The medical and psychological treatment of patients who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms as a result of quitting or reducing their use of their drug of dependence is referred to as withdrawal management (WM). People who don’t depend on drugs won’t go through withdrawal, so they don’t need WM. To determine whether the patient is dependent and requires WM, refer to the assessment. WM is not necessary for opioid dependent patients who consent to begin methadone maintenance treatment. They can begin methadone treatment right away.
Creating Trust through WM
People who successfully complete withdrawal management frequently relapse into drug use. It is naive to believe that managing withdrawal will result in long-term abstinence. Rather, before a patient begins psychosocial treatment, withdrawal management is an important first step. In closed settings, it can be helpful to build trust between patients and treatment staff by providing withdrawal management in a manner that alleviates patients’ discomfort and demonstrates compassion for them. Patients in withdrawal symptoms ought to be accommodated separately from those who have already completed withdrawal.
What is Included in WM
Healthcare professionals ought to be accessible at all times. Employees ought to include:
- A physician who sees patients upon admission and is available on call in the event of complications;
- Nurses are in charge of keeping an eye on patients who are going through withdrawal, administering the prescribed medications, and informing them about the process.
- The WM area ought to be peaceful and quiet. Patients should be allowed to do moderate activities like walking or sleeping or resting in bed if they want to. Provide patients with opportunities to participate in calming activities such as meditation.
- It should not be required of patients going through withdrawal to exercise. Physical activity does not appear to be beneficial for WM. Physical activity may exacerbate withdrawal symptoms and prolong withdrawal.
- Patients going through withdrawal might be scared or anxious. To help alleviate anxiety and fears, provide accurate and relatable information regarding drug withdrawal symptoms and drug use.
- At this point, do not attempt to engage the patient in any kind of psychological therapy or counselling. A person experiencing withdrawal may be confused and vulnerable; It is not the right time to start counselling right now.