symptoms of drug withdrawal

The Mental & Physical Symptoms of Drug Withdrawal

As important as it is to make the life-changing decision to get clean and sober, knowing what to expect during detox and withdrawal will prepare you to enter treatment fully armed.  Too often addicts impulsively undertake a cold turkey approach to ending their drug use without understanding the importance of a safe and supportive detox environment.  In these cases, as soon as the mental and physical symptoms of drug withdrawal become uncomfortable many will throw in the towel and return to using drugs.  Being prepared will help reinforce your commitment to sobriety.  For the best chances of completing the detox and withdrawal phase of treatment, read on.

What are the Mental and Physical Symptoms of Drug Withdrawal?

There is a wide range of symptoms of drug withdrawal that vary depending on which drug is involved.  Both the severity of symptoms and the level of danger to the addict are dictated by which class of drug is being discontinued, including alcohol.  Generally, detoxing from alcohol, heroin, benzodiazepines, and methamphetamine are the most dangerous and can present life-threatening symptoms.

The duration of the withdrawal period varies as well based on the level of dependency, the length of time abusing the substance, and the type of drug itself.  Most withdrawal symptoms emerge within 8-24 hours after the last dose and peak around day 2 or 3, but, again, it varies depending on the severity of the addiction and the type of drug.

Here is a summary of the symptoms of drug withdrawal based on the type of drug:

Alcohol Withdrawal:

  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations and delirium
  • Seizures
  • Heart attack, strokes
  • Delirium Tremens (can be fatal)

Prescription Opioids Withdrawal (Benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Ambien, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, Librium, Zolpidem, and more):

  • Seizures
  • Nervousness
  • Fear, paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety, panic
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Pain, muscle aches
  • Changes in senses

Opiate Withdrawal (Heroin, Vicodin, Percocet, Norco, Hydrocodone, Morphine, and more):

  • Feeling frightened
  • Extreme discomfort
  • Muscle pain
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Insomnia
  • Chills
  • Tremors

Cocaine or Crack Withdrawal:

  • Shaking, sweating
  • Seizure, strokes
  • Respiratory failure
  • Depression
  • Strong cravings
  • Muscle Aches
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Convulsions
  • Aggression
  • Suicidal

Methamphetamines withdrawal:

  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizure
  • Intense craving
  • Shaking and tremors
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Respiratory failure
  • Chills
  • Profuse sweating

Barbiturate Withdrawal (Seconal, Brevital, Pentothal, Mebaral, Nembutal, and more):

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Tremors
  • Weakness
  • Seizures

The Importance of Medically-Monitored Drug Detox and Withdrawal

While some types of drugs can be detoxed through an outpatient facility, many addicts should opt for a medically supervised detox.  Detoxing in an environment that is staffed with health practitioners who can monitor withdrawal symptoms will provide a needed layer of safety and support in the event serious life-threatening symptoms arise.  Additionally, medically managed detox can address the common symptoms of drug withdrawal such as nausea, diarrhea, anxiety, and insomnia with medications that help ease the discomfort.

Some detox facilities may offer drug anti-craving medications such as naltrexone and buprenorphine to block opiate receptors and reduce opiate and alcohol cravings.  These anti-craving medications, however, do not stop the emotional aspect of craving.

Addiction Helplines Can Help You Select a Detox Center

When you have made the important decision to stop using drugs or alcohol, you may find such a myriad of treatment options out there that you just freeze in your tracks.  Let the dedicated team at Addiction Helplines help direct you to the right program for your needs.  With an extensive treatment network, multiple locations, and various treatment options available, our expert staff will help to narrow down your search and take the stress out of the decision-making process.  For direct guidance to a medically-monitored detox program, call us today at (877) 228-3270.

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Depression After Drug Addiction

The Common Struggle with Depression after Drug Addiction

When it comes to understanding the connection between depression and drug one question that comes to mind is: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Whether an individual was first suffering from depression and then used drugs to self-medicate or if the depression appears after drug addiction, the resulting anguish is the same:  Depression hurts.  For the purposes of this blog the focus will be on depression after drug addiction.

It is well known that drug addiction literally rewires brain chemistry and neural pathways, distinct changes that are visible in an MRI of an addict’s brain.  Over the course of the addiction these physical and physiological changes wreak havoc on the brain’s mood center, the limbic region, impacting brain pathways involved in stress, reward, sleep, learning, pain, and memory.  After chronic drug use, the body becomes unable to produce the chemicals normally associated with pleasure—this biological process has been shut down.  This results in a period of depression after drug addiction that can last for a month to several years.

What Causes Depression after Drug Addiction?

Depression is often a co-occurring condition with substance use disorders, sometimes the impetus that led to the addiction and sometimes the result of the addiction.  When the devastation to one’s life through a drug dependency begins to include the loss of everything one cherishes—loss of custody of children, dissolution of a marriage, loss of a job, being abandoned by friends and family—deep depression can result.  Shame and guilt for the damage caused to loved ones and personal finances rise to the surface now that there is no drug being used to help numb these emotions.

But it is the brain’s reward center itself that is no longer able to produce the natural feel-good chemicals (dopamine and serotonin) after a prolonged period of drug use, and that leads to a pervasive sense of sadness.  The ability to experience pleasure has been shut off, and life just feels flat and joyless.  The addict’s physical and mental state are depleted as a result of the addiction, and emotionally he or she may feel numb and hopeless.

Steps to Take to Alleviate Depression

During the early months of recovery getting help for the depression is imperative.  For the addict in recovery this is a vulnerable period and there is a high probability that he or she will relapse in an attempt to experience euphoria or pleasure once again.  Any symptoms of depression that persist after 30 days of sobriety should be addressed.  Some steps that will help with depression after drug addiction include:

  • Addiction specialists may introduce an antidepressant at this point.  Common medications prescribed for depression, following discharge from a treatment program, are Lexapro and Paxil.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a short-term therapy modality that helps the recovering addict recognize the connection between their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.  Identifying the triggers or thoughts that could derail recovery and replacing old behaviors and responses with new, positive ones can avoid relapse.
  • Avoid isolation. Making the effort to get out and socialize with (sober) friends and family and be physically active will help prevent further withdrawal into depression.  In addition, participating in some kind of service for others can give the newly sober person a sense of purpose.  Getting outside of your own head and helping others is very therapeutic.
  • Eat a healthy diet. A run down body goes hand in hand with a depressed spirit.  Restoring health is essential in the early phase of recovery.  Eat a diet rich in proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and nuts.  To avoid hunger, eat six times a day (3 meals and 3 snacks) and avoid sugar.

Addiction Helplines:  Your One-Stop Resource for Drug Addiction and Depression Treatment

Addiction Helplines can help you get the help you need, whether you are ready for drug addiction treatment or have completed a treatment program but are suffering from depression.  Our compassionate treatment specialists will connect you with a rehab, mental health services, or a dual diagnosis program from our vast network of high quality addiction and recovery providers.  We have partnered with the finest treatment programs and professionals in the country and can match you with one that meets your needs and budget.  Call us today at (877) 228-3270.

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Treatment Locator

Addiction Helplines is a Free Treatment Locator Service

Treatment Locator Service Match Needs and Preferences through Vast Provider Network

 The time has come to seriously address the need for you or your loved one to receive treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction.  Just arriving at the realization that help is needed is the first important step in the journey to recovery.

Faced with what appears to be an endless plethora of addiction treatment options can be so overwhelming that it may even cause you to waiver in your efforts to find help.  Who knew choosing a drug or alcohol treatment facility was so complicated?  A litany of treatment options exist—evidence-based treatment, holistic treatment, faith-based treatment, 12-step treatment, non 12-step treatment, luxury treatment—the list goes on and on!

Do not despair.  All you need is a little guidance to assist you on the treatment selection process, and the Treatment Specialist Team at Addiction Helplines is here to offer that help find the best options through the free treatment locator service.

 What is Addiction Helplines?

Because of the limitless addiction treatment options out there, the need arose for a treatment locator service to act as a conduit, to help connect those in need of help with the best match for a treatment program.  This is the need that Addiction Helplines addresses.  It can guide someone seeking help toward the treatment option that best aligns with that individual’s personal preferences and needs.  By accessing the myriad of providers nationwide that provide various types of programs, Addiction Helplines will narrow down your choices and smooth the process from beginning to end.

Addiction Helplines acknowledges that each person has their own unique set of needs and struggles, as well as personal worldviews and preferences.  We believe that these special differences should be part of the process of selecting a treatment program because a good fit is imperative to a successful treatment outcome.

For example, if an individual does not believe in a higher power or God, then a 12-step based program could be possibly offensive to them as 12-step programs weave spiritual belief throughout the steps.  On the other hand, if someone is a practicing Christian (or Jew, Mormon, or Catholic), they would be most responsive to a treatment program that aligns with those particular beliefs.

Other preferences a person may have might be geographic location, dual diagnosis treatment (when a mental health disorder co-occurs with the addiction, such as depression or anxiety), type of accommodations offered, other amenities offered, medically supervised detox, natural detox, and various types of clinical therapy.  There are rehabs that address all these variables, but why waste time trying to identify and locate them when Addiction Helplines can do the work for you?

Contact Addiction Helplines Today!

The Treatment Specialist Team at Addiction Helplines is ready to help you to get the help you need.  These highly trained, compassionate professionals will walk you through the steps to assess your unique needs and desires for addiction treatment.  They will help determine the detox services you may need, whether you need a dual diagnosis facility, and match up the treatment elements you desire with the rehab that offers them.  These may include art and music therapy, equine therapy, meditation, yoga, or gyms, to name a few.

Our Treatment Specialist team can also assist you with your insurance eligibility.  Addiction Helplines offers free insurance verification and will provide you with the details of your insurance benefits.  In addition, the team can arrange for individualized payment plans in the event there is insufficient or no insurance coverage for treatment.  Call Addiction Helplines today at (877) 228-3270.

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Overdose Rates

States with Highest Overdose Rates

National Epidemic of Drug Overdose Ratchets Up

Perhaps the most striking example of the sheer shock of a drug overdose death was when Prince died suddenly on April 21, 2016, literally just days after delivering a memorable performance in Atlanta on April 14th.  Few knew that Prince even had a drug addiction, so the public was utterly surprised when the toxicology reports confirmed he died of a fentanyl overdose.

Drug overdoses and overdose deaths have exploded in the United States.  In 2014, the most recent data available from the National Vital Statistics System, overall drug overdose deaths are up 137% since 2000.  In 2014 alone, a total of 47,055 drug overdose deaths occurred, the most ever on record.  This statistic amounts to about 15% more than deaths attributed to breast cancer nationally and about the same number of deaths caused by colon and rectal cancer combined.

Opioids, including heroin, vicodin, oxycodone, and morphine, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl represent the majority of the substances identified as the cause of the overdoses.  Opioid related overdose deaths accounted for 28,647 fatalities in 2014, a 200% increase since the year 2000.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid controlled Class A narcotic used to legitimately manage pain in patients.  Illegally produced synthetic fentanyl has fueled a recent spike in drug overdoses.  Fentanyl is concocted with ingredients shipped mostly from China to labs located primarily in Mexico, from where they are distributed to the U.S.  China continues to tweak the chemicals (the newest version is “furanyl fentanyl”) to stay a step ahead of the DEA. Synthetic fentanyl is being laced with heroin, often unbeknownst to the user, and also used in fake versions of oxycodone pills.  Users are not aware of the high potency of the ingredients, leading to overdose or overdose death.

10 States with the Most Overdoses

Although the scourge of drug overdoses is being witnessed across the U.S., some states have much higher rates than others.  According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there were 14.7 drug deaths per 100,000 people in the year 2014 overall.  The states with the highest overdose death rates were West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Ohio.  Rounding out the top ten were Rhode Island, Utah, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Oklahoma.

States with Highest Overdose Rates

Where it used to be assumed that drug poisoning deaths and overdoses were limited to urban communities of low socioeconomic status, today the reality is clear.  Drug overdoses occur just as often in suburban and affluent communities as they do in poor populations.

The prevalence of physicians over-prescribing opioid medications for pain or injuries has led to widespread dependence on the medications.  Once tolerance to the drug increases, the patient will seek to ramp up dosage to continue to appease the brain’s neural pathways that have been reset due to chemical dependency.

In other instances, teens and young adults seeking a recreational high may hijack a parent’s prescription medications and use the opioids in social settings.  They may eventually acquire a chemical dependency as they seek the high they first experienced.  Over time find they cannot afford to continue to purchase the pills, thus turning to the cheap alternative, heroin.  Heroin use has been skyrocketing for a decade now, increasing among men and women across all income levels, with heroin overdose deaths totaling 8,200 in 2013.

Contact Addiction Helplines

The trajectory is clear, the exploding rates of overdose deaths continue to climb nationwide.  If you or a loved one are battling drug addiction and are reading this now, it isn’t too late to turn your life around.  There is help available to overcome addiction, and addictionhelplines.com can give you the direction you need right now.  Contact our compassionate Inspiration Team and allow us to help you win this battle.  We will match your needs to the best treatment option available, as well as help determine your insurance eligibility.  Call us today at (877) 228-3270 for a referral to a high quality addiction treatment program that is just right for you.

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