Author: Gary Jackson

Break the cycle of addiction with these strategies to keep dopamine in check : Life Kit : NPR

Talk to your doctor or a drug treatment specialist about what to expect as you experience alcohol withdrawal. Ask your doctor whether any medications may help in the process. Identify a family member or friend who you can call on to provide emotional support.

Instead of reaching out to others for connection, you may turn inward and isolate yourself as a way of coping. While taking time to focus on yourself can be healthy, rejecting the outside world can be emotionally and mentally harmful. But abruptly quitting substances such as benzodiazepines or alcohol can be potentially dangerous, so always consult your doctor to come up with a detox plan.

What Is Withdrawal?

Withdrawal symptoms do not occur with all substances; for example, stopping hallucinogens or marijuana does not typically lead to withdrawal symptoms. Further, the intensity of withdrawal depends on the amount of drug usually taken and the duration of its effects. For drugs like amphetamine, with a medium half-life—10-12 hours—acute withdrawal can last 2-4 weeks.

how to overcome withdrawal

One of the best things you can do is explore treatment options together. This way, you can better understand what withdrawal entails and the best course of action. Withdrawal can be different for everyone, so finding a treatment plan that will work for your loved one is crucial.

Work on feeling worthy of love and connection

But breaking your dependence is a vital first step in living a healthier life. Ultimately, Lembke says, this is a universal problem – not one limited to those of us struggling with the disease of addiction – that has come with living in modern life. And to restore our sanity, collectively we must rethink how to navigate a dopamine overloaded world. Excessive drinking and substance use on college campuses does not have to be the norm—an examination of collegiate recovery communities can help inform how to rebrand college.

Just by being present and available, you can provide them with great support. This can involve listening to them, being a shoulder to cry on, and providing a comforting presence. Sometimes, just having someone there who cares can make all the difference.

Place obstacles between you and your addictive behaviors

While the physical symptoms of withdrawal might last only a few days or a week, the psychological withdrawal, such as depression or dysphoria, can last much longer. Withdrawal is the combination of physical and mental effects a person experiences after they stop using or reduce their intake of a substance such as alcohol and prescription or recreational drugs. If you experience nausea or vomiting, you may become dehydrated.

Don’t try to go at all of this alone, even with your partner by your side. If emotional withdrawal is an issue for you, you likely need assistance from a therapist who can help you identify patterns and recreate healthier ways of coping. When you’re setting healthy boundaries, you might choose to withdraw emotionally from a situation or person as a form of self care.