, addicts will often have trouble with work, finances, family, and relationships because all of these things take a back seat to the addiction.
Some drugs can have extremely detrimental side-effects as well that occur during dependency, and not all of them affect just you. There have been many cases where addicts will steal from friends and family in order to get enough money for their next fix, the disease once again forcing its will upon its victim. Many domestic violence cases have been linked to severe alcohol abuse as well.
As you continue to abuse these substances your body begins to build up a tolerance. A tolerance is when your body is used to a certain intake of a substance, such as alcohol or cocaine. Suddenly, your body requires more than the usual amount to get high. For instance, at first it may have taken you only two shots to get a buzz, but eventually it takes twice that, triple that, four times that amount of alcohol in order to feel drunk. The more this tolerance is indulged the stronger it becomes, thus the stronger the addiction becomes and the harder it is for you to quit.
Your body needs to be clean of these substances in order for treatment to begin, which is why the first step to any treatment program is detox. This is the stage where your body is without the substance that it is addicted to and your system begins to clean itself, flushing out all of the harmful toxins and chemicals. Detoxing can have some very serious side-effects, so it is highly recommended that you do not attempt to detox by yourself. Not only will you be at a high risk of relapsing due to being surrounded by triggers, but you also will not have access to any medicinal aid that can be provided by treatment centers. Withdrawing from a substance can be very dangerous, and each substance has its own dangers.
Alcohol is likely one of the most abuse substances in the world, and has been for decades, if not centuries. In fact, alcoholic beverages have existed since the dark ages and were likely abused then as well. This particular substance is sometimes very difficult to gauge addiction with given that it has such a major role in society. We see it in commercials, television shows, movies, books, magazines, YouTube vloggers, grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, hotels, and restaurants. There are even some cities that have drive-thru liquor stores. The stuff is literally everywhere making it difficult for people to admit they have a problem with the substance, let alone give it up.
We know there are some very serious consequences of abusing alcohol. The commonly known health issues include cirrhosis of the liver, liver disease, and dementia. Believe it or not, these aren’t even the worst symptoms on the list. Throat and mouth cancer can be developed, anxiety attacks, increased risk of heart attacks and strokes are also on the list. Alcoholism can even cause very serious auditory, visual, and/or tactile hallucinations.
When withdrawing from alcohol there are a number of symptoms that occur. None of them are pleasant, which is why we greatly recommend seeking professional help for detoxing.
Shaking, sweats, insomnia, irritability, depression, fatigue, decreased appetite, and seizures can all occur during withdrawal. Fortunately, with the right help and the right medicine these side-effects can be managed to a safe level.
A very important part of treating withdrawal is knowing what substance the person is withdrawing from. While many of the substances have similar withdrawal symptoms, managing them and treating the addiction is dependent on what particular substance was being abused. Addiction takes hold of everyone in a different way, and the narcotics abused affect their victims differently.
In general, anyone who is withdrawing from a drug will experience anxiety, trembling, nausea, sweating, fatigue, headaches, and even depression. These symptoms are very general and can be caused by withdrawing from just about any substance, including alcohol and prescription drugs.
Those who are withdrawing from cocaine are likely to experience powerful cravings, severe anxiety, agitation, and an inability to experience pleasure without getting high. They can also experience severe depression, insomnia, hypersomnia, increased appetite, and reduced activity in thoughts and behavior.
People addicted to heroin can experience cold sweats, loss of appetite, depression, anxiety, seizures, diarrhea, muscle cramps, and mood swings during withdrawal.
When withdrawing from methadone, symptoms such as vomiting, painful muscle cramps, diarrhea, and nausea.
Even legal, prescription narcotics can be abused and have subsequent withdrawal symptoms. Oxycodone, for instance, can cause insomnia, full-body pain, abdominal cramping during withdrawal.
Xanax, known to many as the “party drug,” can cause extreme psychological effects in withdrawal. Suicidal behavior and thoughts can emerge, heightened anxiety, panic attacks, “brain fog,” tremors, and insomnia are all withdrawal symptoms of Xanax.
There is an endless list of uppers, downers, tranquilizers, pain killers, and more that can be abused to the point of addiction. Becoming dependent on any one of these can be hazardous to both your mental and physical wellbeing. All of them require expert, professional, and medical aid in order to live a clean or sober life.