Have you been feeling under the weather lately? Or maybe you just don’t feel like yourself; something feels off. You’re moody, irritable, maybe even feeling a little more anxious than normal. You chalk it up to stress from work; those deadlines aren’t going to meet themselves, right? Or you figure you just have a head cold; something has been going around. Not once have you stopped to think it has anything to do with the drinking, or maybe those anxiety pills the doctor has been giving you.
Is it possible that what you are feeling is withdrawal? It may sound crazy at first, but take a look at the facts. Sometimes, certain withdrawal symptoms can mirror those of the flu or a cold, so it can be difficult to realize what you are actually experiencing. You have started drinking more frequently or taking more pills than prescribed. Whatever you tell yourself doesn’t really matter, the fact is, there’s a possibility your body has built up a dependence to whatever substance it is you are using. Now, without it, your body is beginning to go through withdrawal.
Dependence vs. Addiction
Many misinterpret drug dependence for drug addiction. While drug dependence can eventually turn into addiction, a person doesn’t necessarily have to be addicted to be dependent. Drug dependence occurs after an individual’s body, and brain, have adapted to a certain chemical. For instance, think of a person who suffers from chronic pain. While some are able to take their pain medication as prescribed, without ever having the mental obsession and compulsion to use, their body still craves the drug because it has been entered into the system on a regular basis. When they abruptly stop taking their pain medication, withdrawal can set in.
Addiction, on the other hand, is a more complex issue. While physical dependence is a component of addiction, it is only one piece to the puzzle. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite adverse effects and consequences. In other words, although addiction can negatively impact a person’s ability to engage in everyday life activities, such as work or school, they still continue to use because they are driven by a mental obsession and physical need. Furthermore, addiction can typically carry underlying influencers, such as a genetic predisposition, poor living conditions and environment, mental health diagnoses, trauma, etc.
What Does Withdrawal Entail?
Withdrawal can be different for each individual person. Withdrawal symptoms can vary in severity depending upon the person, the chemical used, the duration of use, and how much the individual used. A 52-year-old alcoholic will not endure the same symptomology as a 23-year-old opiate addict. Each drug, including alcohol, carries its own set of negative side-effects and withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, many addicts will mix several drugs together, furthering the possibility and severity of withdrawal.
Sign And Symptoms Of Withdrawal
We understand experiencing withdrawal for the first time can be very confusing. Be honest with yourself. Is it really a head cold or could you be dependent on drugs and/or alcohol, and now your body needs them to function properly? If that’s the case, please be aware, attempting to detox on your own or going “cold turkey” could be very dangerous. We recommend you seek the help of a medical professional immediately, as some of these symptoms could be life threatening.
Alcohol Withdrawal | Fatigue, Rapid Heart Rate, Insomnia, Clammy skin, Nightmares, Tremors, Seizures
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal | Irritability, Anxiety, Sweating, Sleep Disturbances, Seizures
Cocaine Withdrawal | Strong Cravings, Fatigue, Irritability, Anxiety, Inability to feel Pleasure, Trouble Concentrating
Synthetic Marijuana Withdrawal | Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Violent Outbursts, Anxiety, Excessive Sweating
Crystal Meth Withdrawal | Sleep Disturbances, Shaking/Tremors, Nausea, Vomiting, Respiratory Failure, Heart Palpations, Strong Cravings
Marijuana Withdrawal | Agitation, Anxiety, Insomnia, Loss of Appetite, Craving
If you have been using one or more of these substances and are suffering from any of these symptoms, there is a good chance you are going through withdrawal. Again, please do NOT attempt to detox on your own! Please seek the help of a medical and/or addictions professional immediately!
Clearbrook Offers Detox and Treatment Services
We recommend you have yourself evaluated by a Drug and Alcohol professional if this is happening to you. Once again, it can be very dangerous to detox alone.
With our state-of-the-art detox unit, Clearbrook is able to medically supervise a safe detox for every patient. With over 4 decades of experience, we can offer insight into what it actually is that you are experiencing and how to get through it safely.
If any of this has struck a chord with you, please do not wait any longer. Contact our Admissions Specialists today. They can guide you through the necessary steps for an evaluation and intake screening. Clearbrook Treatment Centers is here to help.