Category Archives: Emotional Withdrawal Symptoms


Road to Recovery

 Relax, Gain Balance and Feel Stronger

After initiating recovery by addressing urgent issues, like detoxification and beginning abstinence, focus on the next level of tasks. As you move into each task, you’ll gradually relax, gain balance and feel stronger. Remember to breathe!

The Void

The Void

When you refrain from the behaviors you practiced in your addiction, a natural void will be created. To fill this void, load your life with positive experiences, like new people, places, situations, and activities. Don’t leave your voids empty, or it’ll fill up with whatever comes along, good or bad. Positive experiences will override the negative ones. Happy people need 3 positive experiences to every one negative one. Stay away from the negative, embrace the positive!

Your Approach

First, breathe and pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and what’s going on around you.

Second, keeping breathing and ask “Are my thoughts and behaviors supporting my recovery? What are my most important needs and how can I meet them?”

The effectiveness of your approach to recovery will be greatly affected by three factors:

  • Your beliefs about yourself, life, and recovery.
  • The level of your motivation and commitment.
  • The structure and strength of your approach.

Your awareness will help you build and strengthen your approach. Are your beliefs and thoughts about recovery accurate, healthy, and helpful? Are you connected with your motivation and commitment for recovery?

Recovery Contract

A contract is your commitment to do what is needed to be successful in your recovery and to rebuild your life. Signing a contract with yourself can finalize your motivation and commitment to starting and pursuing your recovery. Make your contract (tasks, goals, or milestones) clear, specific, measurable, and dated (start and end). Sign it in front of a support person. Keep it visible!

Consistent Recovery Focus

Consistent Recovery Focus

Throughout the day you need to remain focused on your personal reasons for recovery and on the positive aspects of life in recovery. This is vital to get you through triggers and cravings. A reminder strategy, such as the Red DOT Reminder Check-In System, can be quite useful in overriding negative triggers with positive cues to refocus on your recovery.

Daily Recovery Activity

From the moment you wake up each day, you want to visualize and act on your desire to build the quality life that you want, which is Your Recovering Future.    A daily recovery activity keeps you occupied and on track with your goals. Daily recovery activities include spending quality time with healthy family and friends, church, classes, sober dances, conferences focused on health and growth, and any other positive experience that offers you support in your recovery. Your daily recovery activity gives you a clear reason to stay clean. Plan a week in advance and don’t go to bed without having your next daily recovery activity confirmed.

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Medical Drugs to Aid Addiction Recovery

Alternative Methods

These additional tools are useful, of which a search can be conducted online:

  • Acupuncture appears to be helpful in treating the withdrawal symptoms of some addictions, especially when relaxation is needed, but the benefits of acupuncture only last a day. It is theorized that bigger needles are more effective.


Cranial Electrical Stimulant (CES)

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

  • A sauna aids in the detoxification of fat soluble drugs, such as marijuana or PCP, from the body.


Medical Model

The medical model is the use of medical drugs as a means of recovery. Medical drugs can also be used for detoxification, as prescribed by a physician. Ask for specific information from the physician regarding the type of medical drugs available. For health and legal reasons, you must be in the care of a MD to use the medical model.

Medications: Some medications directly reduce negative symptoms, while others lower the potential of returning to your addiction. Ask about the addictive properties of these medications, which should only be taken when needed. Some people consider these medications to be just another crutch. That’s true only if you don’t really need them.

If, during drug detoxification, your physical symptoms become significant or prolonged, get medical help immediately. Seniors need to be extra careful.

When using medications that stimulate neurotransmitters, your nutritional intake must be good for them to work.

Detox Medications

The following medications will help stop withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. They are also used to treat chronic pain. Yet, it can be very difficult to stop taking them if they are used for more than a few months.

  • Benzodiazepines are commonly used in detoxification; they are effective but very addictive.
  • Methadone is the purest, most addicting opiate. It should only be used for a brief detox from other opiates.
  • Suboxone is a highly praised detox medication, but it contains an opiate that’s pure and very addicting.

Support Medications

  • Antabuse blocks the digestion of alcohol after it’s in an acid state, but it causes a lot of stomach pain.
  • Baclofen appears to reduce the brain’s “Go” response from being activated by triggers.
  • Campral is known to reduce the craving for alcohol.
  • Naltrexone blocks any “high” from opioids and alcohol that is above normal.
  • Vivatrol, an injection, is an extended release naltrexone.
  • Zyban (Wellbutrin) reduces the desire for nicotine.

Medications for Emotional Withdrawal Symptoms

Anxiety: Non-addicting anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications can help suppress racing thoughts. Benzodiazepines, also used as a detox medication, are potent, making them both effective and very addicting. The newer, shorter acting benzos are harder to get off than the older, longer acting formulas.

Depression: There are several groups of anti-depressants. Most increase the level of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain, but none work as well as promoted. They work for the long-term about one-third of the time, with minimal side effects, but the withdrawal symptoms from some can be severe

Physical and emotional pain: Benzodiazepines and opiates are effective, but very addicting. There are several non-addictive medicines for physical and emotional pain, but all medications have toxicity.

Note: Some research questions the benefits of anti-depressant medication and Tryptophan. Abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medications is common, monitor your use.

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