Drug addiction is a menace that can plague every aspect of an addict’s life. From his health to his relationship with his loved ones, he ends up losing everything. Even though drug addiction is a very serious condition but just like every other disease, recovery is possible. It is never too late to seek the help and start over. The process of recovery starts from quitting the drug and quitting the drug is more difficult than it seems to be. The addict faces a number of physical and psychological challenges. Dealing with them successfully is crucial to go back to a normal life.
As stated earlier, addiction is a disease that alters the structure of the brain in such a way that it needs drug to function normally. When the drug is not supplied, it produces painful physical and psychological symptoms to push the user towards taking the drug. These symptoms produced after quitting the drug or taking it in reduced quantity are known as withdrawal symptoms.
These symptoms are the reason for most of the patients to relapse. At some point, they become so bearable that patient prefers to go back to taking the drug than to go through the pain.
Detoxification is a physically and mentally challenging process that needs a lot of patience and determination. But recovery is not possible without enduring this pain. Some people are more likely to experience withdrawal symptoms and with greater intensity. It depends upon the genetic disposition, the time drug was taken for and the amount drug was taken in. The process of detoxification begins as soon as the drug is quit. Most people start experiencing the symptoms on the very first day. The body cleans itself of chemicals accumulated from the years of abuse so it is obvious that there are going to be some unpleasant experiences. Detoxification process can be carried out at home but due to extreme physical and psychological symptoms associated with it, it is not recommended. There are specified detoxification centers present that supervise the process of detoxification and provide medical attention if necessary. Also the chances of relapsing decrease a great deal when professional help is sought.
It is possible but never safe to opt for home detoxification. Severe physical and psychological symptoms can prove to be dangerous. Excessive vomiting and diarrhea can dehydrate the body and deprive it of important salts and nutrients. If it gets out of hand, even death is possible.
Also the psychological symptoms like hallucinations and suicidal tendencies may cause the patient to end his own life. Especially, quitting the drug cold turkey can be more dangerous. Even though it can be a quicker method but withdrawal symptoms appear with greater intensity and the pain is more severe as compared to when drug is quit gradually. Seeking professional help not only enables the patient to manage these symptoms but also teaches techniques on how to cope with cravings that may lead to relapse.
Detoxification process can be different for every patient when it comes to symptoms and time taken for the process to complete. Usually, withdrawal symptoms start to appear within hours of last dosage. Here is a timeline for amphetamine withdrawal:
It may take longer or shorter for some people to go through the process but recovery is possible for everyone.
It is unlikely to die from amphetamine withdrawal but not impossible. Death usually results due to severe dehydration and malnutrition which is a side effect of amphetamine withdrawal. Also the symptoms like depression and hallucinations may lead the patient into a state of despair. In rare case, patients start to have suicidal tendencies that may cause him to end up their own life so it is not recommended to go through withdrawal without medical supervision.
There a number of over the counter drugs that can be prescribed by the doctor to make the process of withdrawal less painful. For example: