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It takes about 10 days to get through the challenges of withdrawal to Gabapentin. But of course, the duration could vary in every person since there are a lot of factors that make every experience unique. While some people may feel stabilized in at least a week, others may continue to endure the symptoms for more than 10 days.
Although multiple case reports have proven that the drug is less likely to cause severe withdrawal symptoms among patients who take Gabapentin as prescribed, one cannot also simply undermine the impact of withdrawal especially when a patient’s overall health condition is not fit.
What Factors Affect the Length of Gabapentin Withdrawal
Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant that helps ease down too much brain activity to limit episodes of seizures and acts on the brain to control nerve pain. However, it is not a typical painkiller like opioid substances. It works more as a calming factor and is even used off-label among those who suffer from insomnia and other mental health disorders.
With an average dose of 3000 mg a day, the risk of experiencing withdrawal is pretty common, although there are also reported cases of withdrawal among those who have taken at least 400 mg a day. This outcome is brought out by several factors. The level of withdrawal can remain unpredictable despite its proper use.
The following are factors that affect the severity of withdrawal a person can experience as well as the length of withdrawal treatment required for one to take.
Degree of Gabapentin Use
Anyone who uses Gabapentin for 6 weeks can be vulnerable to developing a physical dependence on the drug. All the more when the dosage is taken beyond what is prescribed to one. When physical dependence happens, withdrawal symptoms also follow. This is the result of the body’s inability to function normally when the drug leaves the system.
With excessive use of the substance, there is a huge tendency to establish tolerance towards a certain dose. When this happens, the body will constantly seek higher doses for a person to feel its effect. The higher the tolerance established upon substance use, the more difficult the process of withdrawal can be later on.
History of Substance Addiction
With Gabapentin commonly used in conjunction with other substances such as alcohol and opioids to intensify the effect of high, flushing it out from one’s system might cause certain health complications. Besides, addiction can cause drastic changes in the body so when withdrawal occurs, things can get out of hand.
This is the reason why medical experts include in their assessment whether one has a history of any form of substance addiction or not. The chances of bringing out occasions of relapse are very high as soon as withdrawal to the substance begins. When this tendency happens, the treatment plan must be designed with great care.
Overall Health Condition
As most patients are prescribed to take the substance to treat seizures, nerve pain, and psychological disorders, these tendencies are likely to strike twice the usual intensity upon withdrawal. With pre-existing illnesses present before withdrawal, detox treatment could be quite a challenge.
The complications that could arise during withdrawal among pregnant women are also unpredictable. Given these circumstances, withdrawal treatment can be longer for those who are not fit. Their body may not be able to easily cope with the challenges of losing the substance in one’s system.
What Happens during Gabapentin Withdrawal
Most case studies record only the experiences of people who take treatment
only when they begin to experience severe withdrawal symptoms such as psychosis or unbearable cases of relapse. This makes it quite challenging to fully comprehend the nature of how withdrawal to the substance works.
However, there are still significant reports which have noted the following timeline during withdrawal to the substance.
Day 1 to 2
It takes about 12 to 24 hours after the last dose for withdrawal symptoms to start setting in. By this time, symptoms start moderately and intensify on the third day. The usual physical symptoms include tremors and headaches. Some might find themselves sweating excessively and experiencing palpitations. Tendencies of anxiety and seizures are also likely.
The third day is usually the peak of the withdrawal symptoms. This is when the severe ones knock a person hard down. Patients may experience fever on top of rapid heart rate. They may also appear usually agitated, restless, and confused. Some of the physical symptoms on day 1 may continue to persist at a more intense level during this time.
Psychological symptoms may also kick in very hard on this day. Some may struggle from hallucination and disorientation. It is important to closely watch over a person who manifests these conditions as this could lead to violence and harm. Physicians recommend bringing them to emergency admission once these tendencies occur.
Day 4 to 5
On the fourth down to the fifth day, most of the physical withdrawal symptoms tone down. However, anxieties may continue to persist as well as the tendency to be sensitive to the presence of light. Patients may also continue to appear confused and restless up to this date.
Normally, withdrawal symptoms may continue to persist up to 10 days and after that, it is expected for conditions to reach stability. Getting sick no longer becomes a problem and working on healthy habits can help sustain this progress. However, post-acute withdrawal can be likely experienced especially by those who have engaged in substance addiction.
Post-acute withdrawal symptoms may continue to progress beyond the two-week timeframe. If this happens, it is important to seek the guidance of one’s physician so that a treatment plan can be created to attend to this need. It is in this case where relapse can be challenging and medical treatment aims to prevent one from returning to substance use so it is needed.
What Treatment Works for Substance Withdrawal
There is no FDA-approved medication intended for withdrawal to Gabapentin. Physicians mostly recommend tapering off the dosage of a person to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Studies have proven that the slower the taper schedule followed, the more effective the withdrawal treatment be.
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Substance addiction is no different from hypertension and diabetes since all of these are considered chronic diseases which need to be treated. Unfortunately, there are about 21 million people in the United States who suffer at least one substance addiction in their lifetime, but only 10% of this number receive adequate treatment.
The rapidly increasing overdose deaths caused by substance use disorder have incredibly tripled since 1990 and that is an alarming rate. Substance use disorder is a serious mental condition that affects the quality of life intended for a person to experience. Anyone suffering from substance addiction is highly encouraged to seek professional help.
What is Inpatient Addiction Treatment
Although it is one crucial thing for someone to decide to go into treatment, it is also another crucial matter to decide which treatment option to take. There are a lot of factors to consider to make that choice but the most important step is to work hand in hand with one’s physician so that the treatment plan chosen can ultimately attend to the needs of the patient.
The most common treatment option for individuals with substance use disorder is inpatient treatment. This requires patients to stay in a treatment facility for an average of 30 days for the treatment to be effective. People who are advised to take inpatient care are those who have severe conditions which need to be attended by doctors round-the-clock.
The conditions in the treatment facility are controlled since patients follow a set of routines without any interruption from the day-to-day experience outside. Some treatments take place in a psychiatric facility located in a special area inside a hospital while there are also residential facilities that provide a more homey environment to the patients.
How Does Inpatient Treatment Work
There are two general things to expect inside an inpatient facility. First is the detoxification process and the second is the rehabilitation routine. The detox process usually lasts for up to two weeks. This is when the patient is constantly monitored to prevent complications brought by the discomfort of withdrawal.
The rehabilitation routine, on the other hand, engages patients in counseling and therapies which can be done individually or in groups.
They are also actively engaged in tasks that allow them to establish a healthy lifestyle such as exercises and meditations, as well as new hobbies such as sports, music, or arts and crafts.
The Advantages of Inpatient Treatment
Maximum inpatient care is provided to patients who stay in a rehabilitation facility. One can be assured of the safety of the treatment since professional medical workers can attend to patients immediately when necessary. The following are more specific points to look at when it comes to the advantages of this kind of treatment.
Highly Supervised Medication
The initial phase of the treatment is the detoxification process where patients can commonly experience the discomfort of withdrawal. With inpatient care, medically-assisted treatment is more effective since all medications are given at the prescribed time and responses to the treatment are always observed.
As soon as negative reactions to the medication occur, physicians can immediately intervene to make the discomfort more bearable. It is a guarantee that all patients get full attention from professional staff for 24 hours. Be it doctors or therapies, all behaviors are annotated which helps assessment of the patient more accurately.
Sometimes, substance use disorder coexists with other mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, and both conditions must be treated at once to attain full recovery. Integrated medications given to patients with co-occurring disorders can also be supervised more effectively in an inpatient facility.
Free from distractions
It helps a lot when the patient is conditioned in an environment where they are free from the distractions of their usual responsibilities. They are more focused on the goal of recovering from their addiction and they are more directed to attend to tasks structured by the facility as part of their routine. Getting back to their usual addictive habits is much prevented.
Belongingness to a Community
Staying in a facility where people are grounded on the same goal – recovery from addiction – patients may get to know people who share similar struggles and find comfort in understanding themselves way better. They can also create friendship among these people and this can help them in their therapy even as soon as they exit the inpatient facility.
The Disadvantages of Inpatient Treatment
Treatment inside a rehab facility can be expensive since you will be paying for the cost of the medication, the services given by the staff, as well as the amenities inside the facility itself.
However, there are a lot of options available to fund this kind of treatment. Aside from insurance, some facilities offer alternative arrangements to afford the cost.
Some patients may find it uncomfortable to follow a new routine inside a rehab facility. Once a patient is admitted inside, the choice to go outside and attend to personal needs is not possible. All responsibilities at work and home must be left behind and this can be a cause for concern to some.
Requires Transition to After-Care
There is an extreme level of adjustment that patients go through as soon as they set foot outside the rehab facility. The reality of usual responsibilities coupled with day to day struggles may trigger stress and open an avenue for a relapse. It is important to continue the prescribed after-care treatment to be dissuaded by the temptations of the world.
Addiction treatment is a challenging phase that patients, as well as their loved ones, need to courageously get through. Given the disadvantages of treatment inside a rehab facility, it is important to understand that the benefits of a full recovery are worth the journey. The chance to get back one’s control in life is worth any other cost there is.
Start Your Treatment Today
Despite the rigidity of an inpatient addiction treatment, still, it is most suitable for serious cases of substance abuse. For you to know if it fits you or your loved one, consult a doctor. They will give you custom-fit advice for treating substance abuse.
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Adults over the age of 65 occupy a great number of the population in the United States at present and the country’s Census Bureau estimates that it could reach more than 80 million people by the year 2050.
As their generation grew up with alcohol as popular leisure, statistics reveal how seniors are highly susceptible to alcoholism. This calls for a more versatile alcohol rehab treatment that also fits their budget.
A concerning fact is that studies show that 1 out 5 seniors struggle from alcohol use disorder and considering the thought of how most of their cases are not given much attention and are left untreated, this figure could be significantly higher.
Alcoholism among Seniors
The risk of complications from excessive alcohol use among seniors is higher compared to other age groups. Despite that, over 1 out of 10 of them are reported to be engaged in binge drinking, which means consuming 4 or 5 drinks within 2 hours. Alcoholism among seniors is a huge cause of concern for the following reasons:
Alcohol Weakens Physical State
Their system could barely tolerate alcohol compared to the time when they were younger. Substance abuse may complicate their current physical health condition and trigger multiple health problems brought by old age such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, and even mood disorders.
On top of that, since most of them experience chronic pain and resort to specific medications to manage it, complications may arise when these medicines are taken in conjunction with alcohol. More than 20,000 deaths and an estimated 6 to 11% of hospital admissions of seniors in the country are caused by excessive alcohol use.
Alcohol Disorder is Left Untreated
The symptoms of substance disorder are commonly overlooked in this age group. There is less attention given to depression, a possible mental state that co-occurs with substance abuse. And since loneliness could be pretty common within these golden years, the chances for misdiagnosis are high.
Another factor to note is how a lot of seniors are reluctant to be assessed for substance abuse. The idea that addiction is a chronic disease that requires treatment does not appeal to them. As a result, they are left untreated while the number of senior binge drinkers continues to grow. This state among them is commonly termed as the “invisible epidemic”.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse
It is a common belief that as one grows in age, the tolerance towards getting drunk also increases. However, this does not always apply when one reaches the age of 50s or 60s. The ability of the body to distribute alcohol in the entire system at that age weakens and so the impact of the substance becomes imminent. In other words, one would easily get drunk.
With 50% of the residents in nursing homes found to have alcohol use disorder, alcoholism among seniors is a subject that needs immediate attention. As conditions brought by old age resemble the symptoms of an alcohol use disorder, there is a great need for experts to closely evaluate them to avoid misdiagnosis. Here are symptoms an ordinary eye can identify:
Physical health conditions
One or more of the following physical health conditions can be experienced by seniors who are drinking heavily with alcohol:
Persistent Health Problems
Constant complaints about illnesses could be a red flag. When a person experiences loss of appetite and insomnia without a valid cause, that would most likely relate to alcoholism.
Slurred speech can appear as speaking softer than a whisper or speaking loudly. You will notice a person usually with the breath of alcohol and is oftentimes tipsy.
Memory loss is when a person is unable to recall an event recently or significantly. happened. Forgetfulness and lack of mindfulness could also relate to this condition.
Changes in behavior
The following behaviors can be observed by seniors with extreme alcoholism:
Excessive Drinking Patterns
A person practices distinct drinking patterns such as eagerly attending occasions where there is drinking, or sometimes keeping drinking as a secret habit. Seniors may also carry tranquilizers with them and apply one when a specific disturbance occurs. You may also notice several empty liquor bottles around.
Sudden Disengagement and/or Negligence
People intoxicated with alcohol become negligent of their appearance and their life. They lose interest in the usual activities that matter to them and oftentimes appear either stressed or hostile. Sometimes they experience delusion or even tend to hide burns and bruises which they have caused to themselves.
Alcohol Rehab for Seniors
Typically, it’s daunting to encourage baby boomers to enroll in an alcohol rehab even when they direly need it. With the high rate of emergency room admissions among seniors due to excessive alcohol use, it is important to seek professional help to mitigate the impending danger of addiction within their age.
Considering their age, a medically assisted detox will be more helpful in managing the discomfort of the process. You have medical personnel on duty 24/7 to help you with any painful withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, the best is inpatient detox for seniors.
Therapies and support groups will also be available, although it is important to consider that processing their thoughts and expressing their feelings openly is likely to take more time compared to a younger age. For this reason, age-specific group sessions will work better to engage them in the process.
Medicare Support for Seniors
Medicare is a perfect partner in financially assisting adults from 65 years and upon their alcohol rehab treatment. To enjoy the advantage of this healthcare financial assistance, you have to ensure that the rehab facility you are counting on is participating in Medicare. Your physician must also indicate the urgency of your treatment and present a treatment plan to Medicare.
This healthcare can cover your expenses for inpatient and outpatient alcohol rehab treatment. Medicare offers partial payment of the treatment and it can also work in combination with qualified insurance. Therefore, it pays well if you have this kind of financial assistance for your alcohol rehab treatment procedure.
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