By the time you read this post, you may have come to see the consequence of medication use, reached rock bottom, or hit your end line. Perhaps you’ve realized how this problem is ruining your life and that of your loved ones. Regardless of your reason, being in this sober state is a great first step towards regaining your life from medication habituation.
You surely want to break free from the shackles of medication habituation and you want it to be over quick. But is it really possible to quit medications instantly on your own?
According to the United Nations Office on medications and Crime, clinical supervision is vital for individuals overcoming medication abuse and habituation. It is not something that you can do by yourself no matter how desirous you are to stop.
Why Going Cold Turkey Is Ineffective and Severely Dangerous?
The reality is that recovery from habituation does not happen overnight. It needs time, patience, and support from professionals and a support system. It also requires commitment and the strength to say no to medications.
Substance abuse disrupts the chemical composition of the brain, altering the way it behaves and functions. Prolonged medication abuse affects and re-wires certain parts of the brain dedicated to self-control, memory, and decision-making. While it might seem that you have full control over quitting substance use, the reality is, the psychoactive agent may still control you. This is the major challenge you face as you attempt to stop medications on your own.
Furthermore, suddenly stopping medication use after prolonged dependence leaves the system in shock. Hence, people recovering from medication abuse often experience a period of distress or pain. This stage is often marked by intense withdrawal symptoms that can last for days, weeks, or even months. Throughout this period, you need medical professionals to help you deal with the untoward symptoms. The withdrawal stage is not something to be dealt with alone.
The stability of your environment can make things even more challenging. If you are still surrounded by your peers who use medications, the possibility of relapse is even higher. Social pressure and a bad environment are the most common relapse triggers. It can be complicated by an unstable mental or emotional state. These aspects make medication rehabilitation difficult to manage alone.
Dangers of Quitting medications on Your Own
Whether you suffer from heroin habituation or prescription medication abuse, attempting to quit substance abuse on your own comes with dangers. Hence, going cold turkey with no medication and without medical help is not recommended.
Since your system has become dependent on medications, you can suffer severe untoward symptoms if you abruptly withhold its use. A specialist at the ibogaine treatment clinic, Clear Sky Recovery, underscores the dangers of abrupt and complete cessation. For example, individuals suffering from opiate dependence can experience insomnia, restlessness, cold/hot sweats, vomiting, and body aches when the substance is abruptly discontinued.
Cocaine and other stimulants can cause withdrawal symptoms such as abnormal heartbeats, a spike in blood pressure, insomnia, depression, and chronic muscle tension. Intense withdrawal side effects can even result in death.
Going “cold turkey” after prolonged use of prescription antidepressants or tranquilizers, particularly benzodiazepines, can lead to life-threatening side effects. Klonipin, Valium, and Xanax are three of the most popular brand names of “benzos.” Abruptly stopping these prescription medications without clinical supervision can lead to convulsions, seizures, anxiety, hyperventilation, and delirium. Similarly, suddenly quitting pain medications is known to cause dehydration.
The dangers of quitting substance use on your own can be extreme. These potential adverse effects outweigh your eagerness to rush the process.
medication abuse treatment and rehabilitation is a journey that needs supervision and support. It’s a process with no shortcuts. Without proper treatment, the possibility of a relapse is high. Usually, these persons develop lower medication tolerance. As a result, they tend to take more of the substance which can potentially lead to a fatal overdose.
Although not everyone suffers the same intensity of withdrawal symptoms, it is difficult to predict how your body will react to quitting medications. Likewise, it’s impossible to know how you’ll handle the withdrawal symptoms. Can you bear the untoward symptoms alone? Will the side effects drive you back to substance use? Will you need medical treatment to help you stay sober?
Best Way to Quit medications
The best substance abuse cessation program is one that benefits your health and life. Medically supervised medication rehabilitation is the best and safest way to quit substance abuse. There is no quick fix for this chronic condition. Long-term habituation treatment plans aim to guide you throughout the entire recovery process.
You can explore a range of treatment choices that includes detoxification, behavioral counseling, medication, and long-term follow-up. These treatment modalities can be performed in residential treatment, partial hospitalization, outpatient treatment, and sober living communities. In some parts of the world, medication treatment centers offer natural-based psychoactive agents such as ibogaine in the treatment process.
Regardless of the medically supervised medication treatment program you choose, you are assured of a long-lasting, medication-free lifestyle.