As any pain management specialist likely knows, there are many things that can cause varying levels of chronic pain here in the United States and in many other places all throughout the world. Drug withdrawal symptoms is just one of them. But though drug withdrawal symptoms only account for one use of the skills that a pain management specialist will have, it is one that is incredibly prevalent, especially here in our country.

In many ways, drug addiction in the United States has become nothing short of an epidemic. In fact, by the time that the year of 2015 had drawn to a close, more than twenty million people in this country alone (who were at the age of twelve or above it) had developed some time of substance abuse disorder. Prescription pain killers were a particularly commonly abused drug – over two million abusers – as was heroin, a drug that very nearly six hundred thousand people were addicted to all throughout the country. In the years that have passed since, this number has only continued to climb.

As any pain management specialist knows, heroin abuse is often directly linked to the use of painkillers, with data backing this up and showing that up to eighty percent of all heroin user first started out using painkillers, particularly prescription painkillers. Some of these people even started out using prescription painkillers in a very legitimate way, but had become addicted by the time that their prescription had run out. As heroin is often far easier to get than your typical prescription painkillers, it is no surprise to any pain management specialist when painkiller addicts become heroin addicts as well.

And aside from opioid addiction and other types of drug addiction, alcohol dependency and full blown alcoholism is also far too prevalent all throughout the United States, as anyone who works at any given alcohol detox center can tell you. In fact, the recently gathered data shows that nearly ten percent of the entire adult population (those who are over the age of eighteen) is struggling with some type of alcohol dependency, though some cases were certainly be more severe than others. Unfortunately, however, it is not uncommon for alcoholics to wait many year – on average, eight in total – before finally seeking treatment, thus making their addiction much more advanced and deeply rooted than if they had been able to seek help earlier on in their disease.

But withdrawal symptoms from drugs alike heroin and alcohol tend to be pretty universally terrible. In fact, sometimes severe withdrawal symptoms can even be dangerous, as is the case for the minority of alcohol withdrawals. But even when withdrawal symptoms are not necessarily dangerous (as they typically are not), they are still incredibly difficult to bear, and it is not recommended that anyone attempt a home detox without the adequate medical supervision that can be provided in a place like a detox clinic.

When you decide to go to a detox clinic or even check into a rehab facility, a pain management specialist is likely to be on board. This pain management specialist can help to ease you through some of the more uncomfortable (read: unbearable) symptoms of your withdrawal, something that will make the chances of relapse far less likely. After all, withdrawal symptoms can be so immensely terrible that the vast majority of people who attempt to detox on their own and without the help of someone like a pain management specialist actually find that they are not able to stay sober even through the process of detoxing itself.

The detox process can be one that lasts for quite some time too, depending on the substance in question. In many cases, the most acute symptoms of withdrawal will fade over the course of just a few days. However, many lingering symptoms of detox can actually last for quite some time – even as long as a year. Some of these symptoms might include insomnia and anxiety, and talking to a mental health professional can help.

Drug addiction is a huge problem here in the United States, no doubt about it. But for all addicts, recovery is very possible.