Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal and Psychoactive Substances: A Risky Combination

shelves with bottles of supplements

Caffeine. Alcohol. Marijuana. Natural supplements like melatonin or valerian, kava or ginseng. If so many people use one or more of these substances for years, what could be the possible harm of using them during psychiatric drug withdrawal?

Some people grappling with symptoms of psychiatric drug withdrawal seek out psychoactive substances as a means of better coping and find them to be reliably beneficial. But many others in the withdrawal community describe reaching a point at which they have to accept that all bets are off when it comes to predicting how a psychoactive substance will affect them.

For example, during psychiatric drug withdrawal, some find that that ritual cup of coffee starts triggering palpitations or even panic. For others, alcohol stops feeling calming, and instead starts shooting levels of anxiety off the scale. Some describe how cannabis eventually stops affording them a pleasant sense of peace and instead leaves them overwhelmed by despair.

With reactions to psychoactive substances so individual and so unpredictable during the psychiatric drug taper journey, many people simply make it a rule of thumb to avoid using these substances entirely for the duration of their withdrawal. To learn more about some of the how’s and why’s of this topic, check out “The Possible Risks of Using Recreational Drugs, Supplements, Herbs, and Other Substances with Psychoactive Effects During Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal.