Do you know the technical drug withdrawal definition? While many people know about drug withdrawal, they often don’t know why it happens. Understanding more about the withdrawal process can help people discover why it’s so important to get professional help from a drug detox center. It can also shed light on why so many people relapse during this stage of recovery.
Drug Withdrawal Definition
According to doctors, drug withdrawal revolves around a group of symptoms. These symptoms occur when an individual stops using substances.
To experience withdrawal, people first have to develop a drug dependence. This happens when individuals abuse drugs for an extended period of time. It’s important to keep in mind that psychological or physical dependence is possible. Depending on the drug, people may experience both of these at the same time.
Not everyone experiences dependence in the same way or at the same time. In some cases, people can develop a dependence after just one use. That’s why it’s possible for people to develop dependence while taking prescription medications as their doctors intend.
Factors That Affect the Intensity of Drug Withdrawal
Knowing the drug withdrawal definition is only half the battle. Individuals also need to know that certain factors affect the intensity of the symptoms. For example, those who take substances orally tend to have less intense symptoms than those who inject substances.
The length of time that people use drugs also plays a role in the intensity of their symptoms. People who take the same drugs for years experience more intense effects than those who only use for a short period. Additionally, a gradual step down makes withdrawal less intense than quitting cold turkey.
Keep in mind, however, that sometimes people can develop an addiction to drugs that are intended to help people quit. For example, Suboxone helps people who have an addiction to heroin. Those who don’t properly taper off of it can experience Suboxone withdrawal symptoms when they come off of it, though, which may lead to another addiction.
Symptoms of Drug Withdrawal
As with the intensity of drug withdrawal, the symptoms also vary. They manifest depending on the type of drugs that people take. Some symptoms are mild and only include muscle aches, drug cravings, and vomiting.
Other times, the symptoms are more intense. They might include depression, agitation, rapid mood changes and anxiety. These are mostly psychological symptoms. Unfortunately, they’re often the most difficult to deal with and the hardest to mitigate.
Drug Addiction Treatment Is Your Path to Recovery
Knowing the drug withdrawal definition and dealing with symptoms is just the start of your journey to sobriety. At Crestview Recovery, we focus on helping people remain sober. In fact, we offer many treatment programs to accomplish this goal, including:
Intensive Outpatient Rehab
Intensive outpatient rehab is a type of treatment for substance use disorders that does not require the patient to stay overnight in a facility. This type of treatment typically lasts between three and nine hours per day, three days per week or more. The program usually consists of individual therapy, group therapy, family counseling, education sessions and other activities designed to help the patient maintain sobriety and build a strong foundation for recovery.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Dual diagnosis treatment is a type of treatment that combines traditional substance use disorder therapy with mental health care. This type of treatment is designed to treat both the addiction and any underlying psychological, behavioral or emotional issues that may be contributing to the person’s substance abuse. Dual diagnosis treatment can help people achieve greater recovery success by helping them understand and manage all of their issues.
Trauma therapy helps people with substance use disorders recover from the trauma that may have contributed to their addiction. Trauma therapy can include cognitive-behavioral therapy, as well as various therapies aimed at helping the person process and cope with their emotions related to the trauma.
Family therapy helps families affected by substance use disorders. This type of therapy can include individual, couples and group sessions in which family members work together to understand the dynamics at play in the family system and identify areas of conflict or misunderstanding. Family therapy can also provide education about addiction, support for family members, and help in order to create a healthier, more functional environment in the home.
Get Help Today
Learn how knowing the drug withdrawal definition can help you on your recovery journey. Find out what it takes to keep yourself walking down the right path. Contact us today at 866.262.0531 for more information.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.