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Withdrawal and detoxification can be a very difficult part of the journey to sobriety. For individuals facing an addiction, freeing themselves from the alcohol or substance they rely on can be a serious physical and mental challenge. As a loved one, you can benefit from understanding these processes and exploring ways to provide support for someone who is struggling.

Learn more about how to help someone going through withdrawal and detox below.

Understanding Detoxification and Withdrawal

When an individual who is dealing with addiction discontinues their use of drugs or alcohol, they may experience challenging symptoms relating to detoxification and withdrawal.

Detoxification refers to the process of ridding drug or alcohol toxins from the body. This is often a crucial first step toward sobriety and allows the individual to begin assessing the root of their habit, the state of their mental health, and the psychological elements of addiction.

After detoxifying the body, an individual with abuse, addiction, or dependency may experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms, as mild as minor discomfort and as serious as hallucinations or seizures. Common symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Paranoia
  • Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors

The severity and kinds of symptoms someone endures vary from person to person, depending on factors like the substance, amount, and frequency of use. Learning a little about how addiction influences the brain and what your loved one is potentially coping with physically, emotionally, and psychologically enables you to offer greater support in their journey toward sobriety.

A person going through withdrawal is experiencing the adverse effects of counter-regulatory mechanisms in the brain. The brain is trying to rebalance its natural chemical levels after being altered by addiction, resulting in physical and psychological symptoms. The brain takes time to regulate and acclimate to life without drug or alcohol dependency.

Withdrawal can be dangerous — even deadly in extreme cases — so having a support system and finding ways to enter sobriety safely is essential. While the process can feel taxing at times, getting that crucial step closer to sobriety is very rewarding. As a loved one, there are things you can do to help someone going through the challenges of detox and withdrawal.

6 Tips for Helping Someone Going Through Withdrawal or Detoxification

Watching a loved one deal with addiction is difficult, but providing them with love and support will mean more to their journey than you can imagine. Being there for someone throughout the process of detoxification and withdrawal can make it easier for them to stay sober and overcome major hurdles in their recovery journey.

Check out the strategies for how to help someone detox and manage withdrawal symptoms below:

1. Educate Yourself

One of the best ways to support someone going through withdrawal is to educate yourself about their journey. Be open and nonjudgmental. Learn about the substance your loved one was using and how it impacts the brain and body. Research withdrawal symptoms and ask the individual how you can better support them.

Through education, you can get to understand your loved one’s addiction better and provide informed guidance to help them feel their best along the way. The more you know about addiction and withdrawal, the more support you can provide.

2. Encourage Professional Help

Another way you can help your loved one is by encouraging them to seek out the advice and assistance of a medical professional. The care team at a quality treatment center will know the best practices for everything from how to lessen withdrawal symptoms or how to help someone detox from alcohol. They can streamline the recovery process and provide the appropriate medical supervision, medication, and emotional support needed to manage withdrawal and head further down the road to lasting sobriety.

3. Create a Safe Environment

You can also support an individual dealing with withdrawal symptoms by cultivating a calm, comfortable environment where they feel free to express their emotions and do not have access to any substances. These initial days or weeks after discontinuing drugs or alcohol can be a very vulnerable time. Be transparent with your loved one, and take steps to make them feel more at ease in this space.

By removing any possible triggers or substances, you can help combat the potential for relapse and manage the individual’s urges.

4. Find Healthy Distractions

During withdrawal, the body can feel extremely uncomfortable. Cravings and physical symptoms can preoccupy the mind and make it difficult to focus on anything other than the addiction. You can encourage your loved one not to fixate on their negative emotions and feelings and find healthy distractions instead.

A healthy distraction enables a struggling individual to engage in something else other than their withdrawal experience. Some activities to consider include:

  • Completing jigsaw puzzles.
  • Watching a movie or TV series.
  • Reading.
  • Going for a walk.
  • Practicing yoga.
  • Playing a game.
  • Painting.
  • Starting a new hobby.

The distraction is temporary and helps the individual separate from their negative feelings without avoiding or escaping them.

5. Prepare for Challenging Moments

As you help with withdrawal symptoms and provide support to your loved one dealing with addiction, there will inevitably be harder moments and days than others. Prepare for this. Understand that the detox and withdrawal processes can have a lot of ups and downs, including setbacks and relapses. The best thing you can do is remain supportive and encouraging, letting the individual know there is always hope for achieving sobriety and they are not alone in their efforts to feel better.

6. Be Patient

Patience is a key part of being part of someone’s support system after addiction. Getting sober will take time and dedication from both you and your loved one, especially throughout the early stages when symptoms are strong. Be sure to take care of yourself while offering your help. This process can be emotionally draining, so it is important that you have your own support system as well.

Remember that you can always turn to addiction treatment professionals for advice and guidance on how to help individuals with substance use disorders make lasting changes.

Turn to Sana at Stowe For Detox and Withdrawal Management Services

The care team at Sana is here to support your loved one’s journey toward sobriety. We offer detox and withdrawal management services for individuals looking for a safe, healthy environment where they can work through their discomfort and find relief. We tailor every treatment plan to the individual’s unique situation, and our qualified team of medical professionals is available around the clock to provide support.

Our world-class facility is located in Stowe, Vermont, among the Green Mountains, offering a serene and beautiful oasis for patients on their road to recovery.

For more information on Sana at Stowe, contact us today.

Sana is Here to Help

Sana is here for you and your loved ones. Sana at Stowe provides high-quality treatment for those struggling with substance abuse, alcohol addiction, trauma, and PTSD. Our compassionate and professional staff is dedicated to giving our patients the recovery experience they deserve in a safe and healing environment. To learn more or to get started on your journey to recovery today, give us a call or visit our contact form.

Click here to call us: 866-575-9958