Check out the statistics; almost 12 percent of young Americans aged 18 years old are now addicted to illicit drugs and approximately 27 million Americans use illicit drugs regularly. Results of the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse and Addiction revealed that, while millions of Americans habitually smoke pot, drink alcohol, snort cocaine, and swallow prescription drugs, many drug users do not recognize that they have a drug addiction problem. The figure of those “in denial” about their drug addiction is estimated to be more than 4.6 million.
Individuals who struggle with drug addiction do not set out to destroy themselves or everyone and everything in their path. Rather, these disastrous consequences are the effects of the vicious cycle of drug addiction. For many, drugs seem to be a means of averting emotional and physical pain by providing the user with a temporary escape from uncomfortable realities such as depression and stress.
Physiological sensations are abused to create a new reality or a “high” when one does not wish to correct one’s physical, emotional, and spiritual reality. An addicted person does not believe that it is possible to have a satisfying, happy life without the use of narcotics.
Addiction or substance abuse is a complex psycho-chemical problem. A person with addiction experiences cravings persists even in the face of extremely negative consequences. During a craving, a person with an addiction misses the habit-forming drug terribly, and often he or she experiences symptoms of withdrawal.
Withdrawal refers to the physical problems and emotions you experience if you are dependent on a substance (such as alcohol, prescription medications, or illegal drugs) and then suddenly stop or drastically reduce your intake of the substance. Symptoms of withdrawal are caused by decreased amounts of alcohol or drugs in the blood or tissues of a person who has grown accustomed to prolonged heavy use and who then suddenly stops. Withdrawal syndrome is a set of symptoms that occurs when you decrease or stop drinking or using drugs after using alcohol or drugs for a long time.
Symptoms of withdrawal from either illegal drugs or medications such as antidepressant prescriptions depend on the drug or combination of drugs. The common symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Drenching sweats
- Nervousness and shaking
Withdrawal symptoms can last a few days to a few weeks and may include nausea or vomiting, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety. Withdrawal symptoms only occur if a person has regular, heavy use of a drug. Drug withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable without professional help. Treatment for withdrawal from alcohol or drugs may require a medical professional to be present. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation is often the best way to overcome withdrawal symptoms and recovery from drug addiction. There are several different signs to indicate withdrawal symptoms depending on the drug of abuse. More noticeable signs are associated with certain drugs. However, some withdrawal symptoms are associated with all drug use.
If you are dependent on alcohol or drugs and are experiencing symptoms of withdrawal, you may need a visit to your health professional to help you manage your symptoms.