Overcoming the Fear of Withdrawal Syndrome

Overcoming the Fear of Withdrawal Syndrome

When considering detox treatment, the fear of withdrawal symptoms may be a significant barrier. You may have tried quitting drugs and alcohol on your own before but were unable to do so due to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. As your body increased tolerance to substances, quitting them may bring a big shock to your system. Withdrawal symptoms are common in the beginning stages, but working through them is the first step toward a substance-free life.

Fear of Withdrawal Should Not Hinder You From Getting Treated

It is simply not rational to dismiss the possibility of treatment out of fear of going through withdrawal symptoms. Know that you have the option to work with health professionals who monitor and manage these symptoms so that they do not become risky.

Examine yourself and see if your fear is rooted in psychological dependence or fear of change. Substance addiction may have become comfortable for you, but it is harming your health. You may feel as if you are in control, but drugs and alcohol are damaging your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Some changes are worth the effort, even when they come with great pain. The fear of withdrawal can be compared to birthing pains. Even though women know that giving birth is a painful process, many expect the pain to result in something that will change their lives for the better.

Expect Withdrawal During Detox

Withdrawal from drugs and alcohol may come with physical side effects, including cold sweats, fever, tremors, body aches, nausea, and even seizures. If your addiction was to heroin or prescription opioids, these physical discomforts are to be expected along with psychological changes including increased anxiety and mood swings.

People fear these withdrawal symptoms because they expect that making the healthy choice to get sober means that the process will feel good. In reality, withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings are common among people in the early sobriety phase. You should prepare yourself for these while seeking help from health professionals.

Preparing for Detox and Withdrawal 

Before starting rehab, talk with health professionals about your worries about certain symptoms. Express your desire for support to relieve your discomfort using medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

If your fear becomes debilitating, consider writing down a list of pros and cons to help you decide. Many people find that the long-term benefits of sobriety far outweigh the temporary discomfort of detox. For your life-long health and well-being, detox is a necessary step.

The Safety Offered by Medication-Assisted Treatment

Many rehab facilities offer a safe and comfortable MAT service. Health professionals will monitor you around the clock and assist you in easing withdrawal symptoms. They may prescribe medications to alleviate your discomfort or mitigate severe withdrawal symptoms.

For example, if you are going through alcohol detox and experience anxiety, health professionals may prescribe Ativan or Valium. For coping with opioid withdrawal and cravings, naltrexone, buprenorphine, or methadone are safe options to manage unpleasant symptoms. Trazodone is often prescribed for insomnia and Librium for agitation.

The good thing about MAT is that health professionals can help you choose and adjust the dosage of these medications to make you as comfortable and safe as possible. Remember that attempting detox at home can be risky and even life-threatening. Some people even suffer strokes and seizures, which is why detoxing with professional monitoring is recommended.

The Right Expectations for Early Sobriety 

It takes time for your body to adjust and heal from the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol. Usually, within a week, you will be done with the acute phase of detoxification. However, it may take several months for the body to get back to pre-substance-using health.

It is important to begin working toward a healthy diet and sleep patterns in the days after detox. In a residential rehab facility, you can get help from a nutritional therapist to adjust your diet and assist your body’s healing.

Many people may have a false sense of security when they reach the early stage of sobriety. Even if you don’t experience severe withdrawal or cravings, early sobriety should not be taken as a final victory. You must keep building a healthy regimen.

Self-Care and Professional Care 

Health professionals may coach and guide you through the difficult phase of detox. However, to maintain progress, you need to turn professional care advice into self-care practices. Remain alert to potential relapses because triggers may be everywhere.

For example, do not discount the effectiveness of time-proven methods including meditation and relaxation exercises. These should be essential parts of your relapse prevention plan. Consider residential treatment as a time of preparation before you re-enter the real world. In treatment, you are equipped with all the necessary armor that will help you resist temptation and maintain sobriety.

One of the major roadblocks to beginning addiction treatment is the fear of experiencing withdrawal symptoms in detox. This concern is valid because, depending on the length and level of substance use, withdrawal symptoms can be painful and even cause medical complications. However, with help from health professionals and recovery experts, you have no reason to fear. Laguna Shores Recovery uses medication-assisted treatment to help ease the detox process. Between medical and emotional support, detox is as comfortable and safe as possible in our facility. We will walk alongside you to offer support and guidance. Once you’ve completed detox, our residential treatment program will help you maintain sobriety for years to come. Call us today to discover how you can be part of our community, as peer support is key to your recovery. For more information, call Laguna Shores at (954) 329-1118.