Substance abuse is a sickness that can be debilitating and harmful. It can be self-destructive and is often difficult to break off from. However, you can get narcotic substances, like drugs and alcohol, out of your system with time and patience. Detoxing from drugs and alcohol is no easy task, but with the right mindset and realistic expectations, you could come out of your treatment as a new person. 

To find out what you have to expect from the detoxing process, you have to understand how such substances can become addictive and why the body goes into withdrawal once removed from these substances. 

What is withdrawal?

An addiction forms when the body develops a resistance to a substance due to repeated exposure. With continued use of drugs and alcohol, your body will begin to crave more of these substances to achieve the desired effect. When you cut yourself off from drugs and alcohol, your body will demand its return, which results in the withdrawal process.

This happens because the body has been fooled into thinking it needs these substances to function. With time, however, your body can relearn to function properly without these substances, especially since it never needed them in the first place. 

Withdrawal often depends on the severity of the addiction. It can be as mild as headaches and irritability or as bad as hallucinations and the symptoms of psychosis. They are also more severe when a person goes cold turkey from the substances instead of weaning off slowly. While completely cutting off these substances is a legitimate way to end dependence for some, it can be too much for others and can increase the risk of relapse.

Will I still experience withdrawal even if I wean off slowly?

It is safe to expect that your body will go through withdrawal symptoms as it figures out how to live without the substance it has gotten so used to. Psychological withdrawal is completely possible, and while the body can forget that it doesn’t need these substances, the mind can take longer. 

After all, most of these substances affect the brain’s chemistry. The longer and more frequently they have been used, the more challenging it will be for the mind to go without them. 

What are the symptoms?

The body enters a heightened state of stress when undergoing withdrawal, which may result in symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Clammy skin
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Fever

This is because adrenaline levels shoot up as the body begins to desperately crave drugs or alcohol. In some cases, more severe symptoms are experienced. For example, alcohol detoxing can result in delirium tremens, a severe form of withdrawal with the following symptoms:

  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Psychosis
  • Confusion
  • Seizures

That is why it is crucial to seek the help of a drug rehab center when detoxing from alcohol and drugs. The medical staff on hand can help deal with any possible health issues that may arise while removing the substances from your access. 

Final thoughts

Dealing with addiction and getting treatment for it is hard. It is a long and arduous procedure that forces the patient to contend with often awful withdrawal symptoms. However, with patience, discipline, the right drug rehab center, and the right support structure, you can put your dependence on such substances permanently behind you.

If you’re looking for a California-based drug rehab center for you or your loved one, send us a message at California Addiction Help. We can help you restart your life, free from drugs and alcohol.