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What Is Withdrawal Management in Addiction Recovery?

woman sitting on the floor struggling with withdrawal management

Detoxing from drugs or alcohol is physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging; those who have acquired a physical dependence, guarantee the safety and efficacy of detox, making the process far more comfortable. At Midwest Center at Youngstown, our clinical staff will carefully oversee this phase in your treatment, offering you as much support as possible to make a successful transition. Call our team at 844.544.0502 to learn more about our withdrawal management program in Youngstown.

What Is Withdrawal Management?

Withdrawal management, sometimes called detox, refers to the special care given to patients displaying medical and/or psychologically uncomfortable symptoms upon ceasing the use of drugs or alcohol. Most commonly, these individuals have come to rely on these substances, using them daily, and cannot discontinue use on their own due to the immediate appearance of intense side effects. Depending on the substances in question, this body elimination process can include:

  • Intense physical cravings
  • Digestive distress (nausea, abdominal cramps,  vomiting, diarrhea, constipation)
  • Sleep disturbances (insomnia, night terrors)
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Body aches and pains
  • Muscle twitching and convulsions
  • Hallucinations
  • Dysregulated body temperature
  • Dehydration 
  • Irritability
  • Profuse sweating or cold flashes
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • High or low pulse and blood pressure
  • Seizures

Alcohol, opioids, opiates, sedatives, and stimulants tend to present with the most acute withdrawal symptoms, especially when combined. Depending on the patient’s unique medical profile and history of use, withdrawal management may require specific temporary pharmaceutical support to minimize discomfort or to help guarantee the patient’s safety. For example, patients with a dependence on opioids may be administered methadone, codeine phosphate, or diazepam in the case of an addiction to alcohol. 

In some instances, such as with benzodiazepines, patients may need to be administered decreasing dosages of the drug for their safety. This is made far easier for patients in an isolated environment, where they will not have unregulated access to these drugs. Medicines such as anticonvulsants or over-the-counter pain relievers may also be used. 

How Does Withdrawal Management Work? 

Patients requiring withdrawal management will proceed through three stages. First, they will receive a thorough evaluation and physical examination, carefully documenting their medical status and symptoms and determining whether withdrawal management is necessary. Next, they will be administered a treatment plan to stabilize their health while supporting the body’s ability to detox drugs or alcohol. Finally, when symptoms have subsided, they will prepare to transition to the next stage of treatment, often moving to residential housing or commencing therapy. 

As in all areas of recovery, individual patients will require unique approaches. However, withdrawal management generally includes a combination of the following elements: 

  • 24/7 availability of knowledgable clinical staff and medical workers
  • A quiet and calm area with the maximum degree of privacy available
  • Opportunity for ample rest, relaxation, and mild movement (if appropriate and lends to the patient’s comfort)
  • Proper hydration and nutritional supports 

In addition, all medicines will be administered by the staff, relieving the patient of monitoring their dosage. The most challenging symptoms will present within a few days, though they for many patients are largely stabilized within 1-2 weeks. 

Withdrawal Management at Midwest Recovery at Youngstown

It is important to remember that withdrawal management is only the first step in healing. Administered correctly, it allows patients to transition more smoothly into the psycho-social aspects of their treatment, creating the true supports for lasting recovery. At Midwest Recovery at Youngstown, our holistic approach to short-term discomfort and long-term behavioral change allows our patients to have the most excellent chance of success at every phase of the process. Call our team today at 844.544.0502 to learn more about creating a customized plan for you.