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Choosing to Quit

Withdrawal, Hospital Treatment, Recovery Programs

Lee Ann eventually hit rock bottom when Brian broke up with her. He said that he could no longer watch her destroy her life, and stopped filling her prescriptions. Lee Ann was making her family miserable with worry. She left home and stopped going to school altogether. When she couldn't find a place to stay, Lee Ann was a wreck. She didn't know what to do.

Lee Ann saw a drug hotline advertised on television and decided to call. She talked to a trained counselor. The counselor told her to check herself into the hospital. Lee Ann was scared. She was already suffering from some withdrawal symptoms. The counselor urged Lee Ann to call her parents and ask them to take her to the hospital for treatment. It was difficult to do, but her parents were relieved when she called. They told her they would support her as best they could. Lee Ann had made the first step toward recovery.

It's not easy to quit abusing any drug. Depressant withdrawal can be even more difficult because you need medical supervision to stop. The withdrawal symptoms of barbiturates and benzodiazepines are very dangerous. Addicts should not try to quit these drugs without medical help. If an addict tries to stop alone, his or her life is at risk.

While quitting depressants is not easy making the choice to quit will save your life. Because many people who are addicted to drugs can't afford treatment, special programs are available to help low-income patients. If you, or someone you know, needs help, contact your local public health department. They will tell you where to go for help in your area. There are hotlines listed at the end of this book that will also tell you what services are available to you.

Once a person is addicted to depressants, he or she may be afraid to try to quit. Going into the hospital can sound scary. It's important to remember, though, that quitting is worth it. Drug addiction destroys any normal life you can have. Quitting will give you your life back.

It's also important to know what happens when you decide to quit. Understanding the process will help you overcome your fear. The process of overcoming physical dependency is the first step.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaCommon Street Drugs