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Why Should Substance Withdrawal Be Medically Supervised?

Why Should Substance Withdrawal Be Medically Supervised?

Substance withdrawal is a very serious matter. Everyone will respond differently to substances, both when they first enter an individual’s bodily system as well as when they leave. For this reason, it is best to make sure to utilize medical support and guidance during substance withdrawal. It is essential for potential patients, and their loved ones, to understand that withdrawal can be done safely and healthily and that medical professionals are available to help.

What Is Substance Withdrawal?

Withdrawal is characterized by the physical and psychological symptoms that an individual may experience as they initially cease chronic substance use. While every person will respond differently to different substances, the danger of withdrawal is universal. Withdrawal involves the entire body, as substances have intense effects on every part of the body.

Patients experience mental, physical, and emotional withdrawal symptoms as substance(s) leave their bodies. Some symptoms of withdrawal begin within a few hours of the last substance use. Symptoms can last for days or weeks, depending on how much of the substance is present in the body. Moreover, the good news is that medical professionals can ensure that it’s done in a safe, healthy way.

Why Substance Withdrawal Requires Medical Supervision

When someone is going through substance withdrawal, various symptoms can be experienced throughout the whole body. Moreover, symptoms can come on suddenly and be unpredictable and potentially life-threatening. As a result, it is safest to ensure that withdrawal is medically supervised by licensed clinicians.

Symptoms of Substance Withdrawal

Each substance often has its own effects on the body. Therefore, the withdrawal symptoms experienced will vary from person to person, depending on what substances are in their system. Withdrawal is not pretty and some people will experience symptoms more intensely than others. Alternatively, just because someone’s symptoms don’t seem intense at first does not mean they will stay that way for the duration of the withdrawal. Symptoms can change and intensify at any time, making it even more apparent why it should be done in the presence of medical professionals.

For example, MedlinePlus explains, “Alcohol withdrawal symptoms tend to occur within eight hours after the last drink, but can occur days later. Symptoms tend to peak by 24 to 72 hours, but may go on for weeks.” This is common across most substances, as symptoms of withdrawal typically begin within a few hours of the last use and can continue for weeks.

Some common symptoms of withdrawal across all types of substance use can include:

Additionally, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explains that the following are the most common ailments and areas of the body affected during withdrawal, regardless of the type of substances used:

It’s important to note again that some symptoms can come on suddenly, without warning. Medical professionals are aware of this and know what signs to look for so they can anticipate any life-threatening symptoms that may occur. This further explains why medical supervision is necessary for withdrawal

How Medical Professionals Help During Withdrawal

Substance withdrawal can take place in a hospital, outpatient facility, or residential treatment center. In these places, medical professionals are specifically trained to manage withdrawal symptoms healthily and keep patients safe for the duration of the withdrawal. Medical professionals will monitor vitals, administer medications as needed, and keep the patient as comfortable as possible during the process.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that the most common medications used during withdrawal include:

Part of the withdrawal process is learning how to healthily deal with underlying issues. This is because many individuals who use substances do so in an attempt to self-medicate distress, such as symptoms of an undiagnosed mental health disorder. Due to this, individuals must also participate in treatment for any co-occurring disorders or underlying conditions to effectively establish sobriety long-term and decrease any potential for future relapse.

How Sage Recovery Can Help

Here at Sage Recovery, we know how difficult it can be to take the first steps toward healing. That’s why our masters-level clinicians are extensively trained in multiple therapeutic techniques. This way, individuals can be sure that they are getting customized, quality care. Every single one of our staff members is trained to provide trauma-informed care, which ensures that patients will be treated with dignity and respect as they heal.

Additionally, we also offer a 35-day residential treatment program for people who are trying to heal from substance use. We pride ourselves on caring for our patients holistically by providing:

We also offer evidence-based techniques through our residential program, such as:

Taking the first step toward healing is monumental! Here at Sage Recovery, we know how difficult that can be. The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. Even though parts of the recovery journey, like withdrawal, may be difficult, it’s worth your health and safety. We want to help however we can. That’s why we offer residential, outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs. We’ll make sure we do whatever we can to ensure that you heal healthily. When you’re ready to take that first step, reach out to us at (512) 306-1394. Our compassionate staff members are ready and willing to walk alongside you every step of the way.