What To Expect When Quitting Drugs?

Discover what to expect when quitting drugs: from withdrawal symptoms to overcoming challenges. Get the support you need to start a new chapter!

By Rosewood Recovery Team
July 10, 2024

What to Expect When Quitting Drugs?

When someone decides to quit using drugs, they may experience a range of withdrawal symptoms. Understanding these symptoms and the factors that can affect their severity is important for individuals on their journey to recovery.

Understanding Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms commonly occur when drug use is abruptly reduced or stopped. The specific symptoms can vary depending on the type of drug used, the duration of use, and individual factors. Some commonly experienced withdrawal symptoms include sweating, shaking, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, and muscle aches. It's important to note that withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and can differ from person to person.

Common Withdrawal SymptomsSweatingShakingAnxietyNauseaVomitingInsomniaMuscle Aches

Source: Mayo Clinic

Factors Affecting Withdrawal Severity

The severity of withdrawal symptoms can be influenced by various factors. These factors include:

By understanding these factors, individuals can better prepare themselves for the potential challenges they may face during the withdrawal process. It is important to seek professional support when quitting drugs, especially when withdrawing from substances that may pose significant risks. With the right support and resources, individuals can navigate the withdrawal period more effectively and move towards a healthier, drug-free life.

Seeking Help in Quitting Drugs

When it comes to quitting drugs, seeking professional support is crucial for a safe and successful recovery. Healthcare professionals, counselors, support groups, and family members can provide the necessary guidance and assistance throughout the process. Treatment options for drug addiction may include medications, behavioral therapies, and support services.

Importance of Professional Support

Professional support plays a vital role in the journey to recovery from drug addiction. It offers individuals the opportunity to work with trained and experienced professionals who can provide personalized guidance based on their specific needs. These professionals can help individuals understand the underlying causes of their addiction, develop coping strategies, and address any co-occurring mental health issues.

Additionally, seeking professional support ensures that individuals have access to the necessary resources and treatment options. Healthcare professionals can provide medical supervision during the withdrawal process, especially when withdrawing from substances like alcohol, GHB, benzodiazepines, or ketamine. It is important to consult with a doctor or an alcohol and other drug treatment service before starting the withdrawal process to ensure safety.

Treatment Options for Drug Addiction

Treatment options for drug addiction vary depending on the individual's specific needs and the substances involved. Some common treatment approaches include:

It's important to note that each person's journey to recovery is unique, and treatment plans should be tailored to their specific needs. Consulting with healthcare professionals and addiction specialists can help individuals navigate the available treatment options and choose the approach that is most suitable for their circumstances.

By seeking professional support and exploring the various treatment options available, individuals can significantly increase their chances of successfully quitting drugs and achieving long-term recovery. It's important to remember that quitting drugs is a challenging process, but with the right support and resources, it is possible to overcome addiction and lead a healthier, drug-free life.

Challenges Faced in Quitting Drugs

Quitting drugs is a courageous and transformative journey, but it is not without its challenges. Understanding and preparing for these challenges can help individuals navigate the path to recovery more effectively. Here are some common challenges faced when quitting drugs: dealing with withdrawal symptoms, social and emotional challenges, post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS), and the risk of relapse.

Dealing with Withdrawal Symptoms

When drug use is abruptly reduced or stopped, withdrawal symptoms may occur. The severity and duration of these symptoms can vary depending on factors such as the type of drug used, the length of use, the method of use, the presence of underlying medical or mental health disorders, and individual genetic makeup. Common withdrawal symptoms may include sweating, shaking, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, muscle aches, and more. It is important to note that withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe. Seeking professional support and medical supervision during the withdrawal phase can provide individuals with the necessary guidance and care to manage these symptoms effectively.

Social and Emotional Challenges

Quitting drugs can bring about significant social and emotional challenges. Individuals may experience difficulty in adjusting to a new lifestyle and may face strained relationships with friends, family, and loved ones. Feelings of isolation, guilt, shame, and low self-esteem are common during this time. It is crucial to develop a support system that includes understanding family members, friends, or support groups. Seeking therapy or counseling can also help individuals address and navigate these emotional challenges effectively.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS)

Even after the initial withdrawal phase, individuals may continue to experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). PAWS can persist for weeks, months, or even years after quitting drugs. Symptoms may include mood swings, sleep disturbances, cognitive impairment, low energy, and difficulty concentrating. Recognizing and understanding that PAWS is a normal part of the recovery process can help individuals develop coping strategies and seek professional help when needed.

The Risk of Relapse

Relapse is a common challenge faced during addiction recovery. Research indicates that 40-60% of individuals in recovery from substance use disorders will experience a relapse. It is important to approach relapse as an opportunity to learn and grow rather than as a sign of failure. Developing a relapse prevention plan, engaging in therapy, attending support groups, and implementing healthy coping mechanisms can help individuals minimize the risk of relapse and stay on the path to recovery.

While overcoming these challenges may seem daunting, it is important to remember that with proper support, guidance, and perseverance, individuals can successfully navigate the journey of quitting drugs and embrace a healthier, more fulfilling life. Seeking professional help, building a strong support network, and utilizing strategies to cope with emotions and cravings can greatly contribute to long-term success in recovery.

Benefits of Quitting Drugs

Quitting drugs can have a profound impact on both physical and mental health, as well as provide financial benefits. Let's explore these advantages in more detail.

Physical and Mental Health Improvements

Financial Benefits

By quitting drugs, individuals can experience a range of benefits, including improved physical and mental health, enhanced appearance, better sleep, increased self-esteem, and financial advantages. These positive changes can contribute to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life. Seeking professional support and utilizing available resources can greatly assist individuals on their journey toward a drug-free life.

Resources and Support for Quitting Drugs

When embarking on the journey to quit drugs, it's important to have access to the necessary resources and support systems. In Canada and Australia, individuals can find various services tailored to help with substance use and addiction recovery.

Support Services in Canada

Canada offers a range of support services for individuals seeking help with substance use. These services are designed to provide assistance, information, and resources to those who are ready to quit drugs. Here are some key support services available in Canada:

Support ServiceContact InformationHotlines- National Crisis Hotline: 1-800-668-6868
- Text Crisis Services: Text 686868Parent Support- Parent-to-Parent Support: Available onlineMental Health Support- Text WELLNESS to 741741 (adults)
- Text 686868 (youth)Harm Reduction Centers- Harm Reduction Helpline: 1-902-470-8888 or 1-888-470-5888
- Location Finder: Call 1-833-292-3698Naloxone Distribution- Naloxone Finder - Take Home Program: Available at participating pharmacies

These services offer a combination of helplines, text services, online support groups, and harm reduction resources. They are accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time, providing support throughout the journey of quitting drugs [5].

For emergencies related to substance use, such as overdose situations, individuals are advised to call 9-1-1 or visit their local emergency department for immediate assistance.

Support Services in Australia

In Australia, there are also support services available to assist individuals in their journey to quit drugs. These services provide guidance, information, and support tailored to the needs of those seeking to overcome substance use. While specific services may vary by region, here are some examples of support services in Australia:

Support ServiceContact InformationNational Hotlines- National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline: 1800 250 015
- National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre: (02) 9385 0333State and Territory Services- Contact your local health department for information on services available in your specific region

These hotlines and state/territory services can provide individuals with the necessary guidance and support on their journey to quit drugs. They offer valuable resources and information to help individuals make informed decisions and access the appropriate support networks.

For individuals in Mexico seeking support to quit drugs, it is recommended to consult local resources and organizations that specialize in substance use and addiction recovery. These resources can provide tailored assistance and guidance to individuals based on their specific needs and circumstances.

Strategies for Overcoming Challenges

Recovering from drug addiction can be a challenging journey, but with the right strategies and support, it is possible to overcome these hurdles. Here are some key strategies to help individuals overcome common challenges they may face during the process of quitting drugs.

Coping with Difficult Emotions

Dealing with difficult emotions is one of the biggest challenges people face during their recovery journey. Emotions such as stress, shame, anger, grief, sadness, and anxiety can be major hurdles. Learning effective strategies to manage stress and cope with challenging emotions is crucial in addiction recovery. Some strategies that can help include:

Managing Cravings

Coping with cravings is another significant challenge individuals face when recovering from drug addiction. Cravings often feel intense and hard to resist, but there are strategies that can help manage them. Some strategies to consider include:

Transitioning to Normal Life

Transitioning from a treatment facility back to normal life can be more challenging than anticipated. Individuals may face difficulties as they return to an environment where past substance misuse occurred. To ease this transition, consider the following strategies:

Dealing with Financial Challenges

Substance use problems can significantly impact an individual's financial well-being. High expenses associated with drugs and alcohol, along with secondary costs like debts, legal bills, and lost income, can persist even into recovery, causing additional stress and challenges. To navigate financial challenges, consider these strategies:

Resuming Treatment After Relapse

Relapse is a common challenge in addiction recovery. It is important to remember that relapses do not have to signify permanent failure, and many individuals recover after multiple attempts [6]. If a relapse occurs, consider these strategies to resume treatment:

By implementing these strategies, individuals can better navigate the challenges they may encounter during their journey of quitting drugs. Remember, seeking professional support and building a strong support network are essential in overcoming these challenges and maintaining long-term recovery.







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