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                                                   What Are The Drug Withdrawal Symptoms?


Withdrawal symptoms are the symptoms shown by an addict when he stops the use of drugs, alcohol or smoking. When you use regularly a drug which is habits forming you become a dependant on that. Some of these drugs may be medicines. Some people become psychologically dependant on some medicines if they take it regularly for a long time. If such a drug is stopped, the opposite effect of the drug will appear. Such occurrence will take place immediately after the stoppage or even after a lapse of time. Generally, the term withdrawal symptom is used in association with the stoppage of recreational drugs. Recreational drugs are those which are abused for pleasure or the euphoria created in the brain by those drugs. This is the major problem faced by drug addicts.

The opposite of euphoria is dysphoria. Continued use of a pleasure drug makes the user a dependent on it. But after a time the quantity of the drug used will not be sufficient for the addict to get a stimulation in the brain. Then he increases the dosage. Finally he reaches a stage when no amount of the drug can give him a high. In other words he feels no euphoria at all. If the addict stops the intake of the drug at this point the withdrawal symptoms appear. The withdrawal symptoms are characterized by dysphoria.

The main sign of the withdrawal symptoms is depression. But the quantum of depression varies from one addict to another. Some of them may become very violent. Others may show only disinterest in their own daily routines. Unless properly attended to, even suicide may be attempted. Other symptoms are anxiety and fear.

Dependence is different from addiction. Dependence on a drug means the necessity of using the drug as a medicine to sustain a normal life. It is for the treatment of an illness. So the discontinuation of the medicine is impossible. On the other hand, addiction is an acquired dependence on the drug after prolonged use for pleasure. Sometimes some addicts will have to continue to use the drugs to avoid violence and attempt to suicide.

The withdrawal symptoms also appear in the case of some simple medicines. One such medicine is the nasal spray, containing xylometazoline used as decongestant. If it is used for a prolonged period and then stopped, the congestion will reappear with increased strength. Such a phenomenon is called the rebound effect. Rebound effect is the return of the original symptoms if medication is stopped after a long period of use. The common aspirin is another medicine which has a rebound effect. That too if used for a long period regularly and then stopped, symptoms like headache will reappear after the stoppage of the medicine.

An addict with a history of long time use must take the help of a doctor to stop the consumption of the drug. This is required to avoid possible complications and acute depression. It is well known that once started, the use of medicine for diabetes, hypertension, asthma, heart ailments and psychosis cannot be stopped.

An inpatient rehabilitation centre is the right place to stop drug addiction. Craving for the drug will become irresistible when an addict stops the drug use abruptly. The brain will be trained to believe that the shortest way to well being is the use of drugs. The brain will crave for the drug which it has been obtaining for a long time. For the long time addicts it is not easy to overcome the urge of his brain to go back to his old practice of drug use. In an inpatient rehabilitation centre there are trained professionals to deal with such situations. They will remove the patient with such craving to an isolated place so that he cannot get the drug by any means. Since the attendance of trained personnel is always available extreme psychological problems can be tackled with. The psychological problems may result in attempts at violence or suicide. Such possibilities cannot be handled at home. In the rehabilitation center a twenty four hour monitoring is available.

Counseling, detoxification and medication in some cases are required to bring back the patient to normal life. If family’s co-operation can also be ensured the return to normal life will be smooth and pleasant.

It is not easy to identify a person having a drug problem unless his case is acute or he himself confesses to it. Some of the identifying symptoms are late payment of bills, being pestered by collection agents, increased anger, anxiety and depression, excessive borrowing, stealing, lack of interest in day to day routines and frequent absence from place of work. These are only a few symptoms. Many more symptoms are there. But many of these symptoms may be caused by other factors too. That is why it becomes difficult to spot an addict easily. Only close friends and family members can tell. But by the time one becomes a hardcore addict, he might have cut off close connections with these people.

Some youngsters fall into the trap of drug addiction because of their love for secrecy and adventurism. The youngster may join a gang because he thinks that it is adventure to join a secret gang. Once joins the gang he will be in the clutches of the gang leaders. He will be tempted by the new friends to take the first shot of the drug. The first use may give him a high. With one or two attempts more de does not require any coxing. He becomes an addict in no time.

The parents have a responsibility towards their wards. It is their responsibility to watch their children constantly. They must always enquire about the friends of the children and keep a vigil on them. The changes in the behavioral pattern of the children should be monitored. It is better to prevent becoming an addict rather than treating afterwards. The mental and physical health of the children is the concern of the parents.