- Withdrawal Symptoms

Physical stabilization is the bedrock of good addiction treatment

Treatment for addiction starts with a period of physical stabilization commonly referred to as detox and involves effectively managing withdrawal symptoms. When the addicted person stops using alcohol or drugs the body has psychological and physiological symptoms that must be managed by a medical professional who is experienced in withdrawal management. Dr. Harry is one of the most experienced and highly-regarded medical professionals who can create a safe and caring withdrawal experience. This is the hardest step, but only the first one on the path to recovery.

Dr. Harry and his team individualize this process for each patient and can assess what these needs are and provide a recommendation based on the assessment. This process is challenging but when done appropriately, and in the right setting, it will be a positive starting point for recovery.

Most importantly do not try this on your own. Withdrawal can be fatal and should not be attempted without the help of a medical professional.

Some symptoms and signs of conditions that may require immediate medical attention are:

  • Change in mental status
  • Increasing anxiety and panic
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in responsiveness of pupils
  • Significant increases and/or decreases in blood pressure and heart rate
  • Abdominal pain

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Partial List of Areas Assessed in Determining Appropriate Detox Plans

  • Full assessment of Medical Conditions and Complications:
    • infectious illnesses
    • chronic illnesses requiring intensive or specialized treatment
    • pregnancy
    • chronic pain
  • Motivation/Readiness to Change:
    • Degree to which the patient acknowledges that substance use behaviors are a problem and is willing to confront them honestly.
  • Physical, Sensory, or Mobility Limitations:
    • Physical conditions that may require specially-designed facilities or staffing.
  • Relapse History and Potential:
    • historical relapse patterns
    • periods of abstinence
    • predictors of abstinence:
      • client awareness of relapse triggers and craving
    • Substance Abuse/Dependence Frequency:
      • amount, and duration of use
      • chronicity of problems
      • indicators of abuse or dependence
    • Developmental and Cognitive Issues:
      • ability to participate in confrontational treatment settings
      • benefit from cognitive interventions and group therapy
    • Family and Social Support:
      • degree of support from family and significant others
      • substance-free friends
      • involvement in support groups
    • Co-Occurring Psychiatric Disorders:
      • other psychiatric symptoms that are likely to complicate the treatment of the substance use disorder and require treatment themselves
      • concerns about safety in certain settings

 

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