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The Different Challenges of Quitting Alcohol Versus Drugs

The Different Challenges of Quitting Alcohol Versus Drugs

Alcohol addiction is more prevalent than addiction to drugs like opium

Society differentiates between those addicted to alcohol and drugs, and while both have their own unique challenges, in the end they are both a strong form of addiction. Some parts of quitting alcohol may be more challenging while opium has its own unique difficulties. Addiction is never easy and it is not fair to say recovering from one addiction is easier than another. To overcome your addiction you will need to understand what you are up against and get professional help to treat the cause. The real challenge is figuring out why you keep using drugs despite the consequences, and rehab is the best way to discover that.

Drugs are Illegal but Widely Available

Because alcohol is legal and available at the corner store and social gatherings some people assume it is harder to stay away from when you are trying to quit. It is true that alcoholics are faced with triggers such as advertising and associating with people that drink, but be careful not to understate the availability of opium and other drugs.

No one advertises for opium but once you are a user it seems like it finds you, not the other way around. It is easier to walk past a flashing neon sign advertising beer than it is to turn down a dealer trying to hook you up with drugs. Fellow users or dealers may deride you for quitting or offer better deals trying to get you to start buying again. Some opium users move to different cities or states to run away from their addiction only to meet a new dealer in the first month. There is nowhere you can run to get away from opium or any other addiction. No matter what you use, it will always be available; you have to make the choice to quit.[1]

Differences in Withdrawal Symptoms

Opiates are perceived as one of the most addictive types of drugs partly because of their severe withdrawal symptoms. The severity of withdrawals can vary depending on the substance of abuse but there are other factors at play as well such as how long you have been addicted and your rate of abuse.

Opiate withdrawals are similar whether you are addicted to codeine or opium, but the more addictive the drug the faster and stronger the onset of symptoms. Opium is considered one of the weakest opiates, but all powerful opioids such as heroin or oxycodone are synthesized from opium. Since the effects of other opiates are more powerful you may think opium is safer, but you can end up just as hooked. Opium withdrawals may start out with minor symptoms such as sweating, increased agitation, or anxiety but before withdrawal is over you will experience some of the vomiting, violent chills, and nausea that are usually associated with heroin addiction.[2] Symptoms are similar for all opiates and while opiate withdrawals are not life threatening they can be very uncomfortable and impossible to manage without help.

Most people have witnessed someone going through alcohol withdrawals at one point in time. That uncle with shaky hands in the morning, the co-worker that starts getting snappy halfway through their shift –The commonness of alcoholism has turned withdrawals into something of a joke. but they are a real threat to addicts. Unlike opium withdrawals, quitting alcohol cold turkey can be deadly.[3] Most people experience some symptoms that are similar to opiates, including sweating and insomnia, but if you use alcohol for years on end, quitting abruptly can be dangerous. Over time your body adjusts to alcohol and expects its presence. When you stop abruptly your bodily processes go haywire because you are not accustomed to being sober. Long-time addicts can suffer from seizures and other dangerous side effects without proper supervision.

No Addiction Is Easy to Beat

It does not matter if you are addicted to alcohol or to opium; if you want to quit you will need help. Call our toll-free helpline today and speak with a trained addiction expert who can give you all the direction you need to locate effective treatment for your addiction. We are standing by 24 hours a day to take your call and want to help you enroll in a top quality rehab program so you can recover from your addiction. If you keep trying to control substance abuse on your own you will find yourself sliding backwards. Stop wasting your effort and get real treatment for your addiction. Through rehab you will be able to attend therapy, support groups, and other classes to learn about and target your addiction. Call now to find out if your health insurance will help pay for rehab and we will refer you to a clinic where you can start your recovery.


[1] When Rehab Is a Revolving Door by Liz Neporent

[2] Opiate Withdrawal

[3] Alcohol, Benzo, and Opiates –Withdrawal that Might Kill You