Often times even when the addict truly wants to get clean, drug addiction will continue because he or she is unable to deal with the horrific withdrawal symptoms of stopping the drug use. These symptoms can range from mild anxiety to extreme body aches and pains, lack of appetite and nausea, plus a psychological fear to come off the drugs. The thought of these symptoms will often stop a person from getting clean.
Narconon Vista Bay utilizes a safe, nutrition-based approach to the cessation of drug use, providing a person is medically cleared for the program. The reason for the drug-free withdrawal is so the student is able to get off of all substances, not just the one they were addicted to. Many times when an addict is withdrawing off drugs or dealing with a problem related to drugs, a treatment program or doctor will prescribe a substitute to “help” with withdrawal symptoms. The person then gets addicted to that drug and needs to go through the whole withdrawal process again. A perfect example of this is the use of methadone to get heroin users off heroin. Methadone stops the withdrawal of heroin but it has its own withdrawal symptoms which are many times worse than what the heroin withdrawal symptoms would have been. Only by actually getting off all drugs can a person begin to address their addiction. This does not include essential prescribed medication such as insulin or blood pressure medication (these are permitted), but it would include painkillers or other addictive medication.
There are several tools which the staff use to help students through withdrawal. The first is nutrition. While on drugs, addicts normally fail to meet their basic needs including eating and sleeping properly. In fact, many withdrawal symptoms are simply symptoms of vitamin deficiencies. Each person in withdrawal receives generous and safe doses of high-quality supplements. Vitamins and minerals are commonly depleted in drug addicts and alcoholics, therefore nutritional treatment strongly reduces the fierce symptoms that typically accompany withdrawal.
Narconon staff work with each student to provide gentle re-orientation exercises to help reduce anxiety and increase objectivity. Physical assists calm the body and help reduce spasms and cramps. Many recovering addicts find these steps help them have the most tolerable withdrawal ever; it is not uncommon for us to hear a student report that they “waited for the withdrawal symptoms to kick in but they never did!”
Withdrawal can be painful and distressing if one is trying to do it on their own. At Narconon Vista Bay, we have great success in helping an addict through this process with minimal pain and discomfort and create a smooth transition into the rest of the program.