Fear of withdrawal symptoms is often enough motivation for clients to continue to use. Engaging in a drug withdrawal management program offers a safe and comfortable environment for clients to begin their process of recovery.
Most drugs of abuse will induce withdrawal symptoms when stopped abruptly by a user. Opioids (such as, oxycodone, Dilaudid, Fentynal), Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, Adivant) and alcohol can produce severe and, in some cases, life threatening withdrawal symptoms however abruptly stopping other drugs, such as cocaine, methamphetamines can create uncomfortable symptoms requiring a medically monitored drug withdrawal program.
During a drug detox program, clients’ withdrawal symptoms are monitored and treated with the appropriate protocol.
Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, with severe withdrawal being potentially life threatening:
- Opioids include drugs such as oxycodone, roxycodone, Dilaudid, Fentynal, Morphine, percocet, vicodin and more. Opioid withdrawals are commonly described as severe flu-like symptoms; chills, runny nose, insomnia, hot/cold sweats, nausea,diarrhea, abdominal cramping. The most significant symptoms is usually vomiting which can become uncontrolled and thereby lead to dehydration. Additionally, intravenous users are placed at a high risk for infections. Hypotension is also common. A rapid drop in blood pressure can result in dizziness and/or lightheadedness, thereby requiring fall precautions to be in place during the withdrawal management program.
- Sedative, hypnotic and/or anxiolytic include benzodiazepines, barbiturates and others. Seizures are the biggest concern regarding an unsupervised detox. Sedatives, such as Xanax, will usually require a more lengthy detox (7-10 days) and symptoms can quickly escalate during the later stages of the medical protocol. Unlike an alcohol detox, vital signs may appear to be stable despite the patient experiencing severe withdrawal.
- Stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines usually have the most mild physical withdrawal symptoms but can have the most severe emotional and psychological impact. Feelings of wanting to harm oneself can present in patients who have no history of mental health conditions and only as a result of withdrawal. Stimulants also place the user at risk of drug-induced psychosis; hearing voices, visual hallucinations, paranoia, etc. A medically monitored withdrawal management program ensures that patients are not at risk to self or others during the detox phase.
- Designer drugs are a newer class of drugs where the dangers of long term use are still relatively unknown. Synthetic cannabinoids, GHB, Ketamine, MDMA each of their own risks associated with use. A drug detox program is best equipped to safely monitor withdrawal from any of these substances.
Choosing the best drug detox program can be overwhelming however drug withdrawal management programs are often the most crucial phase of an addict’s recovery.