Tag Archives: Withdrawal

Adderall and Xanax

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Mixing Substances – Adderall and Xanax

With substance abuse and addiction, it is common for people to use multiple substances. It’s possible for this to include someone using their own legally prescribed drugs, as well as many people illicitly using legal and illegal drugs. Abusing three or more is polysubstance abuse. Often, mixing substances heightens the negative effects of the other. In particular, if two substances are sedatives where side effects are commonly slowed or suppressed breathing this is especially dangerous. It’s important for people to always communicate with their medical providers any substances they are taking to be as safe as possible.

Unfortunately, many people abusing multiple substances do not communicate with medical professionals nor do they fully understand the risks of combining substances. A number of people use substances as a way to cope with problems or to chase a certain “high” they get, and possibly both. Adderall and Xanax are some of the most commonly prescribed prescription drugs. They are also frequently abused, with many people dealing with unintended consequences.

Xanax: Xanax Recreational Use and the Xanax High

Xanax is one of the brand names for the drug alprazolam, which is a benzodiazepine. It’s primary use is to treat anxiety and panic disorders. This is accomplished through suppression of the Central Nervous System (CNS). Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical in the body and it is part of reward and motivation; Xanax works to increase levels of dopamine in the body. Subsequently, people are able to feel calm and peaceful. Many people feel a heightened sense of euphoria, or the “Xanax High”. This feeling is something that a lot of people want to recreate to the point where they begin to misuse Xanax. 

Xanax is a fast-acting drug: it’s processed quickly and leaves the body quickly. The Xanax High that users feel will not last long, which will leave them needing more, increasing the dosage, to continue feeling the same euphoria. It’s possible for addiction to set in quickly with Xanax, even under proper medical supervision. Dr. Philip R. Muskin states that addiction is possible within even the first week of use. According to one study, in 2013 there were 48 million prescriptions of alprazolam dispensed, despite most prescribers considering the misuse liability to be high. Furthermore, the study reveals that withdrawal is severe, even following guidelines, and is more severe than other benzodiazepines. Because of the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms, many people are unable to stop use without professional help.

Adderall

Adderall is a stimulant made from amphetamine, which is the parent drug of methamphetamine. It primarily treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It helps people concentrate, and is often abused by people seeking to use it to enhance concentration and performance. Like Xanax, people misuse it for the ability to experience a euphoric feeling. As with a number of prescription drugs, people make the assumption that misuse isn’t that bad if the drug is legal. According to Dr. Ramin Mojtabai, use “…can also cause sleep disruption and serious cardiovascular side effects, such as high blood pressure and stroke.” Adderall should only be used when prescribed and under medical supervision. 

  Side effects can include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feveradderall-and-xanax-withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Body aches

 

 

Mixing Adderall and Xanax

For some, their Adderall and Xanax use might start out with a prescription and then turn to Adderall or Xanax recreational use. For others, they only ever use it illicitly and may do so desiring to feel the Adderall or Xanax high. 

Often, people snort substances to feel the effects faster and stronger. With recreational use, snorting Xanax is something some turn to in order to feel it faster and attain a stronger high. However, snorting Xanax, or any substance, is harmful to the human body. According to Time, “Snorting powder of any kind can lead to inflammation of the nasal lining, infection in the lungs and blockages of respiratory tracts and nasal airways.” Just as with Xanax, snorting Adderall is something that users will do to drastically increase one’s performance and concentration. Snorting Adderall may also increase the euphoric feeling (“Adderall High”) that some users seek.

stimulants-and-depressants

Stimulants and Depressants

Adderall and Xanax on their own, used under medical supervision, are meant to help. Still, even used properly they do have a high risk of misuse. It’s important for patients and their providers to take this into consideration. Misuse of substances is more likely to lead to tolerance, where someone then needs more of the substance to feel the same effect. With increased use, this is where someone is at risk for dependence, addiction, and overdose. Mixing substances heightens the negative effects of each substance. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), mixing stimulants and depressants can increase “…risk of death from stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, or respiratory failure.” Furthermore, with illicit use there is a high possibility substances are mixed with unknown substances. In recent years, there has been an increase of synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, which further increases the risk of overdose and death.

Treatment

Both Adderall and Xanax have a high risk for misuse and addiction. While severity will vary, it’s important to seek professional, medical help. Withdrawal can be severe, which makes it difficult to do so without proper help. After continued misuse, someone will likely be increasing the dosages to maintain the same effects which leads to more dangerous consequences. A lot of people use Adderall and Xanax, legally or illegally, intending often to feel the benefits like less anxiety or increased concentration. Not everyone understands the inherent risk of using each drug, even with proper use. Because of this, they may find themselves dealing with abuse and addiction without realizing it.

If you or a loved one needs help, reach out today.

FAQs

How long does Xanax stay in your system?

Xanax is a short-acting drug, which means it will enter the body quickly and leave quickly. The effects of Xanax are immediate and can last up to 11 hours. This can vary depending on the prescription and amount taken. It’s possible to detect Xanax through testing for up to a week after use, though this can of course vary depending on length of use, dosage, and other factors unique to each person. The type of testing will also determine whether it’s possible to detect it.

Can you overdose on Xanax?

Generally, overdose on Xanax alone is not common. However, increased dosage or mixing substances does increase the risk, which varies depending on what the effects of other substances are. Alcohol and Xanax, for example, are both depressants that can suppress breathing which is incredibly dangerous. It’s important to discuss with your care provider about how substances interact with Xanax.

What does Xanax feel like? What is the Xanax High?

Xanax works to depress an over-excited central nervous system, which is why it’s so effective in short-term treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. It also increases dopamine, which provides what many call the “Xanax High”.

How to taper off Xanax –

If you or a loved one is using Xanax legally, it’s incredibly important to follow a medical professional’s instructions for tapering off. Even if someone is using it in a recreational manner, it’s still best to seek professional help. Suddenly stopping use can cause severe side effects and withdrawal symptoms that make it difficult to quit on one’s own.

How long does Adderall stay in your system?

Generally, the effects of Adderall last for up to 6 hours, though extended-release can last for up to 12 hours. It’s possible to detect anywhere from a few days up to a week, depending on the type of test used. This can also vary for a variety of factors including dosage, length of use, and other aspects unique to each person.

Meth vs Adderall: Are they the same? Are they related?

Adderall is an amphetamine, the parent drug of methamphetamine (meth). They are both stimulants and have been used to treat similar health issues like ADHD. However, meth carries a much higher risk for addiction. Because of this, medical use is strictly monitored and infrequently prescribed.

Can you overdose on Adderall?

With proper use, an Adderall overdose is not likely. However, misuse and increased dosage raises the risk. Furthermore, mixing substances is potentially dangerous as they tend to heighten negative effects of the other. Anyone with a prescription should be sure to communicate with their provider if they use any other substances, legal or illegal.

What is the Adderall comedown like?

It’s important that anyone with a prescription does not suddenly stop without a medical professional’s care and instructions. Anyone using illicitly may also likely need professional help. Sudden cessation can cause withdrawal symptoms that include: anxiety, cravings, depression, and fatigue.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Suboxone and Heroin Detox

FAQs On Suboxone And Heroin Detox - Fight Addiction Now

At Fight Addiction Now, we’ve written quite a bit about recovering from heroin and Suboxone, but there are still several frequently asked questions about both substances that we’d like to address.

In specific, we would like to address questions people have about detoxing from heroin and Suboxone (which usually happens separately, of course). Get answers to all of the pressing heroin and Suboxone detox FAQs here.

What Are the Similarities Between Heroin and Suboxone?

Heroin and Suboxone (generic name buprenorphine) both come from the opioid family of drugs, and you could argue that both are rather exclusive. Heroin is exclusive in the sense that it is illegal. You can’t just go to the doctor and get a prescription for it; you have to know where to look and whom to ask (not that we recommend you do).

So even though heroin is exclusive in this sense, hundreds of thousands of Americans have figured out how to get their hands on it. The drug causes 10,000 or more overdose deaths each year (at least since 2014), ruins the lives of countless others, and sends tens of thousands to rehab every year.

Suboxone is exclusive because it’s a prescription drug that’s usually only prescribed for a very specific reason: detox from other opioids. Even though this drug is supposed to help cease your addition to opioids, some patients end up being dependent on it.

Thus, heroin and Suboxone both carry addiction risks (and overdose risks, as well). Both also create feelings of euphoria when taken. However, the way each reacts in the brain is quite distinct.

What Are the Differences Between Heroin and Suboxone?

People use heroin not only to numb pain, especially when their prescription for a legal opioid has run out, but also to experience feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Higher doses of this illegal drug can induce a floating, dream-like state.

Suboxone does has some pain-relieving properties, but not as strong as heroin does. People with low opioid tolerances may experience some euphoria when taking Suboxone, but it’s not one of the drug’s primary characteristics. Instead, as previously mentioned, Suboxone’s main intent is to help people overcome their physical dependence on other opioids, such as heroin.

The main difference between these two drugs in question is that heroin is a full agonist, while buprenorphine is a partial agonist. Full agonists such as heroin, morphine and oxycodone activate the opioid receptors in the brain and release the full opioid effect. Partial agonist activates the same receptors, but to a much lesser extent.

Suboxone also has antagonist properties, meaning it blocks the effects of other opioids. This is thanks to the substance naloxone that is present in Suboxone. Classifying buprenorphine solely as an opioid blocker would be misleading, however. It’s in its own category and is not a replacement or substitution for any other opioid.

Are There Similar Withdrawal Symptoms Between Heroin and Suboxone?

Heroin and Suboxone certainly share some of the some withdrawal symptoms. But instead of only listing the common symptoms between the two, we will give the full lists of withdrawal symptoms for each, with the similar ones in bold.

Potential withdrawal symptoms of heroin include:

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Irritability and/or aggression
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Muscles spasms and aches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Abdominal pain
  • Tremors and convulsions
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Potential Suboxone/buprenorphine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia or drowsiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Digestive issues (indigestion)
  • Fever or chills
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Irritability
  • Drug cravings

As you can see, there is great overlap between the two forms of withdrawal. The primary difference is that the more extreme symptoms of heroin withdrawal (hallucinations, seizures, convulsions, etc.) aren’t typically seen in Suboxone withdrawal.

What Is the Heroin Withdrawal Timeline Like?

The heroin withdrawal timeline will differ according to the severity of the addiction, but here is the average timeline to expect in detox:

  • 6 to 24 hours after the last dose: Acute withdrawal begins.
  • 2 to 3 days in: Symptoms peak.
  • 5 to 10 days in: Heroin completely leaves the system, and acute withdrawal concludes.

After acute withdrawal, you still have to watch for recurring symptoms, known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome, which can last months or years.

We’ve written an entire article if you would like to know more about what to expect in heroin withdrawal:

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline Guide

How Long Is the Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline?

The withdrawal timeline of Suboxone is similar to that of heroin, but Suboxone has slightly more noticeable mental health effects after the acute withdrawal period. Much of this is because buprenorphine has quite a long half-time, meaning it stays in the system longer.

The Suboxone withdrawal timeline will vary for each user, but the average timeline looks like:

  • First 24 hours after the last dose: Acute withdrawal will begin at some point during day one.
  • 3 days in: Symptoms reach their highest intensity.
  • 1 week in: Acute withdrawal begins to subside, but body aches, mood swings and insomnia linger.
  • 2 weeks in: Physical symptoms subside as depression begins to take over.
  • 1 month in: Depression may persist, and drug cravings start to return.

Since Suboxone withdrawal tends to drag out before finally going away, it’s best to seek professional detox and long-term care to overcome this addiction. It’s especially crucial since the cravings for Suboxone are a threat to return after the traditional 30-day treatment period.

Will I Be Given Suboxone to Detox from Suboxone?

Many detox programs will try to find natural ways to help you overcome Suboxone withdrawal. However, the medical professionals may deem that the best way to get you off Suboxone is with a tapered Suboxone regimen, ironically.

That’s why it’s best to look for a certified medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program to help you get off Suboxone. Such a program will start you with a manageable dose of Suboxone and then strategically wean you off the drug for good, in a way that minimizes the withdrawal symptoms.

What Is Suboxone Detox Tapering Like?

If you enter a MAT-certified drug rehab center where you’re planning to stay from detox to inpatient and even to the outpatient stage, the staff can taper you off Suboxone more slowly. For example, the medical providers might taper your dose down by 25 percent every 10 days.

But if you enter a standalone detox facility and need to be off Suboxone before you move on to the next stage of recovery, the detox team may deploy an emergency buprenorphine taper. This means they will wait until the onset of withdrawal, and then administer small doses of buprenorphine (e.g. 1 milligram or smaller) every hour until withdrawal is tolerable. Withdrawal still won’t be easy, but you will be stable and ready to come off Suboxone by the time you leave the facility.

For long-term buprenorphine tapering, it’s best to take your full dose at the beginning of the day and not spread it out over every few hours. This way, there is no need to think about it for the rest of the day, and you won’t be sitting around waiting anxiously for the next dose. This protocol is also beneficial because it will be harder to adjust to eventually taking Suboxone zero times per day when you were used to taking it two to four times each day.

Can I Use Kratom Instead of Suboxone to Detox from Opioids?

Kratom is an herbal substance that has some pain-relieving, stimulant and psychotropic (mind-altering) properties. This substance has been banned in a handful of states and certain counties within states, but it is legal in a majority of the U.S.

We’ve heard stories of people turning to kratom instead of Suboxone to help them beat opioid addiction, including from our own readers. There has even been some talk about using kratom as a supplement to Suboxone.

It’s hard for us to attest to the effectiveness of using kratom during opioid detox, as the evidence is all anecdotal at this point, and kratom is not federally approved for detox treatment. All we can say is that if you want to read more about the kratom vs. Suboxone conversation, you can go here:

Kratom vs. Suboxone in Detox

Can I Detox from Either Heroin or Suboxone at Home?

If you’ve only been on small doses of heroin or Suboxone for a short time, that’s one thing. But if you have a full-blown addiction to either one of these drugs, definitely do not try to detox at home. Why?

  • Heroin withdrawal can be fatal. If you’re at the point of withdrawal where you start experiencing seizures, death is a legitimate risk if you’re not under medical supervision.
  • Suboxone detox is tricky and should be handled by professionals. Although Suboxone withdrawal is rarely deadly, relapse is a big risk because the drug takes a long time to get out of your system, and the symptoms linger for months. This makes people want to stop the withdrawal symptoms by taking more buprenorphine.

If you need help for yourself or a loved one in finding Suboxone or heroin treatment, Fight Addiction Now can help guide your search for the right program. Click on “Start Chat Now” or use our contact form to get in touch with an expert.

See Our Heroin Fact Sheet

What Does Alcohol Withdrawal Feel Like? Real Alcohol Withdrawal Stories

What Does Alcohol Withdrawal Feel Like? Real Alcohol Withdrawal Stories

Fear of alcohol withdrawals is what keeps many from stopping drinking, and this fear often keeps alcoholics and those with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) from recovering from alcohol dependence. Why does this fear keep people from quitting alcohol, even when they realize that alcohol brings them nothing but heartache and want to quit?

To answer this, you need to understand what alcohol withdrawals feel like.

What Alcohol Withdrawal Nausea Feels Like

If you have ever had a bad hangover that causes you to throw up and feel nauseous, you know that it is similar to the feeling you get with a bad case of the flu or mild food poisoning, and yet is very different. The nauseous feeling you get with alcohol withdrawal seems to come from your spine, rather than your stomach, and is accompanied by an acidic feeling that spreads down the spine and seems to tickle the nerves in your extremities.

While most cases of nausea in alcohol withdrawals are usually fairly mild, some alcoholics – especially those that have underlying medical conditions or have damaged their gastrointestinal tract – suffer from severe and constant nausea during withdrawal.

What Alcohol Withdrawal Hallucinations Feels Like

Alcohol withdrawal hallucinations are a sign that you are suffering from more than acute withdrawal, and could be entering the delirium tremens (DTs) phase of withdrawal. If you are suffering from DTs, it is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. At this point, medical detox needs to intervene and treat the conditions medically to decrease the hallucinations and risk for seizures.

Those that do suffer from alcohol withdrawal hallucinations will find that it is not the type of hallucinations caused by hallucinogenic drugs, rather it is more tactile and auditory (feeling and hearing). You have heard the stories of people with alcohol withdrawal feeling bugs crawling on their skin – actually, this is just the mind trying to come up with an explanation for why it is feeling itching, pain and numbness, and pins and needles across the skin. While there are not bugs crawling on your skin, the brain makes you believe this because it is the easiest answer to process at a time when confusion is causing the brain and body to go haywire.

This is what hallucinations feel like from alcohol withdrawal. Confusion. Auditory hallucinations are more common than sensory or auditory hallucinations, and these hallucinations are more of your mind trying to make sense of your racing thoughts. The brain – in its state of confusion – can disembody the voice in your head, and make it feel like this “voice” is being heard, rather than thought of. Again, this is just confusion. There really aren’t voices, your brain is just incorrectly processing your interior monologue and actual sounds you hear.

What Alcohol Withdrawal Headaches Feels Like

A very bad and persistent headache, almost bordering on a migraine, is the best way to describe alcohol withdrawal headaches. These headaches usually aren’t severe, in the sense that the pain is unbearable, but it is the fact that they continue for long periods of time that make them so unbearable. The fact that these headaches are happening at the worst possible time – when you are already feeling anxiety and other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal – makes you perceive the headaches as being even worse.

These headaches can be centered anywhere, behind the eyes, at the base of the neck, near the sinuses, or the frontal lobe. They can feel like stress or tension headaches, and are almost indiscernible from regular everyday headaches. Again, the persistence of these headaches is what really make this symptom bad, with headaches lasting days or weeks in some people.

Others find that the headaches come in waves, building in intensity for a few days before subsiding for weeks. It is not uncommon for headaches to accompany post-acute withdrawal syndrome, and can resurface 6 months or a year after quitting. Eventually, these headaches will go away completely.

Acute Alcohol Withdrawal: Paroxysmal Sweats

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat? Maybe it happened after drinking way too much earlier that night? Imagine getting a sudden attack of cold sweats, where you feel a chill throughout your body, but sweat begins pouring profusely across your skin. Called, “paroxysmal sweats,” sudden attacks of alternating cold and hot sweats are common in acute alcohol withdrawal.

You’ll know them when they hit, and they usually wash over you in waves – much like what happens when you have the flu. It is common to feel paroxysmal sweats in conjunction with waves of tremors – also an indicative sign of acute alcohol withdrawal.

Real Alcohol Withdrawal Stories

Communication between peers is a powerful way that people can help each other with even the most challenging of life’s responsibilities. Peer support groups have long been used in alcohol recovery, because it is one thing to go through the struggle of fighting addiction by yourself, but hearing another person’s stories of how they went through a similar situation can brighten your outlook on your own situation.

With alcohol addiction and withdrawal, hearing another recovering alcoholic’s stories of recovery can help you to make sense of your own struggle. We asked several people recovering from alcohol use disorders about their experiences with alcohol various withdrawal symptoms:

Alcohol Withdrawal Shakes

Alcohol Poisoning Deaths Per Age Group Infographic“My hands had been shaky for years, and it got worse the longer I drank. I thought that is what people meant when the talked about ‘alcohol shakes.’ It wasn’t until I tried quitting alcohol completely on my own that I found out what they [alcohol shakes] really were. My neck felt like it couldn’t support my neck, and kept dropping. My muscles would shake and twitch just trying to hold the weight of my own head. If I tried to stand up, the rest of the muscles in my body would twitch the same way. So, I just laid there on the couch for hours.”

“I don’t know why I thought soup would help me with the horrendous hangover I had. I microwaved myself some soup and tried to sip the broth, but my hand wouldn’t work. I couldn’t even hold a spoon. I always drank way too much in a single night, sometimes 12-16 beers in just a few hours. I guess I was a binge drinker, but never really considered myself an alcoholic or even that I had a drinking problem, because I could easily go a week or more without drinking. Seeing my hand shake and spill orange beef broth down my chin was the first time I considered that I might have done some real neurological damage to myself.”

Alcohol Withdrawal Anxiety

“The anxiety you get with alcohol withdrawals isn’t like any other type of anxiety I have ever felt. What I used to call a high anxiety day, can’t even compare to the level of anxiety I felt during alcohol withdrawal. It was like my body reached a point of anxiety way above what I thought was possible. I am 2 years sober now. I don’t want to ever feel anxiety that bad again.”

“I had been drinking at least one beer a day for over 10 years, but more like 8-10. I was actually able to taper down myself, without alcohol detox. It took me over a month to get down to 1 beer per day, and I was feeling so good, I figured I was ready to just stop drinking and go to zero drinks. I was ok for about a week and a half; what I would say was 6 on a 1-10 scale of anxiety. I knew that alcohol withdrawals usually are over with after 3 days, so I figured I was through the worst of it. Then, bam I felt my heart quiver and I got dizzy and felt like I was going to black out. My wife called the ambulance, because I told her I thought I was having a heart attack. It wasn’t a heart attack, it was a panic attack and heart palpitations from alcohol withdrawal.”

Alcohol Withdrawal Nightmares

“I actually didn’t go through a lot of withdrawal symptoms. Sure, I had some anxiety and didn’t feel great for about 2 weeks, but I got through alcohol detox easily, thanks to the medications they gave me. About a week after I finished detox, I wasn’t sleeping too well. It would take me forever to fall asleep, and when I finally did fall asleep, it would only last a few hours before I would snap back awake, full of energy. One of the times, I was having a dream about having to do something very difficult over and over again. I can’t remember the exact details of the dream, I just remember that the thought of doing something over and over again terrified me. I snapped back away after this dream, and it felt like something in me had popped, and I felt my body relax. After that, my sleep problems weren’t as bad and I started being able to fall asleep easier.”

Share Your Alcohol Withdrawal Stories

Human beings have the amazing power to make others feel better simply by talking and sharing stories, communicating, and understanding. When it comes to alcohol withdrawal, we know it is not going to be fun, but if you truly want to be free from alcohol controlling your life, you have to dig in and get through the first and most difficult part, detoxing from alcohol.

Those that have already gone through alcohol detox, and have followed through with their recover, can help others that are just beginning their journey into sobriety, offering your own insights into alcohol withdrawal. Share your story with others, and let them know that quitting is the right choice, alcohol detox can help to make the withdrawal symptoms easier to get through, and that a better life is waiting for them, after they get through the first and roughest patch.

Add Your Story on the Fight Addiction Now Forum:

Alcohol Withdrawal Stories

Klonopin vs. Xanax Addiction and Withdrawal

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Klonopin vs. Xanax Addiction and Withdrawal

Klonopin and Xanax are very similar drugs, but it is important to know the differences and similarities in the addictions and withdrawals of each. Understanding how these drugs work can promote a higher chance of recovery without relapse.

The Ways Klonopin And Xanax Are Similar

Klonopin and Xanax are forms of benzodiazepines used to treat anxiety and panic attacks. They are central nervous system depressants. These drugs increase gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This acid reduces activity in the parts of the brain that control emotions and rational thoughts. When someone is suffering from anxiety, these drugs will suppress the high emotions and prevent a panic attack.

People who use Klonopin or Xanax often experience similar side effects. Blurred vision, dizziness, dry mouth, drowsiness, headache, insomnia, loss of coordination, nausea, and vomiting are common side effects.

Benzodiazepines Are Commonly Abused

Klonopin, Xanax, and other benzodiazepines are the second most commonly abused drugs. The first most-abused drugs are opioids such as Oxycontin. People abuse benzos regularly for several reasons. They are the most-prescribed pharmaceuticals in the country, and thus easily accessible. Teens often get them from their family medicine cabinets. These drugs also help ease withdrawal symptoms of other drugs and alcohol. People going through withdrawal often develop an addiction to benzodiazepines as they attempt to recover from other addictions.

People often abuse benzodiazepines for their calming effect. They often use benzos with other drugs and alcohol and are especially dangerous when used with alcohol. Drinking alcohol causes or exacerbates most benzodiazepine overdoses.

Klonopin Is Also Known As Clonazepam

Klonopin is the brand name for clonazepam, which came to the market in 1975. Klonopin helps treat anxiety and panic attacks. Doctors may also prescribe it to treat bipolar disorder, seizure disorders, Tourette’s syndrome, acute psychosis, mania, sleeping disorders, alcohol withdrawal, and pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia. However, the longer someone takes Klonopin, the higher his or her tolerance becomes to the drug, making it less effective in controlling seizures.

Klonopin has a half-life of 20 to 80 hours. Users feel the peak effects between one and four hours of taking it. Klonopin’s potency makes it an addictive drug. One-third of patients taking a prescription of Klonopin for four weeks display addiction symptoms of built-up tolerance.

Xanax, aka Alprazolam

Alprazolam is the generic name for the brand of benzodiazepine known as Xanax. Physicians prescribe Xanax to treat anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, agoraphobia, severe PMS symptoms, and pain caused by some cancers. Xanax is a faster-acting benzodiazepine than Klonopin. A user feels its peak effects an hour or two after taking the drug. The half-life of Xanax is 11 to 16 hours. Due to its fast-acting nature, a user can develop a tolerance very quickly. Some people struggling with Xanax addiction take 20 to 30 pills a day.

Withdrawal From Klonopin And Xanax

Klonopin withdrawal is like that of Xanax, but due to their different half-lives, the withdrawal timeline is slightly different. Withdrawal also depends on the dosage is taken, length of time, and whether the user takes it with other drugs or alcohol. Every person and every withdrawal is different.

Benzodiazepines are dangerous to quit cold turkey. You should always go through withdrawal in a medically supervised detox program. Withdrawal symptoms can be fatal in some instances, so it’s important that medical professionals monitor patients during detox.

Xanax Withdrawal

The major difference in withdrawal symptoms for Klonopin and Xanax is the time frame. Klonopin is a long-acting benzodiazepine, meaning that withdrawal will last longer in general, even up to years from start to finish. Xanax is a fast-acting benzo; the withdrawal symptoms of short-acting benzos are often more intense and begin sooner after the last dose.

Stage 1: Early Withdrawal

The first stage of withdrawal begins after the half-life period runs its course and the drug is out of the person’s system. This is the most dangerous point in withdrawal, and patients can experience rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and seizures. We definitely advise medical attention during this time. In addition, the person will experience anxiety and panic attacks return with the lack of medication. Early withdrawal typically lasts a few days.

Stage 2: Acute Withdrawal

This is the most physically and emotionally painful part of withdrawal. This phase typically lasts from a couple of weeks to a couple months. People experience withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating, panic attacks, nausea, dizziness, headaches, insomnia, hallucinations, seizures, irritability, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Medically assisted detox can help relieve these symptoms.

Stage 3: Post-acute Withdrawal

Not everyone goes through the final stage of withdrawal, but for some people, it lasts for years after the detox process. Post-acute withdrawal features the resurgence of panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. When someone is addicted to benzos, the brain becomes used to having the effects every day. As a result, when someone quits benzos they revert to old issues.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Medications

The safest way for someone to quit using drugs like Xanax and Klonopin is to taper down their usage. Quitting cold turkey has many health risks. By tapering down the dosage over time, someone in recovery can protect their physical and mental health.

Physicians use several medications to ease the withdrawal process while someone tapers their benzodiazepine intake. Buspirone is good for people with anxiety who are struggling with benzodiazepine addiction. It doesn’t cause physical dependence and treats anxiety. The downside is that it takes two to three weeks to kick in. People will often start taking Buspirone before they start tapering benzo intake. Flumazenil treats benzo overdoses and withdrawal symptoms of long-acting benzos like Klonopin. Doctors also use it for rapid detox, as it expels benzodiazepines from the system. This can be very dangerous.

Benzodiazepine Half-Life Comparison

Although the withdrawal processes for Klonopin and Xanax are very similar, the amount of time they spend in the system is different. Klonopin has a half-life of anywhere from 20 to 80 hours, while the half-life of Xanax is about 11 to 16 hours. Other variables, such as dosage, length of abuse, and severity of addiction will change the withdrawal timeline as well.

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Can You Use Marijuana to Get Off Opioids (Heroin/Painkillers)?

Can You Use Marijuana for Opioid Withdrawal Heroin Painkillers - Fight Addiction Now

The American opioid epidemic rages on. More than 2 million Americans are reportedly dependent on opioid drugs currently. In 2016 alone, some 42,000 people died of an opioid overdose. That’s more than 100 opioid-related deaths every single day.

Understandably, opioid addicts are terrified, and many are beginning to turn to unconventional treatments to overcome their addiction. As the number of accepted medical uses for marijuana has steadily grown over the past decade, many wonder if cannabis can be an effective treatment for opioid addiction.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence showing that marijuana can help people suffering from opioid withdrawals. However, marijuana use may be of some benefit during other stages of opioid addiction treatment.

Marijuana for Opioid Withdrawal: Does It Work?

Opioid Prescriptions In States With Medical Marijuana Statistic - Fight Addiction Now

It would be nice if simply smoking weed or eating marijuana food for opiate withdrawal were an effective treatment, but to put it bluntly, it’s not. There is very little that can be done to make the symptoms of opioid detox less miserable.

Once you’ve decided to get clean, you’ll inevitably have to suffer through opioid withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Cold flashes
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea and vomiting

Now, there is some anecdotal evidence that marijuana may be able to partially relieve some of these symptoms, like nausea and insomnia, for example. But as a general rule, marijuana is not an effective replacement for opioids during the early stages of recovery.

Marijuana as a Replacement Painkiller

Many people who become addicted to opioid drugs began using them for legitimate reasons. There are countless stories of doctors prescribing painkillers to patients who, over time, become more and more dependent on the opioid medications.

And when their prescription runs out, many of these patients turn to street opioids to satisfy their drug dependence, which can eventually lead to heroin addiction and even death.

While marijuana may not treat the physical dependence on opioids, it can bring relief to the underlying chronic pain issues that led to the use of opioids in the first place.

Studies on Marijuana to Treat Chronic Pain

Harvard researchers recently performed a systematic review of 28 studies examining the effectiveness of cannabinoids to treat numerous chronic pain conditions. The Harvard team found that of six general chronic pain studies, all demonstrated that marijuana use resulted in a significant improvement in pain symptoms. In addition, five out of five studies showed that marijuana helped to alleviate neuropathic pain.

Two studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association also seem to indicate that states that legalized medical marijuana observed a significant reduction in the number of opioid prescriptions written by doctors. While these studies only show observational correlations, the research teams were confident that the drop in opioid prescriptions is related to the availability of legal marijuana, as there was no change in the number of non-opioid prescriptions during the study.

It’s hard to say whether marijuana can be an effective chronic pain treatment in all cases, but the research appears to show that many may be able to find relief by replacing their opioid use with marijuana.

Marijuana as a Recreational Opioid Replacement

Marijuana Food For Opiate Withdrawal - Fight Addiction Now

Not everyone uses opioid drugs for legitimate medical reasons. Those who use prescription painkillers or heroin recreationally may be able to replace opioids with marijuana. People abuse opioids for a number of nonmedical reasons, such as to relieve social anxiety or just unwind after a stressful day. Marijuana can provide similar effects to opioids in this regard, and is much safer in both the short and long term.

Whereas opioids have a tremendously high potential for addiction, marijuana does not. People can use it for years with little risk of developing a physical dependence. And while opioid overdoses claim tens of thousands of lives every year, it’s nearly impossible to have a fatal overdose of marijuana.

Now, we’re not recommending that people take up marijuana use just to have a good time, but if the choice is between marijuana and opioids, it’s safe to say that marijuana is going to be the safer option nearly 100 percent of the time.

Beating Opioid Addiction the Smart Way

If you are serious about kicking an opioid habit, there is no better way to do it than through a medical opioid detox program. For someone going through the process of quitting opioids, marijuana will not do much for the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, but there are other medications that can.

If it’s deemed necessary, a trained physician at a medically assisted opioid detox facility may prescribe any of the following medications to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms:

Buprenorphine/Naloxone

An opioid and opioid antagonist, this drug helps with managing withdrawal symptoms and can be taken by injection, as an implant, under the tongue or as a skin patch. Be mindful that this medication has the potential for addiction if abused or taken for too long of a time.

Methadone

This medication, sold under the brand name Dolophine, can treat pain and help wean patients off other opioid drugs. Detox centers must be certified by SAMHSA to legally prescribe this medication, as it can be addictive if prescribed for too long or too heavy of a dosage.

Clonidine

Clonidine is a blood pressure medication that has proved to be effective in treating opioid withdrawal symptoms. This drug works by affecting the central nervous system, and can be prescribed by any licensed physician.

Zofran

Zofran treats nausea and vomiting that accompany opioid withdrawal. Any licensed doctor at an opioid detox center can prescribe Zofran to patients.

Help with Finding an Opioid Detox Program

In the end, the decision comes down to each individual whether they will choose to use marijuana as a replacement of the symptoms or reasons they started taking opioid drugs. One thing that is certain, however, is that if someone is already addicted to opioids, marijuana is not going to magically get rid of their withdrawal symptoms. But don’t lose hope!

No matter how hopeless the situation may seem, with professional help and personal determination, anyone can start down the path toward a life free from opioid addiction.

Learn More About the Detox Process

Cocaine Detox: Do I Really Need to Go to Detox for Cocaine?

Cocaine Detox Process Do I Need Detox for Cocaine - Fight Addiction Now

Detox for Cocaine?

Yes, is the short answer. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms are not as severe or life threatening as can in the case of alcohol, benzodiazepines and opioids. However, while cocaine detox is typically not life threatening, if a patient has underlying medical issues, it can be fatal. For example, patients may not know they have a heart condition until withdrawal symptoms begin and result in cardiac arrest.

If you are a healthy adult, chances are good that cocaine withdrawal will be safe and non-life threatening. Still, there are other reasons to seek inpatient detox when going through cocaine withdrawal.

Cocaine Withdrawal

Withdrawal from cocaine is awful, physically and mentally. It has been likened to the worst hangover of your life, times 10. For this reason alone, many people choose to detox in a medical setting.

Detox centers can provide patients with medication for anxiety and other miserable side effects of withdrawal. These medications can make the process more tolerable for the patient. Typically, cocaine withdrawal is not dangerous, but for the best chance of recovery, most medical experts recommend inpatient treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Cocaine Detox Process

We’re just getting starting on the complex topic of cocaine detox. Continue learning more about it by reading our responses to several of the most frequently asked questions:

What are the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal?

Cocaine produces an extreme sense of euphoria during use. When a person stops using the drug, there will be a crash. Negative feelings become extremely strong, and cravings for the drug begins.

Most of the withdrawal effects are psychological. Once the body begins to withdraw, the following symptoms will occur:

  • Severe fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • Difficulty feeling pleasure
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Severe restlessness
  • Paranoia
  • General sad feelings
  • Depression or thoughts of hurting yourself

How bad is cocaine withdrawal?

It will depend on the duration, frequency and amount of cocaine your body is used to. The psychological effects of withdrawal are always more prominent than physical effects during cocaine detox. So, it may only be slightly physically uncomfortable, but extremely difficult mentally.

How long do symptoms of withdrawal last? 

Cocaine stays in your body for about 72 hours. During this time, the drug is dwindling throughout your system and withdrawal symptoms will begin. For patients who were habitual heavy users, the withdrawal period can last from one to three weeks.

If someone has used cocaine heavily for many years, withdrawal symptoms can last weeks or months. Once withdrawal symptoms have ceased, cocaine will still be found in urine for up to 12 weeks.

What are the stages of cocaine withdrawal?

  • Days One Through Three: The body will begin withdrawal. Mood will drop, and remorse or depression begins. During this stage, hunger and restlessness are common. As symptoms begin, many users must fight using the drug to make their symptoms go away.
  • Days Four Through Seven: Psychological symptoms worsen during this period. Cravings for the drug will increase and many patients begin to sleep longer periods of time. Strong withdrawal symptoms during these days include severe anxiety, apathy, paranoia, depression and irritability.
  • Days Eight Through 14: Around day eight, patients begin to feel better mentally, and physically if there were physical symptoms. The general mood can be misleading, as negative psychological symptoms come in waves. One minute, the individual will feel as though he or she can conquer the world. The next minute, he or she may feel as low as ever. Cravings for cocaine will occur randomly.
  • Days 15 Through 21: During week two of withdrawal, symptoms remain steady. Psychologically, patients have mood swings and can be unstable. Physically, patients often still experience strong hunger. Cravings for the drug will still vary.
  • Day 22 And Onward: If may take months for psychological effects to go away completely, but they level off around this time. Patients may still have cravings for cocaine, and sometimes give into temptation.

How dangerous is cocaine withdrawal?

If you do not have any underlying medical conditions, cocaine withdrawal is non-life threatening. Many patients still obtain medical care during this time to receive help with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. A formal detox environment can also help prevent relapse.

Can I withdraw from cocaine at home?

It’s possible, but most professionals and recovering patients recommend finding professional care to help ease psychological symptoms. Especially morose and helpless moods can lead to relapse or failure to withdraw. 

Are there any methods to make cocaine withdrawal easier?

While there are no drugs specific to treating cocaine withdrawal, detox centers can prescribe medications to help treat the psychological effects of the process. Anti-anxiety drugs and anti-depressants may be administered to help control mood swings.

What are the signs of cocaine overdose?

Cocaine overdoses are a medical emergency and can easily be fatal. If you suspect someone has overdosed on cocaine, do not take any risks, and call 911 immediately.

Symptoms of cocaine overdose include:

  • Extremely high energy levels (more than typical of the person while on cocaine)
  • Talking incessantly
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressiveness
  • Chest pain
  • Seizures
  • Involuntary limb tremors or twitches

Are there any long-term effects of cocaine use?

Cocaine has been called the “heart attack drug,” as heart attack is the No. 1 cause of death in those who abuse cocaine. Cardiac problems can occur immediately after use while the user is high, but also occur after long-term use. The heart is severely damaged over time and can suffer cardiac arrest down the road. If you have a known heart condition, stop using cocaine immediately.

Other symptoms of long-term cocaine use include:

  • Respiratory problems leading to decreased oxygen flow
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Brain shrinkage
  • Neurotransmitter deficiencies
  • Gastrointestinal damage
  • Infectious diseases from poor decision making
  • Chronic nosebleeds
  • Constant headaches

What happens after detox?

Cocaine has a high abuse potential and can result in long-term addiction. Thus, we advise continuing with a reputable substance abuse program after detox.

Inpatient, outpatient and support groups can all help a patient cope with their addiction. Detox is not enough to stop addiction, as you will need long-term support and treatment to be successful and avoid relapse. 

How is cocaine addiction treated?

Cocaine addiction is treated differently for everyone. There is no one-size-fits-all method for treatment. Depending on the patient, the length of addiction and previous relapse, treatment types and lengths will vary. Some patients seek intensive inpatient therapy, while others choose outpatient and group support therapies.

Importance of Professional Cocaine Detox

Choosing to detox from cocaine in a treatment facility can significantly ease the process of withdrawal. Although cocaine withdrawal is typically not physically dangerous, patients need psychological support and treatment during the process. If you or a loved one is suffering from cocaine addiction, consider an inpatient detox program for treatment.

Learn More About Detox Programs

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline, Symptoms and Detox

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline Symptoms And Detox - Fight Addiction Now

What to Expect from Heroin Withdrawals and Detox

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 15,000 people died of overdoses related to heroin in 2016. In the United States, there are 467,000 people who are regular users of heroin, and an estimated 600,000-plus people need treatment for addiction to heroin.

During a one-year period (2014-15) the overdose death rate from heroin use rose by more than 20 period from the previous cycle. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s crucial that you get help. Here is what to expect in a withdrawal timeline from heroin.

What Is Withdrawal?

Although no two people will have identical experiences on their journey to sobriety, knowing that what you are going through is a normal part of the process can help you get through it and to the other side.

Addiction happens when the body and the brain become so accustomed to the presence of a substance that they rely on the substance to feel normal. There are physical and psychological reactions to the removal of something that the body believes it needs for survival.

Withdrawal refers to the symptoms experienced when the body is deprived of something that it has come to depend on. Each experience with heroin withdrawal symptoms is as unique as the person experiencing it. However, there are some general similarities and feelings you can expect when you go through the process.

What to Expect from Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin affects the central nervous system. It suppresses certain functions related to heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and the regulation of the body’s temperature. It also causes the brain to increase the production of chemicals that allow people to experience pleasure.

When the drug that is responsible for the body and brain behaving in a certain way is removed, it can have a devastating impact on the body. The severity of the symptoms experienced depends on how long the person has been using the drug, how much they have been using and their body’s unique reaction to the cessation of use.

Common symptoms of heroin withdrawal may initially include:

  • Mood swings, irritability, and/or aggression
  • Restlessness and insomnia
  • Uncontrollable yawning
  • Excessive sweating
  • A runny nose or excessive tears
  • Dehydration
  • Muscle spasms, aches and/or chills
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Fatigue
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Abdominal pain

Beyond the initial detoxification of the body, there are long-term symptoms that people may experience as they are going through their recovery process. These may include anxiety, depression, paranoia, high blood pressure, hyperactivity and cravings.

Some people feel that this period of time is the most difficult part of the recovery process. It’s important to keep in mind that the symptoms of withdrawal are temporary.

The Average Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Break The Silence Get Help Quote - FANHow long is heroin withdrawal? How long does heroin withdrawal last? These are common questions from the people addicted and those who love them.

The process of withdrawal is a gradual progression of detoxification. It won’t start all at once or stop all at once. When the drug use is first stopped, symptoms may begin within a few hours or, for some people, it may take as long as 24 hours for the withdrawal symptoms to begin.

During the first few days, the most acute symptoms begin to subside and decrease gradually through the second half of the week.

Because heroin is a short-acting opioid, effects are brought on quickly when the drug is used. This also means that it rids itself from the bloodstream rapidly.

This is good news. It means that, for most people, the worst of the withdrawal symptoms during recovery from heroin addiction last approximately a week. Some people may get through the worst of it more quickly, and some people may take a bit longer.

An average heroin withdrawal timeline may include the onset of symptoms within six to 12 hours of the final dose of heroin, with symptoms peaking in the first three days and subsiding by the end of the first week.

The Detoxification Process

When someone stops using the drug all at once, sometimes referred to as “going cold turkey,” the withdrawal symptoms will be the most severe. This can actually be dangerous, because the brain and nervous system have become dependent on the drug.

Stopping it all at once can cause the body to go into shock. Some people experience:

  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Dehydration

With such severe withdrawal symptoms, the risk of relapse is very high. It’s common to overdose when relapsing because people often relapse by using the same amount of the drug they used before stopping.

How to Ensure Safe Detoxification

The safest way to detoxify the body from heroin addiction is in a facility that specializes in drug rehabilitation. Not only is it safer in the short term as the body goes through the most severe symptoms of detoxification, but research has shown that detoxification that’s medically assisted has the highest rate of success.

Medically assisted detoxification addresses the physical aspects of safe withdrawal along with the behavioral and psychological issues related to detoxification. A worthwhile program will also include therapies to address the issues that may have been a factor in the initial addiction.

A detoxification process that’s medically assisted can lessen the pain by using sedation and supervision while the body is going through the cleansing process. There are medications approved to use for heroin addiction withdrawal:

  • Naltrexone
  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine (Suboxone/Subutex)

These are commonly used to curb the discomfort of removing heroin from the system.

Throughout the detoxification process, the treatment team will medically monitor the patient. This means the staff will monitor their heart rate and blood pressure along with their body temperature and respiration. This allows for any medical interventions necessary before a situation becomes life threatening.

Long-Term Success

Medical detoxification offers the best chance for long-term recovery from heroin addiction because it addresses the physical, psychological and behavioral components of the addiction.

At Fight Addiction Now, we want you to know that recovery is possible, and we can guide you there. Overcoming heroin addiction without medical supervision is dangerous, and it’s not realistic to try to do it on your own. Arm yourself with the right tools and the right support system, and you will be well on your way to a new life.

See Our Heroin Addiction Fact Sheet

Alcohol Withdrawal Timelines: PAWS & Protracted Withdrawal Lengths Are Unique to Individuals

What Is the Average Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline - Fight Addiction Now

Alcohol Withdrawal Signs, Symptoms and Warnings

Alcohol withdrawal occurs when a body’s natural detoxification process eliminates alcohol from the system. If a person is an extremely heavy drinker, as soon as his or her body begins to sense a lack of alcohol, physical symptoms will begin.

Acute alcohol withdrawal is the first stage in the detoxification process and involves mostly physical symptoms. Common signs and symptoms of acute alcohol detox include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Irritability, anxiety, restlessness and confusion
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Seizures
  • Fever and sweating

It is important to note that alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous and produce severe symptoms. When going through alcohol withdrawal, it is best to be under some sort of professional addiction recovery support, because it is impossible to tell how severe withdrawal symptoms might become.

When a person’s symptoms become severe, withdrawal is referred to as delirium tremens and can cause:

  • Altered mental functions, disorientation
  • Deep sleep
  • Extreme fear or excitement
  • Sudden mood changes

These types of symptoms are much more dangerous than the effects listed previously. If a person goes through withdrawal too quickly, it can be extremely detrimental, which is why it is advisable to be under the care of a licensed physician or rehabilitation facility.

How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last?

The alcohol withdrawal timeline varies from five days to many months. The acute phase typically lasts five to seven days. Once those symptoms have run their course, different symptoms can appear at any time. The range is dependent on many different factors, including length and amount of alcohol use, medical history and addiction history.

The Physiological Aspects of Withdrawal

Excessive alcohol use interferes with brain function by disrupting neurotransmitters. One neurotransmitter in particular, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), helps produce endorphins. When you drink alcohol in excess, it causes a GABA imbalance.

Dopamine, the “feel good” chemical, stops its production when a heavy drinker suddenly stops drinking. These imbalances cause physiological differences in your system, which in turn give you unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol withdrawal can also induce anhedonia, a term for the brain’s lack of production of feel-good chemicals. Once the brain has stopped producing these chemicals, it takes a while for production to begin again. The brain works to fix the imbalance, but in the meantime, anhedonia will cause a severe lack of interest in most aspects of the person’s life. This can cause deeper depression and emotional issues.

In many instances, withdrawal symptoms only last five to seven days. Other times, people experience alcohol withdrawal months after they stop drinking. These long-lasting withdrawal syndromes are known as protracted or post-acute withdrawal.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline for Protracted/Post-Acute Withdrawal

Once the initial effects of acute withdrawal wear off, a person may experience post-acute or protracted withdrawal symptoms, typically two months or more after alcohol cessation. Other names for this withdrawal stage include chronic withdrawal, extended withdrawal, late withdrawal and long-term withdrawal. PAWS is a common acronym for post-acute withdrawal syndrome.
 
In contrast to acute withdrawal’s physical symptoms, these symptoms involve mood-altering episodes such as:

  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Emotional overreactions (crying, laughing, anger)
  • Generalized anxiety, panic disorders
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Alcohol cravings

Depression is common during the post-acute withdrawal period and many times causes a person to relapse. Symptoms in this stage can last several weeks or months. Without help from a therapist, group support or ongoing rehabilitation, this period can be exceptionally difficult to manage successfully.

How to Actively Manage Protracted/Post-Acute Syndrome

Unconditional support is needed from others during the first few months of recovery. It is important to find guidance from group therapies, rehabilitation facilities and individual therapy and counseling.
 
Many people struggle during this stage of the process, and understandably so. A heavy drinker has typically become accustomed to feeling numb and not having to deal with his or her feelings. Once the person is clean, the feelings come flooding back. These feelings, coupled with the lack of feel-good chemicals being produced in the brain, are a dangerous combination.
 
Recovery is difficult, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The first few months of recovery are the most challenging and will need to be actively managed. With help from friends, family and professionals, your recovery can be a success. If you feel depressed, listless, suicidal or hopeless, seek the help of a licensed professional.

Discuss Alcohol Recovery

What have your experiences been with recovery, detox, withdrawal or alcohol abuse? Do you have valuable advice or insight that would be helpful to others? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comment section below, or head on over to on our community forum to discuss alcoholism recovery.

See Our Alcohol Addiction Fact Sheet

Overcoming Addiction: Can You Stop Using Drugs and Alcohol by Yourself?

Overcoming Addiction Can You Stop Using Drugs and Alcohol Yourself - FAN

If you’ve been wondering, “Can I quit using drugs and alcohol by myself?” the answer really depends on your particular situation.

Data suggests that about half of people who recover do so with some sort of help, while about half do so on their own. Many of the people who recover on their own do so with the help of community support, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, instead of going to formal rehab.

So what path is right for you? Let’s explore what you need to know before making this important decision.

Detox vs. Rehabilitation: What You Need to Know Before Quitting Drugs Without Rehab

Although the majority of the recovery process can be managed by the addict, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional help for the first stage of recovery: detox.

The acute withdrawal symptoms that occur when you first stop using a substance can be severe – not only unpleasant to experience, but also life-threatening in some cases, especially when coming off alcohol or benzos.

At a detox center or other medical facility, you will have physicians checking your vital signs on a regular basis to ensure your safety and to intervene if your symptoms become dangerous. They may also be able to prescribe medication to help ease the severity of the symptoms, making withdrawal less painful.

For heroin and opioid addiction, it’s not the physical withdrawal symptoms that can kill you, but rather the state of mind it puts you in. Withdrawal is known to cause suicidal behavior is some cases, so medical supervision during detox helps keep patients from hurting themselves in a low moment.

If you do decide to detox from opiate addiction at home, make sure there’s someone else there to watch over you and that all dangerous items have been removed from the house.

Overcoming Addiction Without Rehab

Percentage People Who Got Help for Addiction Recovery Statistical Image - Fight Addiction NowRehabilitation – which is staying off drugs and alcohol after the initial acute withdrawal period is over – can definitely be done on your own, as many people have proven through their own experiences.

In fact, whether you choose to recover on your own or in a rehab program, it is always you that is rehabilitating yourself. No one can make you get sober; you have to want it on a deep level.

You have to be willing to do what it takes to make the necessary changes in your life. You have to embrace the trial by fire. Without that, no treatment program or AA process will be able to help you.

What everyone does usually need is some support along the way. Recovery is hard enough; doing it with the help of others eases the burden.

However and wherever you choose to recover, you may need some or all of these things:

  • Support from people like you who’ve been through this and understand what you’re going through, and can provide advice on what worked for them
  • Tips and training on how to prevent relapse
  • Counseling or therapy
  • Medication to ease post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)
  • Help with establishing a new life – work, living arrangements, etc.
  • Ongoing encouragement during this months-long (or even years-long) process

Why People Relapse

The question to ask yourself is, “What support do I need to prevent relapse?” The most common reasons why people relapse are:

  • Motivation wasn’t strong enough
  • Not enough changes to environment or habits
  • Strong PAWS symptoms (physical addiction still at play)
  • Other contributing factors such as trauma, mental illness, etc. haven’t been properly addressed

You may find success in recovering on your own if:

  • You have an intense motivation to quit using substances and recreate your life.
  • You’re typically good at exercising willpower (i.e., “mind over matter” works for you).
  • You’re willing to make changes throughout your life to support your commitment to sobriety, including saying goodbye to old relationships and other situations that you used to enjoy but which may tempt you into relapse.
  • You don’t have a mental illness or psychological issue that is contributing to your drug use.

When It’s a Good Idea to Get Professional Addiction Treatment Services

In addition to professional detox, opting for a formal treatment program may be a good idea for you if you have one of these situations:

Dual Diagnosis

If you have an underlying mental health issue, then having a psychiatrist’s help is very important because both the substance use disorder and mental health disorder need to be treated at the same time. The methods and/or medications that will be used to treat these two conditions will vary, depending on the specific circumstances.

More On Mental Health

History of Relapse

If you’ve tried to quit on your before and keep relapsing, then there’s no shame in getting professional help. Everyone is different, and just because someone else recovered without going to rehab doesn’t mean the same strategy will work for you.

Find The Right Treatment

Relapse Prevention

Motivation Problems

If you’re having difficulty really committing to sobriety, maybe because you fear that life without your substance of choice wouldn’t be any better, or some other reason, then seek out an option with one-on-one therapy to help you get to the bottom of your motivation issue.

Services for these types of issues are available in inpatient and outpatient rehab programs, and from psychiatric practices.

There Are Many Ways to Beat Drug Addiction

Each person caught up in addiction has a unique situation. The type of drug being used, how severe the physical addiction is, the underlying psychological and lifestyle factors that support the addiction – all these things and more play into how a person experiences addiction and what they need to do to quit.

Some people are able to quit on their own without enrolling in a rehab program. Others benefit greatly from the support that a formal program provides, either at a treatment center or in a community based program like AA.

It Comes Down to You

Regardless of whom you turn to for help, the No. 1 factor that will determine your success is your internal level of commitment. You have to truly want to live a sober life, deep down, in order to have the motivation necessary to weather the changes ahead.

Once you’ve made that commitment and your resolve is firm, seeking out support in the community, from AA and NA programs, from rehab programs or other medical professionals should give you tools to beat addiction, as well as resources to make the changes that will save your life.

If you’re confident you can do this on your own with free support in the community, go for it. If you’re pretty sure that you’ll back out when things get tough (maybe because this has happened before), don’t feel bad about this.

Acknowledge the reality of your situation and opt for a rehab program where there will be people to help you find the motivation to tough it out. If you’re afraid that beating addiction alone isn’t possible for you, then don’t hesitate to seek out support.

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