“Within days I was convinced that I was totally and utterly losing my mind,” says Felicity Jones, who was thrown into Valium withdrawals after ordering fake pills online. “I was free-falling through a range of physical and mental symptoms that, despite popping (fake) pill after fake pill, wouldn’t abate.”
Nobody hears the word “withdrawal” and thinks of a pleasant experience—whether you’ve experienced them firsthand or you’ve been inundated with a plethora of movie and television depictions, you’re well aware that getting through the detoxification period of drug use is a struggle. But what you may not be aware of is, with the right treatment program, the pain and discomfort of this period can be minimized using a proper tapering plan.
Your first instinct may be to dismiss this as a costly choice that can simply be sidestepped by sucking it up and facing the discomfort of withdrawal. While it is true that sometimes, withdrawals can be overcome by going cold-turkey and toughing it out, this road is not only difficult, it can be life-threatening. Drugs that act on the gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter system, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, are known to be particularly dangerous during the period of withdrawal, and opiates can also pose significant dangers. If you’re in the midst of struggling with an addiction to any of these substances, it’s important that you are aware of the support available to help you recover and their necessity to ensure safe detox.