Withdrawal management is the medical and psychological care of patients who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, either because of the cessation or reduction of the intake of a drug or drugs. Drug withdrawal symptoms may be quite severe if not properly managed. A high-quality withdrawal management program or opioid addiction treatment center is crucial to the success of drug abuse cessation.

Withdrawal Management

doctor and client discussing a withdrawal management programEffective Withdrawal management requires a combination of medical and psychological care. The purpose of medical care is to manage the severe withdrawal symptoms that arise when you attempt to cease or reduce the intake of an addictive drug.

Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the nature of the drug. The mechanism behind withdrawal symptoms, however, are similar.

Physical addiction

Over time, the body becomes acclimated to the sensation provided by a drug. For example, alcohol reduces inhibition, provides a heightened sense of self-confidence and reduces anxiety. Over an extended period, your body will produce a lower concentration of certain neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline.

When you try to stop abusing alcohol, your body feels the effects of the lower noradrenaline and compensates by flooding the body with adrenaline, producing many of the withdrawal symptoms including sweating, rapid heart rate and tremors.

Damage to the body

Extended drug abuse can also damage parts of the body such as the brain or liver. Alcohol can lead to damage to the cerebellum and limbic system, leading to issues with coordination and emotional response.

Psychological addiction

Psychological addiction to a drug is also a factor to manage. Often, there are underlying psychological issues such as depression or anxiety. As a person attempts to end long term drug abuse, a professional will explain these psychological issues to them to help with their recovery.

In some cases, individuals may experience addiction to more than one drug. Many people feel addiction towards both alcohol and benzodiazepines. Polysubstance abuse can complicate withdrawal management. The combination of drugs may make withdrawal symptoms more severe. It may also complicate treatment.

For example, a common treatment for alcohol abuse is benzodiazepines, to reduce withdrawal symptoms. However, if the user is already addicted to benzodiazepines, it’s important to not deepen that addiction.

Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Symptoms

An effective withdrawal management program will use a combination of medication and psychological care. The program is specific to the addiction and the withdrawal symptoms that come with each.

  • Alcohol addiction is typically treated with benzodiazepines, to reduce the anxiety and tremors associated with alcohol withdrawal.
  • Benzodiazepine withdrawal is often treated by substituting a longer acting benzodiazepine. For example, Xanax addiction is often treated with diazepam, because it is longer lasting and easier to wean the patient off.

Psychological treatment of drug abuse helps the patient deal with the underlying psychological issues and provide tools to deal with the psychological issues without reverting to drug abuse. Examples of therapeutic methodologies include:

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy– CBT teaches the patient to change behavior by changing their thought patterns.
  2. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy– ACT teaches the patient to separate feelings from actions. The patient learns to accept that they may experience temptations and cravings to abuse drugs again, but that they can choose other options.

Other therapies you may want to consider as well:

Where to Find a Withdrawal Management Facility

If you or someone you love is ready to find an Opioid Addiction Treatment Center, Gateway Foundation Caseyville is an excellent choice. We have over 50 years of experience helping people overcome drug abuse. We offer a comprehensive program for withdrawal management, including medical and psychological care to help you deal with withdrawal symptoms and become drug-free. Contact Gateway Foundation Caseyville today at [Direct].