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Prescription Drugs

Prescription Drug Withdrawal Symptoms, Timelines, and Treatment

NorthStar Detox and Rehab Center is a physician-owned and operated facility that offers inpatient prescription drug detox treatments to patients in Los Angeles and other surrounding areas in Southern California. Through our evidence-based approach, we help people to manage and overcome their withdrawal symptoms as they undergo detox from prescription drugs.

Our highly qualified team of licensed physicians, clinicians, and staff members understand that every person has his or her set of unique needs. That’s why we make an effort to customize our treatments based on the distinctive circumstances of each patient who is dependent on prescription drugs.

Continue reading to learn what prescription drug withdrawal is and what its symptoms are. Find out what prescription drug detox is and how it works. Finally, find out NorthStar can effectively guide patients during the process of detox from prescription drugs.

What Is Prescription Drug Withdrawal?

Prescription drug withdrawal is the adjustment process that a person experiences as the body attempts to revert to its original condition before it was dependent on painkillers and other prescription drugs.

Withdrawal can be a challenging procedure if it is carried out without proper medical supervision. After all, the chemical activities in the human brain are affected during this process. Opiates stimulate, and antidepressants can disrupt the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain.

GABA receptors function by minimizing the activities of the nerve cells. StatPearls explains that GABA disorders can lead to different psychiatric issues. That’s why withdrawal can be risky if it is not performed with the assistance of medical professionals like the NorthStar team.

Who May Experience Prescription Drug Withdrawal?

Everyone who is addicted to prescription drugs may experience withdrawal if they try to reduce or stop their drug intake. Approximately 6.1 million people are 12 years old and above-used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons, based on the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Who Is Prone to Prescription Drug Dependence?

There are several reasons why someone can be vulnerable to growing dependent on painkillers and other prescription drugs:

  • A person who belongs to a family where some members have Substance Use Disorder (SUD) may have a genetic predisposition for an increased risk to addiction.
  • An individual who falls under the 18 to 25 years age range is in the life stage where he or she might be curious to try recreational drug use.
  • A person may be tempted to use stimulants to improve his or her performance at work or school.
  • An individual who is struggling with mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), may grow dependent on drugs that temporarily reduce negative emotions like sadness or anxiety.

What Are Prescription Drug Withdrawal Symptoms?

A patient typically experiences withdrawal symptoms while the prescription drugs and painkillers are gradually eliminated from the system of the body. There are various types of symptoms that are associated with certain drugs.

What Are Opiate, Stimulant, and Antidepressant Symptoms?

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Opiates are commonly prescribed by doctors to reduce the pain of patients. However, these drugs are also often misused for recreational reasons since opiates can result in a high. Opiates stimulate the production of feel-good hormones like dopamine and endorphins. Some opiates like codeine or morphine are prescription drugs, but others are illegal forms of opiates like heroin.

These are some of the withdrawal symptoms linked to opiates:

  • High blood pressure
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Muscle aches
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Dilated pupils
  • Profuse sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Aggressiveness
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Difficulty in concentration

Stimulant Withdrawal Symptoms

Stimulants are typically prescribed by doctors to patients with sleep issues, depression, and hyperactivity disorders. These drugs boost a person’s alertness by promoting the production of dopamine and other chemical messengers in the body. Stimulants are usually misused by people who wish to enhance their performance at work, school, or sports activities.

Here are some of the withdrawal symptoms connected with stimulants:

  • Stomach aches
  • Body tremors
  • Extreme sweating
  • Fever
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Aggressiveness
  • Insomnia
  • Heightened dreaming
  • Suicidal tendencies

Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed by psychiatrists to patients who have been clinically diagnosed with depression. However, these drugs may be misused because of their euphoric effects. It is often misused by people with SUD and other mental health disorders.

These are some examples of withdrawal symptoms that are related to antidepressants:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Physical tremors
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Coordination issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Nightmares
  • Restlessness
  • Mood swings

What Other Factors Determine Withdrawal Symptoms?

The type and severity of prescription drug withdrawal symptoms may vary with each patient. Aside from the kind of drug that the person is dependent on, other factors influence what particular symptoms individual experiences during the withdrawal process:

  • Addiction Period: The more frequently a person consumes prescription drugs and painkillers, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms are likely to be.
  • Prescribed Drug Dosage: As the dose of the prescription drug grows higher, the possibility of extreme withdrawal symptoms grows higher as well.
  • Drug Half-life: On one hand, people who take slow-acting drugs might encounter a few days’ delays before the withdrawal symptoms appear. On the other hand, individuals who take fast-acting prescription drugs usually experience symptoms right after they miss a dose.
  • Mental and Physical Health Conditions: Patients who struggle with SUD tend to develop greater symptoms if they also have mental health issues like depression and anxiety or physical conditions which cause extreme pain.

No matter what kinds of withdrawal symptoms a person encounters, the guidance of a rehab team from a treatment center like NorthStar can help a patient manage these symptoms.

What Is Prescription Drug Detox?

Detox from prescription drugs is the process of gradually removing the substance from the system of the body of a patient to reduce dependence and minimize withdrawal symptoms. DIY detoxification can be dangerous, which is why withdrawal management from experts like the NorthStar team is essential for people who are seeking recovery from drug dependence.

According to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), withdrawal management is the medical and psychological care of patients who are encountering withdrawal symptoms as they stop or reduce their drug intake. Withdrawal management can increase the safety and comfort of patients as they try to overcome their addiction to prescription drugs.

To start with, the patient undergoes evaluation to determine which type of treatment is suitable for him or her. The professionals will consider certain factors, such as medical history, addiction severity, and withdrawal symptoms, when they recommend what kind of treatment a person should choose.

Here are some of the typical types of detox treatment options:

  • Inpatient Detox: A patient may temporarily reside in the rehab center while going through the detox procedure. The length of stay will depend on the advice of professionals.
  • Outpatient Detox: The patient can visit the rehab facility regularly to receive regular treatments. The frequency of visits will be based on the recommendation of the rehab team.
  • Intensive Outpatient Rehab: This alternative is similar to outpatient detox since the patient does not need to live in the rehab center. However, this treatment is still intense because it requires a minimum number of hours of attendance from the patient every week.

How Does Inpatient Detox at NorthStar Detox and Rehab Center Work?

We at NorthStar Detox and Rehab Center strongly recommend our medical detoxification treatment, which is provided in an inpatient setting. Here’s how our detox treatment works:

  1. Evaluation: After the patient is admitted to our rehab center, he or she undergoes a comprehensive evaluation by a medical doctor who specializes in SUD.
  2. Planning: The physician creates a detoxification plan and medication plan for each patient which is tailored to his or her specific needs.
  3. Treatment: The patient undergoes a detox treatment under medical supervision which normally lasts for around five to seven days. Certain medications are administered to minimize uncomfortable or even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
  4. Monitoring: Our medical team will monitor the patient on a 24/7 basis to enhance his or her safety and comfort. We offer round-the-clock support to help patients manage the physical and mental effects of detox.

Experience Safe, Effective Prescription Drug Detox at NorthStar Detox and Rehab Center

Overcoming addiction to painkillers and other prescription drugs can be challenging for you or your loved ones. Sheer willpower is not enough, since you cannot simply stop consuming these substances. Abruptly ceasing one’s drug intake without the right medical supervision can lead to several withdrawal symptoms.

NorthStar Detox and Rehab Center in Tarzana offers you and your family members a safe, effective way to detox from prescription drugs in Los Angeles and other places in Southern California. We are one of the few physician-owned addiction treatment centers in the country. Our evidence-based treatment is founded on medically proven modalities and methodologies that are based on extensive research. Our licensed clinical staff provides exceptional care to all our patients because of our high standards and professional training.

Call us at (888) 577-0550 or send us a message to learn more about our prescription drug detox treatment that will help you to break free from your dependence on painkillers and other prescription drugs.