When a person tries to quit drugs and alcohol alone, he or she is putting themselves at risk for serious mental and physical health complications. The individual can go through intense withdrawal symptoms, depending on the type of drug used, duration of use, and the severity of addiction. Some withdrawals from drugs such as heroin will cause flu-like symptoms. The uncomfortable and sometimes painful withdrawals can cause individuals to relapse.
Drugs and alcohol change the way a brain controls a body’s functions. Over time, the brain becomes dependent on the drugs or alcohol and needs those substances to make the individual feel comfortable. When a person abuses drugs or alcohol, the brain’s neurotransmitters release increased levels of dopamine and the individual experiences euphoric and pleasurable feelings.
Many people use drugs or alcohol to cope with stress or anxiety. If a person has an underlying mental health condition, drugs and alcohol can heighten his or her symptoms. These substances can increase anxiety, paranoia, or depression. The brain relies on the drugs or alcohol to function, which makes it hard to quit. Medication-assisted detox is a safer and more comfortable way of stopping drug and alcohol use. A medical professional can monitor the detox process and administer medication if needed.
When a person stops using drugs or alcohol, he or she can feel very sick and feel strong cravings. Making the decision to stop using is a big step. A person can face many challenges during detox, rehab, and throughout recovery. Fortunately, there are support groups and meetings where other people understand what he or she is going through. The people at support groups and meetings can give advice and encourage each other during recovery.
Counselors can help find medication that reduces cravings to use drugs or alcohol. They can teach the individual how to cope with problems without using substances. After quitting drugs and alcohol, a person has a lot of work to do. He or she needs to learn how to live without substances to cope. People, places, and things associated with his or her drug or alcohol use need to be avoided. Meeting people in support groups can lead to new, sober friendships. The person needs to develop strategies for staying away from things that can cause a relapse.
Never try to quit drugs or alcohol alone. There are safe options to quit drugs and alcohol. Anyone who wants to quit using drugs and alcohol should seek professional help. Quitting drugs and alcohol is the first step to living a healthy, sober lifestyle.
Enlightened Solutions offers a clinical, holistic and 12-step approach to the road to recovery. If you’re struggling with addiction and/or mental illness, our program is specialized in dual-diagnosis treatments. Don’t hesitate and call today: 844-234-LIVE.