Stimulant withdrawal can cause some of the longest and most difficult to endure symptoms associated with any withdrawal syndrome. Fortunately, there are treatment options that can help minimize these symptoms and help addicts through the first stage of their recovery.
According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, “Stimulant withdrawal, which occurs following cessation of chronic cocaine or amphetamine use, can produce a wide range of dysphoric symptoms.” These can include:
Unfortunately, because many of these symptoms are internal and not easy for others to see, like the shaking caused by alcohol or the flu-like symptoms caused by opioids, it can be a very difficult time for the individual. In addition, these symptoms can sometimes last for several months or even a year or more, much longer than those usually caused by other withdrawal syndromes. It can be very difficult for someone to avoid relapse while going through amphetamine withdrawal, which is one of the strongest reasons why professional detox treatment is highly recommended.
The process itself is not easy, but receiving the necessary treatment can make it much easier. The treatment itself is actually tolerated fairly well in most populations, and it is just a matter of ensuring that the individual is being cared for in a professional setting that attends to their needs and allows them to recover slowly through the long withdrawal process.
Medication is often used to help minimize some of the symptoms and allow patients to better cope with them. In some cases, a person may experience severe psychosis during early withdrawal from amphetamines, and antipsychotics may be used to treat this syndrome. Also “during the late withdrawal phase, when depression may be present, antidepressants may be an appropriate choice for treatment.” Medications can smooth out the entire process so the individual isn’t left alone with their symptoms, which can often go unnoticed by others.
Therapy can also be very important at the withdrawal stage for those dependent on amphetamines. Because the symptoms are largely psychological, regular therapy sessions can help the individual work through their feelings and learn to cope with them through positive thinking, imagining scenarios, and talking through their emotions. It is common for stimulant addicts to also have comorbid mental disorders in addition to their addict, so therapy can also begin to treat both of these issues as early as during the intermediate withdrawal stage.
The hardest part of your withdrawal will likely be the length of your symptoms and learning to cope with them. But there are many treatment options that can help minimize these issues while you are in medically assisted withdrawal or detox. It will be much easier for you to go through the process of withdrawal from amphetamines under a doctor’s care than without any type of medical assistance. If you have more questions, call 800-768-8728.