Getting Clean

Tips For Dealing With Withdrawal

Posted by Rachel on November 21, 2014

Dealing With Medication Or Drug Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from medication or drugs can cause a vast range of unpleasant physical, mental and emotional symptoms. While withdrawal is only temporary, the discomfort it causes can make it seem to last forever. Withdrawal from certain substances, including alcohol, can also be life-threatening and may require medical attention if symptoms are severe. Understanding how to address non-life-threatening symptoms associated with withdrawal is crucial for decreasing the pain withdrawal can cause. Here is how to handle withdrawal symptoms successfully.

Alleviating Withdrawal Symptoms Directly

Symptoms of withdrawal can vary with the medication or drug involved, but common symptoms include pain, anxiety, exhaustion and insomnia. During withdrawal from sedative substances, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, supplements like magnesium and l-theanine can offer some relief by toning down nervous tension. Caffeinated beverages can be valuable for fighting stimulant withdrawal, which causes exhaustion, apathy and inability to focus. Any type of withdrawal can reduce appetite, but intake of at least some nutritious foods during this time is important to fuel recovery as well as to increase immediate energy levels and functioning.

Dealing with Stress from Withdrawal

Withdrawal can cause stress for a variety of reasons, including changes in body chemistry and disruption of routine. Natural ways of relieving stress must be re-learned during this time for use in the future, and these techniques can be surprisingly helpful during acute withdrawal. If compassionate family members or friends are available, talking with them can raise spirits. Low-intensity exercise, such as walking, is also powerful for relieving stress and will even help speed withdrawal by boosting metabolism. Calming music, if tolerated, can be used at low volume to help promote relaxation. Finally, self-expression through art, music or any other creative pursuit can quell anxiety from withdrawal.

Staying Strong During Withdrawal

Maintaining inner strength during withdrawal can ease the experience and the challenge of staying on track. One must constantly remember why quitting is important. In fact, it may help to write reasons for quitting on paper to use as motivation when withdrawal is at its worst. Also, the fact that withdrawal is only temporary should always be kept in mind. The main symptoms of withdrawal will fade before long, and any extended withdrawal symptoms, if present, will also disappear over time. Abrupt reductions in levels of any medication or drug is bound to distort outlook, making circumstances seem worse than they actually are. Remembering that this is only a temporary illusion can make it easier to stay on a straight path through withdrawal.

Withdrawal from medication or drugs can be viewed as a valuable chance to start anew. By forming positive new habits during this challenging time, it will be easier to maintain a life free of whatever substance is being left behind. Memories of overcoming withdrawal can also provide strength long after dependence on medication or drugs has become a distant memory.