Regaining Health After Substance Abuse

A series of shivers trickle up the unshaved surface of a man’s left arm. He clenches a maroon colored quilt, as restlessness consumes him. Small beads of sweat perspire on the bow of his brow as he tries to stay warm. However, it’s to no avail as a series of painful spasms shoot up the course of his bicep, while his stomach clenches into a tightly knit ball. The hours feel slow and agonizing, but fast all the same. For, as night turns to day, day turns to night, while anxiety still resides, unmoving.  

Above is but a small glimpse into the life of what one goes through when detoxing from the overuse—and abuse—of cocaine. Some symptoms of such withdrawal include, but are not limited to, “difficulty concentrating, fatigue or exhaustion, depression or anxiety; physical symptoms such as chills, tremors, muscle aches, and nerve pain; suicidal thoughts or actions, increased craving for cocaine, increased appetite, unpleasant dreams or nightmares, physical fatigue after activity, slower thinking, restlessness,” etc.

As a result, individuals who struggle with addiction—who are recovering from such—must be cautious when they are working to regain their health. For, cocaine can cause an imbalance in that of the individual, causing him/her to feel dependent on the drug based on what is taking place within his/her brain. Many people who have faced addiction—or are dealing with it presently—can explain the effect of the drug as being pleasant, much like the release of endorphins when one eats chocolate, or after a good run.

Consequently, as individuals begin to recover from substance abuse, there are certain nutrients which they may lack as a result. For certain effects of drug use cause, 1. the appetite for junk food or a loss of appetite as a whole, and/or 2. the body’s inability to properly absorbing essential vitamins and minerals. In turn, such factors make it difficult for one’s body to function properly if one doesn’t take a great amount of time to monitor the foods which they partake in. However, individuals who have dealt with such must be patient with their bodies as they work to regulate them.

In conclusion, there is hope for those who have faced addiction—and are in the midst of recovery. For, one can regain health even after substance abuse, within a matter of time. However, dedication and determination plays a major role—so that the individual may be back on the fast-track to a healthy life.

Alcohol Poisoning VS. Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol poisoning and alcohol withdrawal are very closely linked in terms of symptoms. As a result of such, individuals that struggle with addiction, must be both aware—and able—to distinguish between the two. In doing so, they not only salvage their health, but save their lives.

First and foremost, alcohol poisoning is defined as “a disturbance in behavior or mental function during or after alcohol consumption” (Google), whereas alcohol withdrawal involves “symptoms that occur when someone stops using alcohol after a period of heavy drinking” (Google). Consequently, if someone is oblivious or unaware as to just how bad his/her substance abuse has gotten, then it may be hard for him/her to discern between the two.

Furthermore, many of the same symptoms are seen within both such as; vomiting, seizures, and nausea. Yet still, some are more severe than others. For example, with alcohol poisoning we see things such as; lack of restraint, aggression, mental confusion, depression, slurred speech, problems with coordination, unresponsiveness, dehydration, blackouts, and so on; while alcohol withdrawal shows signs of shakiness, sweating, loss of appetite, insomnia, fast heart rate, anxiety, restlessness, etc.

Secondly, what many don’t realize is how alcohol poisoning is no longer accidental through the incident or slip up of a child getting into the cleaning supplies, but through students, youth, and adults alike developing a pattern of heavy drinking. In turn, some may develop a dependence as they abuse the substance in an attempt to lift the weight and circumstances of hardships that he/she may be experiencing day-to-day. The alcohol may act as an aid for relief in the moment, but it is both temporary and harmful to the body both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Not only that, but through alcohol abuse in particular, the toxin takes hours to digest—and through such the body takes great difficulty in trying to rid that of what’s in the system—after one has abused the substance.

In conclusion, the two diagnoses are close parallels of one another, serving as an illustration of the severe extent to which substance abuse can affect the body. For, as alcohol withdrawal takes place when there is no more alcohol in the system, alcohol poisoning takes place when there is too much. However, even so, both can be deadly if not handled properly. That’s why it is important for one to seek professional medical help when going through the process of such, so that he/she may be ensured of a healthy recovery.

How Detoxification Works

Detoxification—in anything—involves the cleanse, or release, of toxins that are held, or have entered into that of one’s body. However, the detoxification of alcohol and drugs differ ever so slightly—but even so, both still involve the elimination of the substance. However, in order for such a purge to take place, there must be an absence from the toxin itself.

First and foremost, there are two forms of drug detox; natural and medical. However, a natural detox can be more dangerous than the other—if not done correctly. For, the individual struggling with addiction must stay safe within the confines of his/her own home, and take care of himself/herself properly through food, water, and—most importantly—rest.

Option two is a medical detox which allows the patient prescribed medication in order to diminish his/her current addiction. However, this approach has its disadvantages as it can cause the individual to relapse, if he/she isn’t whole-heartedly prepared—or headstrong—in stopping his/her addiction in its track.

In terms of alcohol addiction, the same two forms of detox can be applied as above (natural and medical). Through the medical approach, various prescriptions can be used in an inpatient rehab facility, which—in turn—hinder the arrival of unbearable withdrawal symptoms. Some examples of such medications are listed below; “Benzodiazepines”, “Naltrexone”, “Acamprosate”, and “Disulfiram”. Each one serves a purpose, as it reduces certain withdrawal symptoms, making it easier for individuals to cope—while in the early stages of their recovery. Without such, it may be a more painful process, for one to endure.

Option two is a natural detox which allows the patient to progress through a series of events leading up to his/her progression. Symptoms can range from shakiness to hallucinations. As a result, those who are faced with addictions entailing drugs—and/or alcohol—must be patient, when enduring the process of withdrawal. For, it is through such that individuals may find themselves discouraged by the physical, mental, and/or emotional state of their body—but such a phase is only temporary.

In conclusion, detoxification can be a challenging process—causing fear to place itself in the mind and heart of the individual. For, one may find himself/herself in contemplation of what form of detox is best for him/her. Similarly, one may face anxiety and uncertainty of the withdrawals that’ll present themselves. Yet still, even as difficulties may appear in the midst of detox, the reward comes—as such trouble brings healing.

The Importance of Detox to Recovery

In order for one to fully recover, and maintain a life full of sobriety, they must first detox. Through doing so, they are able to release all toxins from the body—which were their prior—and regain their health to its fullest degree. However, even though getting clean is a huge accomplishment, it takes an extensive amount of effort to get there. For, substances such as alcohol and drugs have several negative effects on the body, and not only cause short-term problems, but long-term problems as well—if one continues in that of their addiction.

First and foremost, alcohol can cause blackouts, dependence, heart damage, liver damage, behavior changes, hallucinations, slurred speech, cancer, lung infections, fatigue, pancreatitis, birth defects, malnutrition, and much more. Therefore, if one doesn’t seek the treatment they need in the midst of their substance abuse, it may affect them later on down the road, especially if they increase in the amount which they consume.

Then, in terms of drug misuse, one can experience a range of short term effects such as; changes in blood pressure, heart rate, mood/behavior, appetite, etc. In addition, the long term is an even greater cause for concern as there are various effects in regards to such, ranging from mental illness to lung/heart disease—and even HIV/AIDS.

In turn, google defines detox as, “a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.” The keywords/phrases within this definition are “abstain,” and “period of time”—as one must steer clear of the substance, especially during his/her time of recovery. However, once they have received full treatment, one must continue to do so—for even as it may pose difficult, he/she will reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Therefore, when transitioning from detox to recovery, everyone’s body is different depending on the time in which they have abused the substance, how long they’ve been drug or alcohol free, and how heavily they may—or may not have—abused the substance. As a result of such, certain individuals will find themselves having to adhere to a particular diet which is customized to fit his/her body—depending on whether or not he/she may need more protein/meat, vitamins, minerals, dairy, grain, etc.

In conclusion, individuals recovering from substance abuse must pay great attention to the foods they consume, as well as keeping themselves well hydrated. As they begin to do so, they will find themselves regaining their strength—and transitioning into a body of sobriety. A content state of mind will present itself, as they’ll no longer find freedom through alcohol, but instead find freedom through themselves—both physically and mentally. It is then that they’ll notice strength in various aspects of their lives—such as relationships, occupation, and education—as they find peace in their sobriety.

Professional Detox Centers

Professional Detox Centers focus on those who deal with extensive business-related work, or activity, on a day-to-day basis. Consequently, those who are faced with substance abuse find that their careers take up much of their time—making it difficult for them to incorporate their entire selves into that of their treatment. Professionals are also overlooked by others (oftentimes)—as being addicts—due to the prestige of their occupation. As people from the outside world looking in may ask certain questions such as, “What does she have to worry about? She’s secured financially.”

As a result, they pass judgement based solely on how they see them in a professional setting, rather than in a personal one. Some professionals then act accordingly—as they frequently struggle in silence to avoid causing damage to both their reputation, and their ego. However, Professional Detox Centers allow professionals to find the care they need, so that they can live healthily in their own lives, as well as in their workplace.

An example of this can be seen as Particular Professional Detox Centers tailor to a variety of individuals; some are listed as follows; “Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Dentists, Veterinarians, Pharmacists, Therapists, Psychologists, Pilots, Attorneys, Business Executives.” Many of these positions travel—whether it be for business meetings (out of towns), or meeting with other clients. Not only that, but some (mainly health professionals) have varied schedules due to the limited time they have to engage themselves while tending to—and caring for—others.

In addition, those who practice law are faced with a dilemma all their own, as one statistic shows that, “36% of all practicing lawyers suffer from an active alcohol abuse problem” (Legal Professionals, Caron). In turn, it is crucial that individuals maintaining reputable careers get the assistance they need, just as others—but oftentimes that is difficult for them as they find themselves being displaced from their job, and relocated into an environment foreign to them.

In conclusion, professionals face high stress—just as individuals of the general public—but have become accustomed to hiding it. Some may fear losing their jobs, or causing disappointment and pain to those around them, but the fact of the matter is professionals are people all the same. And as they care for us in certain ways, we can’t forget to do the same by aiding in their treatment—so that they are able to have their lives back, while on the road to recovery.