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How to cope with withdrawal symptoms

Discussion in 'Withdrawal Symptoms' started by ExpertAdvice, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. ExpertAdvice

    ExpertAdvice Active Contributor

    Whether you are addicted to nicotine, alcohol, marijuana or cocaine dealing with withdrawal symptoms is no doubt difficult and when unsuccessful, can lead to further deterioration. In dealing with the urge to go back to drugs, it will mean that you will need to form a good, solid set of habits that effectively circumvent your desire from drugs to your new, health wise practice. If you have experience in trying to quit or you have quit drugs before then you know that this may be the hardest part of beginning your new journey to recovery to good health- quitting drugs is hard . You will therefore need a mechanism system which will help you to achieve your goal successfully, namely, you need; to be physically active, you will need the support of you friends and family, and you will need to prepare mentally for the change in your life! last but by no means, the least, you will need to take medication.
    Nick W. likes this.
  2. maryannballeras

    maryannballeras Senior Contributor

    Thanks for this wonderful advice! It's really hard to let go of using drugs and it's good that there's people like you who is here and willing to share their experiences and best practices. Again, thank you!
    Nick W. likes this.
  3. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    In addition:

    First, since, you'll have cravings for the substance you stopped using, this could also be helpful:

    a) Believe in yourself. Have faith that you will overcome the addiction "no matter what". Reminding yourself that you gave up on the drug because it was bad for you could be helpful. If you must, write down the reason you stopped using a substance and refer back, each time you get a craving for it.

    b) Find a substitute for substance you stopped using. You could ask a doctor to recommend something.

    c) Learn meditation. This will keep your mind off stuff that wouldn't be beneficial to you.

    d) Find other fun things to do in your free time so you won't get bored. Volunteer to do some good in your community.
    jackslivi and Askani like this.
  4. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I agree. Keeping active and busy is the best way to get your mind off of substance abuse and also relapsing into a deadly habit. The addicted mind is really something that most traditional folks can't fathom, as it's one that needs To be stimulated constantly. So if you keep yourself busy then you increase your chances of not thinking about what used to keep you stimulated for most of the day.
  5. Askani

    Askani Active Contributor

    Friends, family, and a good solid support system helps also. If your community has no viable support groups attend a local AA meeting and speak with the people there who are sponsors and you can find someone who understands your situation even if it isn't alcohol related. I live in a small rural area and wasn't able to travel hours to see a regular support group specialized in my addiction, but found many understanding people in my own community that were willing to help. Also be prepared to lose some friends. I lost quite a few who just didn't seem to understand how my addiction was controlling my life and who wanted me to continue to use just because they did. A real friend will stand with you and help not hinder you on your journey.
    Rainman likes this.
  6. Daniel Lucky

    Daniel Lucky Active Contributor

    I try to not focus on the withdrawal symptoms, like mind over matter. I was addicted to pain killers and my body would start to ache, but I knew that I had never had any reason to take pain pills other than to get high. I would turn on music with positive messages to encourage me. I would take lots of showers to help my mind. I also would try and stay as busy as possible finding any thing to do and do it right away. I would call my sponsor so much and talk for hours about anything, thank God he had patience! These things really helped until I was able to get back to work and be around others, if you have to take off of work I suggest it, less stress is best. Hope this helps good luck!
    Jen S. likes this.
  7. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    I did the shower thing, too. There was something about stepping out of a hot shower and going to bed with a fan blasting that calmed me down and let me sleep for a little bit.
    Nick W. and Askani like this.
  8. jaray87

    jaray87 Member

    I focused on playing video games when going through alcohol withdrawal. I spent every not working time on video games with my son. Kept distracted from going to the store. That went on for about 2 months, which then slowly the affects were no longer there. But funny thing is, each time I see a beer, I am so ready to get it. No, I didn't go through any program, I just stopped drinking one day.
  9. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    I think that it's commendable that you have quit drinking, and that you have had the strength to do it on your own. Occupying your time is going to be key, and also providing alternative coping mechanisms. Instead of finding relief or comfort in beer, I would suggest finding 3-5 other things that you can do as well. Video games are a great start because they keep both your mind and body stimulated. I would also suggest journaling and/or creative writing. You might be surprised and find a hidden talent, or discover something about yourself that you didn't know was there. Handwriting stimulates parts of your brain that are very rarely stimulated in other ways. Give it a shot.
    RoseK and Joseph like this.
  10. jaray87

    jaray87 Member

    Thanks, man. Appreciate the support. The funny thing is I have thought about writing - this is why I have joined this forum, to not only get support but to also broaden my reach to people. It's interesting that you mention handwriting - I can't remember the last time I actually wrote something on paper other than my signature so I will try that. Day in and day out, my work consists of me sitting behind a desk and data entering numbers in excel but it's refreshing writing in forums and putting my thoughts "out there" for people to read. You are right too, I have to find more outlets other than video games - my son can't keep me company all the time, he has extra curriculars too. I think I may try sports of some sort. Will keep you posted.
    Nick W. likes this.
  11. jackslivi

    jackslivi Active Contributor

    I so agree with all of you. Even people who are trying to quit smoking have this problem. What do they do with all that time that they had spent going outside to smoke? It is difficult to realize how much addiction takes up time and filling that space with something else is difficult. The journey is so hard and whoever says it is easy is lying. Yes, there will be some good days that you just feel on top of the world, but then bad days happen and you just want to give up. Instead of looking back, look to how far you have gotten. People tend to turn around when they want to give up. You have to find all the things that you have done right. Staying positive is the only way. Even if it is an hour, that is a huge success compared to a minute. You really have to bend your perspective.
  12. lin-duh

    lin-duh Member

    After the actual physical pain of withdrawal goes away (which, the treatment for which really does vary based on what your level of addiction is and what you are actually addicted to), then I definitely think it's important to stay distracted. Finding positive things to throw yourself into can help you get past these symptoms a little bit. I think if you suffer from really severe physical withdrawals, then it's critical to seek professional assistance.
  13. platwitt

    platwitt Member

    Every post in this thread are worth the read. And if I may add, sports really help me, and a supportive girlfriend or a partner who understands what you are going through. You have to break the bad pattern and make your self busy. Learn to appreciate the wonderful things around you in all shapes and sizes. And never hesitate to ask for help.
    Jen S. likes this.
  14. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    Support from loved ones is the number one thing that you need!!! They will be there to help you when you feel down and to motivate you to stay sober. They are the reminders that you are loved and needed.
    For those that don't have supportive families, then a group that has been through the same thing that you have will also be there to pick you up when you feel down.
    Secondly, exercise like yoga and meditation is good for the soul and it will help you find balance.
    Keep busy and chew on some healthy mood foods to get you over the symptoms.
    Thirdly remember that it feels good to be sober and the view from that angle is far better than from being low down. The path is a complete change to the one that you were on and for a happier life, you can overcome anything, especially if you have decided to end the bad habits.
  15. popcorn365

    popcorn365 Member

    My friend always says you have to take it a minute at a time. A lot of people will say one day at a time but in most cases taking it a day at a time is far too long of a time frame when you have a craving. Focus on your current minute and get through that minute. And then take the next minute to mentally celebrate the fact that you got through the previous minute and keep that cycle going. One minute will turn into five minutes will turn into an hour and soon you'll realize you made it through the day.
  16. taramarie0204

    taramarie0204 Member

    I have had one roommate addicted to adderal and her withdrawal was hard to watch. She would always be irritated saying she didn't feel right without it. I would try my best to get her mind off it and take her out somewhere to have fun. I think with my support and some from her other friends it made it easier to break her addiction. It was still really hard for her and I think breaking any addiction is, but support is a huge help.
    I also had to help my boyfriend through his nicotine withdrawals. He was always anxious and irritable. I would try to see if he wanted to do something and all he would say is, "I want to smoke". I would just ignore it and keep asking until I almost had to force him to move and get his mind off cigarettes. Any addiction is hard to break and the withdrawals are the hardest part. But with support not all the stress in on one person. The addict can get some of it off their chest and let a friend help.
  17. kbroder9

    kbroder9 Member

    That is great advice, thank you for sharing. I've found that changing your overall habits to healthier alternatives really helps. When I'd go out to the bar before, now I'll spend that time in the gym. Or if I was going to have a drink at home, pick up a book to occupy myself instead. It's hard, especially all at once, but finding fun, enjoyable alternatives that make you feel better seems to be key for me.
  18. popcorn365

    popcorn365 Member

    My husband does this to me. He'll just ignore my "I want to smoke rant" and keep going. It is helpful and I have definitely cut back since he started doing that. I was down to about 6 a day on my own but now am down to 2. I save them for when I'm really stressed out. Now I just need to figure out what to do with my stress so I can eliminate the last two.
  19. CrystalMarie

    CrystalMarie Member

    I had major withdrawal issues went I quit drugs. I could not eat since because I was not high. I would get angry really fast for no reason. The way I dealt with it was by finding new hobbies to keep my attention. I would take a deep breath and mediate when every I felt symptoms coming.
  20. SuphaflyUK

    SuphaflyUK Member

    The withdrawal from booze is horrible. Shakes, sweats, nausea, no appetite. The worst of it is the risk of a fit, which luckily hasn't happened to me. The anxiety is overwhelming, terror, panic, hallucinations - I once saw my garden furniture turn into weird monster like creatures. Not fun.