Chemical Dependency and CravingsOnce someone has become dependent upon alcohol or drugs, changes take place in the brain. Neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin flood the brain, providing feelings of pleasure that make it more and more difficult to stop using substances. The body has become used to the moods and emotions these substances create, often to the point of both a psychological and a physical dependency. The amount of time a drug has been abused and which drug is being used all affect the body and mind in different ways when someone goes through withdrawal. When the substance being abused is suddenly or even gradually stopped, cravings and other symptoms of the withdrawal process can take place, and some symptoms are more severe than others.
Why Prepare For Withdrawal?The first step in recovery treatment is detoxification. Discontinuing use of the drugs or alcohol being abused leads to symptoms of withdrawal. The body has adapted to the presence of these substances, and when they are withdrawn, both your body and your emotions want to rebel. You will likely suffer from at least some of the following withdrawal symptoms, depending upon which substance you are withdrawing from and the length of your abuse:2
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Tense, edgy feelings
- Feeling like bugs are crawling on your body
- Stomach pain
How To Prepare For The Withdrawal ProcessBefore entering a treatment facility, ensure that there is a support team on hand and speak with them about the process and what you can expect to happen. Eat healthy, nutritious foods, even while you may greatly desire junk food and sweets during withdrawal. A healthy diet will reduce your chance of having mood swings. Drink a lot of water during the process to stay hydrated, and take a multivitamin supplement. Learn a few stress management techniques to stay relaxed and calm. The detox center should have services and programs to help you relieve your anxiety.