How Do I Stop Taking Drugs?
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“I Have Tried Everything, But How Do I Stop Taking Drugs Once and For All?”
When someone arrives at the point where they truly want to be freed from drugs, it is likely they have suffered greatly. Being tethered to a substance is like being in prison. The drug not only owns your every thought and action, but it also wraps its tentacles around your loved ones.
Breaking free is the only way to wrest back control, to once again live your life as you see fit. The process to get free is not easy, but it is achievable. First, it helps to gain a better understanding of how drugs impact your brain. Next, it is time to commit to living a sober lifestyle. Read on to learn about how you can stop taking drugs.
What Do Drugs Do to Your Brain?
In many ways, drug addiction is still a mystery. There has been no defined explanation as to why one person will become addicted while another won’t. Some may abuse drugs for years and can easily quit, where others become trapped in addiction.
Certain risk factors, such as genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental factors, are known to influence which individuals might become addicts. Yet science is still not settled as to the exact cause of addiction.
We do know that drugs target the brain’s reward system. The substance activates a surge of dopamine that overwhelms the brain. In response, the brain reduces its own production of dopamine and the number of brain receptors shrinks.
With continued substance use, the person will not be able to feel any pleasure or joy at all. This is a sign the drug has taken over this key role once played by the brain. Addiction expert Nora Volkow states, “Ultimately, intoxication and withdrawal initiate a feedback loop. You get high, you feel great, you crash, you feel horrible” and your brain learns to get more of the drug.Thus, the addiction cycle is born.
Signs You Have a Drug Problem
Changes in behaviors are the first signs of a drug problem. By being aware of the signs of addiction you will recognize them in yourself or a loved one. The earlier that help is sought, the better the outcome.
Behavioral symptoms of drug abuse or addiction:
- Decline in work performance.
- Obsess about getting the drug, look forward to the next dose, making sure there is enough on hand.
- Doctor shopping.
- Neglect appearance.
- Stealing pills from friends and family members.
- Forging prescriptions.
- Stealing money and other items to pay for the habit.
- Deceit and lying.
- Neglect obligations.
- Secretive behavior.
- Isolating behaviors.
- Loss of interest in hobbies or social events.
- Illegal acts.
- Hanging out with a different crowd.
- Malaise; apathy
Physical signs of drug abuse or addiction:
- Mood swings.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Decreased appetite.
- Shallow breathing, nodding out.
- Collapsed veins, track marks.
- Stomach cramping
- Avoids eye contact.
- Pinpoint pupils.
- Slurred speech.
- Hostile mood.
- Chronic constipation.
- Withdrawal symptoms when effects wear off.
Can I Detox at Home?
When someone asks, “How do I stop taking drugs” they are likely asking for some guidance. Most will be somewhat aware of what going through detox will entail, as they are familiar with withdrawal symptoms. They just don’t know how to go about starting a detox.
Whether someone goes through detox at home or at a detox center will depend on a few factors. These include which drug of abuse is involved and how long the person has used the drug. Also factors are their general health status, their age, and if they also have a mental health disorder.
Home detox is an option when done under supervision. A taper schedule is provided by a doctor, and a detox team will oversee the detox and withdrawal. In some cases a home detox is not appropriate, such as for benzos or severe alcohol addiction.
What to Expect in Detox
The detox timeline and severity depends largely on each person’s unique profile. The more time someone has been engaged in drug use, the more their brain has been affected and altered. On average, detox takes 1-2 weeks to complete.
While each drug has its own set of withdrawal symptoms, there is a common pattern for the detox process:
- Early phase. Withdrawal symptoms emerge within 6-24 hours of the last dose. During the early phase, symptoms can include sweating, nausea and vomiting, headache, irritability, and insomnia.
- Peak phase. On about the second and third days of detox the symptoms will peak. This is the hardest phase of detox with the most discomfort and pain. The detox team provides medications to relieve much of the discomfort. They also offer emotional support to help you push through and get to the other side.
- Subsiding phase. The final phase is when the symptoms begin to lessen and fade out. There are likely to be some residual symptoms that linger for a few weeks, such as symptoms of depression and cravings.
Getting Treatment to Stop Taking Drugs
When you decide to stop taking drugs, you will need help if you want to succeed. This feat cannot be accomplished without expert treatment and guidance. The drugs have altered the brain in such a way that a new way of responding to triggers is needed. This is learned through the various therapies you’ll engage in during rehab.
Maybe you are wondering, “How do I stop taking drugs” but haven’t been able to do it on your own. If so, now is the time to reach out for help. Treatment is available to help you break from drugs and live your best life.
Solutions 4 Recovery Offers Addiction Recovery Services
Solutions 4 Recovery provides the most up-to-date comprehensive addiction treatment in a healing setting. Our trained experts will partner with you and guide you toward forming new, healthy thought and behavior patterns. Using CBT and DBT, plus holistic methods, our team can help you reach your recovery goals. Call us today at (888) 417-1874.