Detoxing from drugs and alcohol is needed when your body and brain become dependent on the substances you are taking. This happens over time as you continue to use drugs or alcohol. They change the way your brain functions and even make it hard for your body to function normally without the substances there. Detoxing from drugs and alcohol is an intense process and one that is a big part of this complex disease. It’s important to know that your experience may be a bit different from others, but all situations require careful attention from a trained medical provider.

Why Do Withdrawal Symptoms Happen?

As your body goes through this process, you are likely to have some drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. If they are present, it means that your body was dependent on the substances being used. 

When you use these substances on a consistent basis, the brain starts to associate them with pleasure. Your brain is already programmed to seek out activities repeatedly that are pleasurable, whether that is seeking out foods you like or seeking out alcohol and drugs. The more that you use, the more the dependence grows. When you suddenly stop providing that substance, your brain isn’t sure how to fix that problem. It feels it needs those substances and will continue to seek them out. 

What Are Common Symptoms of Detoxing from Alcohol and Drugs?

Detoxing from drugs and alcohol symptoms range widely based on the types of substances you are using. Generally, detoxing from drugs and alcohol often leads to symptoms such as:

  • Pain, often associated with muscle or bone pain
  • Headaches
  • Intense frustration, moodiness, and agitation
  • Aggressiveness
  • Anxiety and a sense of paranoia
  • Feeling physically ill such as nausea or vomiting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Insomnia or sleeping all of the time

Some people may have far more serious health complications from addiction withdrawal. This may include life-threatening complications in some situations, including seizures, hallucinations, and paranoia. Others may suffer from an irregular heart rate or depressed breathing. Coma may also occur. Though complications like this are rare, they are a very clear reason you should not try to detox on your own at home.

Why Does This Happen in Your Body?

Detoxing from drugs and alcohol is a difficult process for your body. Your body is craving these substances because they feel good, and they often help with moods and overall energy levels. When you stop providing them, your body’s liver and kidneys go to work to filter the substances out, eliminating their presence and sending the brain into what seems like a state of panic. You feel bad because your brain wants you to find those substances to restore the good feelings you were having.

How to Get Through Detoxing

The symptoms of detoxing from drugs or alcohol range widely in terms of severity as well as overall length. Some people may have only mild symptoms that are gone within a few days. Most of the time, it takes at least a week for your body and brain to work through the addiction symptoms and dependence and start to relearn how to function without those substances. There is no way to speed up this process. It’s natural and necessary.

Know that detox will last a few days. After that, you should start to feel better. Your body will tell you what you need, such as to rest more. To help yourself get through these difficult processes, though, there are a few things you can do:

  • Eat nutritious meals. Even though you may not feel like eating, trying to get nutrition into your body can help your body’s organs process toxins faster and get the nutrients they need to work at their best. 
  • Be surrounded by support. Often, the symptoms you feel from addiction are going to also include intense frustrations, anxiety, or depression. You need to have a team around you who can support you through this. 
  • Meditate. Getting your body off the pain and intense cravings may be possible when you meditate. It can take time for your body to relearn what’s happening, but meditation can offer some improvement.

In addition to this, work closely with a treatment team that can support you through recovery. They may have medications that can help to ease some of your withdrawal symptoms. They also offer a wide range of resources to support your well-being, including holistic care, group therapy, and other forms of talk therapy.

Invest the time necessary in finding treatment now. If you are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, you do not need – and should not – go through detox on your own. Instead, find a medical detox treatment center that can help you get through this difficult process. Now is the time to seek help. Give us a call at  (866) 971-5531 or reach out to us here to get started on the path towards addiction recovery.

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