Swati Arora

Lifestyle - Writer
New Delhi - India

    5 Ways to Help Someone Overcome Withdrawals

    March 10, 2017

    Withdrawals can be a difficult thing to go through, for those that are addicted to any substances. They will need help and support from loved ones and health professionals. If you plan to stay with someone that is going through a substance detox, it’s important to get prepared for it beforehand.

    Here are a few recommended ways to help someone you know to overcome withdrawals. You can also find out more information about specific addictions from The Recovery Village, so you can get a better idea of what they might face.

    Image by pixbay

    Recognize the Normal Symptoms

    Things like aching muscles, a headache, shaking, sweating, nausea or vomiting, irritability, mood swings, insomnia, nightmares, and diarrhea are all very common symptoms of someone going through withdrawals. There are more than just these symptoms, but some of them are more specific to certain types of withdrawals and don’t happen in all other types. For example, alcoholics experiencing withdrawals won’t have the same symptoms as opiate users.

    Look Out for Dangerous Signs

    Things are aren’t ordinary and will require immediate medical attention include serious chest pains, hallucinations, unconsciousness, and frantic fits. If any of these symptoms pop up during the withdrawal process, it’s important that you immediately call for medical assistance, as these can all point to something serious.

    Be There for Them Emotionally

    Not everyone will want to talk much when they’re experiencing withdrawals, but being there to support them emotionally and remind them that this process will help them in the end can be vital. One of the main reasons that people go back to using is because their brains can trick them into thinking it’s the best and most reasonable thing to do. If you are there for them, you may have a chance to help them understand that their old habits are not the best option.

    Distract Them from Their Cravings

    Cravings can be extremely difficult to handle, especially when the person having them is alone. Find something that’s healthy and safe that can distract them from their cravings as they come. The thing about cravings is that they get weaker as you ignore them. So, the best thing to do is to help the person by distracting them whenever craving starts getting too strong.

    This is a vital step to helping someone avoid using again. But, if possible, talk to the person beforehand to find out some of their triggers to use. The last thing you want to do is to put them in a situation that makes them want to use even more than before.

    Encourage Healthy Pain Management

    Withdrawal can often be physically painful. The problem is that the person experiencing the pain will not be able to take any substances to reduce or relieve their pain, due to their habits they are trying to break. Instead, help them to find other ways to relieve their pain through natural and healthy methods.

    Don’t try to introduce them to something they’re not familiar with, because it will be hard for them to learn anything and may become too frustrating or stressful instead.

    Warm showers, yoga, meditation, massage, heating pads, or cold compresses are all normal and useful ways to relive pain that won’t create problems with the withdrawals. Symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea are more difficult to manage, but it’s best if you can help them in any way possible to relieve these symptoms and become more comfortable again.


    Supporting someone through withdrawals is difficult for you physically and mentally, but you are an important part of the process. Emotional and mental support are some of the most important things for a recovering addict, and the part you play is not done in vain.

    Read Swati's other blog entries >

Please Wait