Overcoming Fear of Withdrawal

Anybody who has ever developed a physical addiction knows that after a certain level of abuse, whether it’s of drugs or alcohol, your body ceases to be your own. Your entire reason for living becomes getting high enough or buzzed enough to outrun withdrawal for one more day. “Taking the edge off” is a nice phrase for self-medicating and eventually it becomes a pillar in an addict’s devastating denial. Medical detox isn’t something an addict thinks they need until they’re forced to go without drugs or alcohol. At this point, the pain and sickness is so raw that a long-term solution takes a backseat to immediate relief.

I abused cocaine heavily for three years, during which I became more acquainted with my physical and emotional limitations than I ever wanted to be. It seemed like each day there was a new type of pain or new level of psychosis of which I couldn’t possibly conceive the previous day. Eventually, every time I experienced a twinge of withdrawal, my first instinct was to get on the phone to my dealer and making it go away. I never thought about the day after or next month or next year. I was, as all addicts do at one point or another living my life in tiny increments that were coordinated around getting high.

For a while it seemed like I would never shake myself free from this pattern; that these fleeting moments of relief and prolonged periods of agony would grow to be my life. I was prepared to deal with it because I didn’t think I had a choice. When I got into a car, nearly killing my little sister in the process, because I was high coke, I knew that my addiction was no longer just affecting me. Luckily my sister survived and made full recovery, but it nearly destroyed me when I wasn’t sure, particularly because I had made through with barely a scratch.

I arrived at my treatment and all I could think about was having to go without coke. I don’t care what anyone says: the first few days in rehab, you’re always looking to score. I knew withdrawal was coming but thanks to my facility’s medical detox program, it never got as bad as I thought it would. There were about four or five incredibly difficult days (that I would never want to repeat again) but it gradually got easier. During the height of detox, I swore to myself that I would develop the self-discipline necessary to maintain sobriety so I would never have to go through this again.

I went through the rest of my treatment determined to make the most of it. As my program went on, I felt more and more like I was getting a new life. For a while, I was kicking myself because I had let withdrawal keep me from this new beginning for so long. I just I hope I can encourage people to take the leap sooner. Take it from me; the rewards far outweigh the work. 

Contact the The National Center for Alcohol and Drug Detox anytime toll-free at (888) 243-3869 or through our online form, for our recommendations of the best medically licensed detox centers for you or your loved one!

Detox should never be attempted in your home or without medical supervision at a licensed detox treatment facility. For your safety we do not recommend any rapid or ultra rapid detox centers.