If you have a friend or loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you probably have a lot of questions and a range of emotions. Learning as much as you can about addiction and how it impacts its victims can help you move forward and face the challenge with which life has presented you.
Withdrawal symptoms begin between a few hours and a day of the last use and get worse in the following days. A lot of people want to know about the detox process and whether or not withdrawal symptoms can persist after someone completes it. The short answer is that withdrawal symptoms subside after someone completes the process, but the long answer is a little more complicated. Learning how detox works gives you an idea of what you can expect in the coming days and weeks.
When someone uses a drug for an extended period, the body gets used to the drug being present and stops producing enough of its own neurotransmitters. The drug affects the brain and changes the chemical messengers that let it operate. Since drugs have a powerful impact on the brain, removing the drug shocks it and triggers withdrawal symptoms.
During detox, trained professionals work with addicts and help them manage the withdrawal symptoms, reducing the pain and optimizing comfort. Medical staff are present when needed and make sure the people going through detox are safe each step of the way. After completing a qualified detox program, addicts are past the worst of the withdrawal symptoms but are still at risk for a relapse. Knowing what factors impact the risk level and what steps reduce the odds of repeating old habits safeguards the future of recovering addicts.
Reducing the Odds of a Relapse
Even after detox, it’s vital recovering addicts follow proven steps to reduce their odds of relapsing. Otherwise, the threat of falling into bad patterns is unacceptably high. Addicts that want to stay clean for good must understand the factors that contributed to their drug abuse in the first place.
A lot of people, for example, fall into the trap as a way to escape from a painful stage in life or abusive relationships. The key to overcoming those traps is forming healthy relationships and finding constructive ways to handle stress. Some people overlook these tips because they don’t believe they matter, but looking the other way can be a costly mistake.
In addition to identifying and avoiding triggers, addicts must also stay away from temptation. People who would otherwise remain on track can easily fall into the trap if they are exposed to temptation. Those who are serious about staying on the correct path must cut contact with those who still use. Although this step is hard, it’s one of the most critical elements to a healthy recovery. Putting old habits to rest is not always a simple task, but it’s worth it in the end because it allows you to reclaim your life.
Having a strong support network is another element that can make it a bit easier for recovering addicts to move forward. Knowing that they are not alone removes some of the stress and guilt that are common in these situations. Recovering addicts who feel tempted to use again can reach out to their network for support and guidance. This could be the difference between relapsing and staying clean, so you should never underestimate the power of support networks.
What to Do If You Relapse
Knowing what to do if you or your loved one ends up relapsing is an important part of the process you can never overlook. Don’t allow mistakes to cause discouragement because relapsing is an expected part of recovery. It’s the way you handle it that makes the difference and decides how your future will play out. The way you approach the problem depends on the extent of your relapse. You can experience a small lapse in willpower or a full relapse.
For a small lapse in willpower, you won’t usually have to redo the rehabilitation process if you catch the issue right away. A little slip occurs when you use the drug once or a few times in a single day. When that happens, get in touch with your counselor and let them know about the issue, and you will likely want to increase the number of support groups you attend. Your No. 1 goal is to find out why you slipped so that you can prevent doing so in the future.
A full relapse is much more serious and involves significant drug use over several days to a weak. Those who find themselves in this situation need to seek rehabilitation as soon as possible to reduce the damage. Try not to be too hard on yourself because mistakes happen, and you are only human.
Let Us Help
Trying to quit drugs or alcohol on your own is an uphill battle that many people lose, and it’s not about willpower or determination. Addiction alters your brain and plays tricks on your mind that make it all but impossible to move forward alone. You owe it to yourself and the ones you love to get proper care so that you can contain the problem and take charge of your life.
Take a few minutes to consider how different your life would be if your addiction vanished and allowed you to live life on your terms again. While this goal might seem out of reach, it does not have to be if you take action to put this problem behind you. Reaching out to the experts at our rehabilitation center is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the people who care about you.
We will speak with you to learn about your addiction and any other issues that might have triggered it. Taking these steps gives us an idea of where to start and how to proceed in a way that gives you the best chance of success. If you are ready to work with caring experts who will guide you through this challenging chapter of your life, pick up your phone and call us at 877-497-6180.