Medical Supervision of Withdrawals

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, almost 20 million Americans struggled with substance abuse in 2017. Millions of their loved ones wonder why they don’t stop abusing drugs and alcohol on their own. They may not realize that their addicted loved ones aren’t in control of their substance abuse. That’s because addiction physiologically changes the brain and the way it functions. For that reason, addiction experts strongly encourage medical supervision of withdrawals.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse explains, “Brain studies of people with addiction show physical changes in parts of the brain that are very important for judgment, making decisions, learning and memory, and controlling behavior. Scientists have shown that when this happens to the brain, it changes how the brain works and it explains the harmful behaviors of addiction that are so hard to control.”

One of those harmful behaviors is continuing to do drugs or drink alcohol, despite the risks. This happens because the brain tries to balance its chemicals with the chemicals in the substance. As a result, the brain relies on regular consumption of the substance.

If the addicted person misses a “dose”, he or she experiences withdrawals. “Your body and brain react strongly, even violently sometimes,” says the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “because of missing the chemicals they’ve come to depend on through repeated drug use.” In other words, withdrawals are agonizing and sometimes even life-threatening. For example, one symptom of withdrawals is cravings. Powerful cravings cause a large portion of relapses.

We understand that the fear of withdrawals, as well as the anguish they cause, are a considerable hurdle. Recovery in Motion is dedicated to helping our patients achieve lifelong recovery. For that reason, we offer medical supervision of withdrawals to our patients.

Medical Supervision of Withdrawals

There’s no getting around it. The addicted person must stop abusing drugs or alcohol to heal. As the body goes through withdrawals, our qualified and experienced staff monitors its response, such as vital signs and more. This ensures that this phase of recovery is as safe as possible.

Our priority is our patients’ physical and mental health. During this stage, physical health is most at risk. Therefore, we are prepared to sooner identify and address any threats the withdrawal process may present.

VerywellMind lists common withdrawal symptoms:

  • Changes in mood
  • Congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Shakiness
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

“More severe symptoms such as hallucinations, seizures, delirium may also occur in some instances,” says VerywellMind. “The type of drug you were taking, the amount of time you were taking it, and the dosage you were taking, it can all have an effect on the type and severity of the symptoms you experience.”

Recovery in Motion is committed to evidence-based treatment. That’s because we know it works. We use medication, such as Suboxone and methadone, during the medical supervision of withdrawals. Our experienced staff maximizes its benefits for each patient.

Suboxone

Suboxone is a combination medicine. It serves two purposes. Firstly, when an opioid-addicted patient is on Suboxone, he or she doesn’t have to suffer powerful cravings. This allows the patient to continue daily activities, such as work or school during the withdrawal period.

Methadone

Methadone is not a combination medication; however, it works in a similar way for opioid-addicted patients.

As humans, we’re wired for survival. Pain is a warning sign to the body. When a patient is suffering with withdrawal symptoms, he or she may be able to tolerate them at first. But as symptoms get worse or as days pass by, their stamina gets worn down. The addiction repeatedly tells the brain that the pain will go away; all it needs to do is take another “dose”.

This is when it’s most important to stay committed to the plan. There’s a much higher risk that the patient will succumb to an overdose if a relapse occurs now.

We use medications to minimize that risk. They substantially diminish the pain and discomfort of withdrawals. Harvard Medical School points out that using medications during withdrawals “has been shown to lower the risk of fatal overdoses by approximately 50%.”

A medical supervision of withdrawals not only ensures a safe withdrawal process, but also a comfortable one. It gives our patients more than a fighting chance to overcome the active stage of addiction. Our patients can withstand the complete withdrawal process and continue to the treatment program.

A Final Note

The withdrawal process at Recovery in Motion is effective in healing the body of its dependence on substances. Addiction is a physical and mental disease. This phase is only one step in overcoming addiction.

Our patients can achieve a lifetime of recovery. But they must complete a treatment program, as well. A happy, healthy life in recovery must begin with a stable foundation of medical treatment and overall healing.

Addicted people do not have to hit bottom before they can heal. The desire to take their lives back is enough. We can help you and your family unit find its way back. Contact us today.

Sources

[1] “2017 NSDUH Annual National Report: CBHSQ Data.” SAMHSA.gov, 2017, www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2017-nsduh-annual-national-report.

[2] Bellum, Sara. “Word of the Day: Withdrawal.” NIDA Archives, 19 May 2011, archives.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/word-day-withdrawal.

[3] Gans, Steven. “What Is Drug Withdrawal?” Verywell Mind, 2 July 2020, www.verywellmind.com/what-is-withdrawal-how-long-does-it-last-63036.

[4] Grinspoon, Peter. “5 Myths About Using Suboxone to Treat Opiate Addiction.” Harvard Health Blog, 10 Aug. 2018, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/5-myths-about-using-suboxone-to-treat-opiate-addiction-2018032014496.

[5] “Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 3 Dec. 2020, medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000949.htm.