Author: Charles Frank

Stimulant Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, & Finding A Detox Center

stimulant withdrawal

Opioid withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and difficult for the patient. It is very common for people who complete withdrawal management to relapse to drug use. It is unrealistic to think that withdrawal management will lead to sustained abstinence. Rather, withdrawal management is an important first step before a patient commences psychosocial treatment. Abruptly stopping benzodiazepines or heavy alcohol use can be dangerous, even life-threatening, and medical supervision is widely recommended. Stopping moderate alcohol use or opiates, and immediately precipitating withdrawal, is extremely unpleasant but not generally physically dangerous.

  1. There are no approved medications to treat stimulant dependence, despite decades of research.
  2. Those with co-occurring mental disorders and/or addictions to other substances may experience more severe symptoms, as well as a longer withdrawal process.
  3. For the most part, as soon as the effects of the drug wear off, a person may experience a crash.
  4. However, until further research has established the efficacy of the medication for this purpose, it is not recommended for use in closed settings.
  5. A tapering schedule involves slowly reducing the dosage of a stimulant over time.
  6. Side effects such as sadness, decreased heart rate, and decreased blood pressure are generally seen only with chronic high-dose use.

Irritability, agitation, restlessness, and sleep disruption are common withdrawal symptoms for many drugs, as are muscle cramps, headaches, and changes in blood pressure and heart rate. Drug cravings can be fierce, and fear of withdrawal symptoms often drives continued drug use. Given the nonselective monoaminergic actions of cocaine and methamphetamine, possible targets include the dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), and norepinephrine (NE) systems (Herin, Rush, & Grabowski, 2010). While most symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are not life-threatening, depression and other mental health concerns that may occur are linked to suicide. Therefore, it is important to seek professional support if any mental health concerns emerge when going through nicotine withdrawal. A drug treatment center will give those suffering from stimulant addiction their best chance at a successful recovery.

What are Detox Medications?

The psychological withdrawal from stimulants can be especially severe, leading some former users to relapse; others may even become suicidal or violent. For this reason, stimulant users are advised to seek professional medical help when quitting the drugs. The greater the amount of opioid used by the patient the greater the dose of codeine phosphate required to control withdrawal symptoms.

The stimulant cocaine has a very short half-life; acute withdrawal can begin as little as 90 minutes after the last dose, peaks around 3 days, and lasts a week to 10 days. Bupropion is used for depression and smoking cessation; its actions include inhibition of the DA transporter. Human laboratory studies with bupropion have been equivocal (Oliveto et al., 2001; Stoops, Lile, Glaser, Hays, & Rush, 2012). There was no differential effect as a function of comorbid ADHD or depression.

Its actions and effects are similar to those of the amphetamines (Kalix, Brenneisen, Koelbing, Fisch, & Mathys, 1991). With increasing frequency, khât use has been seen in Europe and North America, making it a concern on a global scale. Bupropion, commonly used as an anti-depressant, has shown mixed results in treating stimulant-related disorders in clinical trials.

Recent Activity

Substances can change the way neurotransmitters function, which changes the way substance users think, feel, act, and experience the environment. Depending on the substance, neurotransmitter activity can increase or decrease. When the substance is stopped or decreased, the person experiences withdrawal. The processes of becoming tolerant, dependent, and addicted involve changes in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers in the brain and body that send messages between cells. This is how the body and brain communicate to allow a person to think, feel, act, and experience the environment.

It is often used in conjunction with the opioid antagonist, naloxone., which blocks euphoric effects. Both alcohol and benzodiazepine drugs are central nervous system depressants; abruptly stopping leads to nervous system excitation. In a small percentage of cases, especially following long periods of heavy alcohol use, withdrawal can be life-threatening, leading to seizures. Because it is not always possible to predict who will experience complications and who will not, medical supervision is generally advised for a period of detoxification. Detoxification typically involves individualized treatment with medications that mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal and diminish the risk of complications such as seizures. Most stimulant withdrawal symptoms will end anywhere from 96 hours to a few weeks after the last dose of the drug is taken.

stimulant withdrawal

The safest way to manage benzodiazepine withdrawal is to give benzodiazepines in gradually decreasing amounts. This helps to relieve benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms and prevent the development of seizures. When used appropriately they are very effective in treating these disorders. However, when used for an extended period of time (e.g. several weeks), dependence can develop. Because of its pharmacological action (partial opiate agonist), buprenorphine should only be given after the patient begins to experience withdrawal symptoms (i.e. at least eight hours after last taking heroin).

Stimulant Detox

Stimulant addiction treatment involves non-confrontational behavioral counseling that provides general information about the addiction process and specifics about the individual treatment plan. One such method, contingency management, gives patients rewards for positive behaviors, aiding their efforts to stop using stimulants. In addition to initial individual counseling, a treatment plan for a stimulant-related disorder usually includes setting up abstinence goals, attending group therapy, encouraging family support, and establishing long-term support and follow-up. Although marijuana is commonly believed to not be harmful, 47% of people who use the substance regularly experience withdrawal symptoms.

Management of mild alcohol withdrawal (AWS score 1-

The L-enantiomer has peripheral alpha-adrenergic activity and has been used as a nasal decongestant. The D-enantiomer is a powerful stimulant with 3–5 times the CNS activity of the L-enantiomer. Given its pharmacokinetics and low cost, methamphetamine tends to be self-administered chronically and continuously in high doses when used in nonmedical contexts (Winger, Woods, & Hofmann, 2004). Treatment of psychostimulant addiction has been a major, and not fully met, challenge. For opioid addiction, there is strong evidence for the effectiveness of several medications. For psychostimulants, there is no corresponding form of agonist maintenance that has met criteria for regulatory approval or generally accepted use.

They reach a peak at 24 to 48 hours, and they resolve after four to 10 days. Stopping alcohol consumption often brings on “the shakes,” or tremors, most noticeable as uncontrollable shaking in the hands. Tremors may begin 5-10 hours after the last drink and typically peak 24 to 78 hours after the last drink but can last for several weeks. Shakes reflect the fact that alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and, over the course of substance use, to counteract the sedative effect of heavy alcohol consumption, some nerve circuits of the brain rev up their activity levels. In the immediate aftermath of discontinuing heavy alcohol use, the brain has not yet had time to adapt to the absence of alcohol.

Managing Symptoms Of Stimulant Withdrawal

Stimulant-use disorders remain prevalent and can result in both short-term and long-term adverse consequences. In this paper, we discuss those interventions and some promising candidates in the search for pharmacological interventions. The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medical supervision is crucial to ensure a person’s safety and provide necessary physical and emotional care during detox. During the detox process, it’s common to experience depression and thoughts of suicide. In general, the worst is over by this point for those with stimulant addiction.

Patients who exhibit severe psychiatric symptoms should be referred to a hospital for appropriate assessment and treatment. The length of time between each dose reduction should be based on the presence and severity of withdrawal symptoms. The longer the interval between reductions, the more comfortable and safer the withdrawal. Generally, there should be at least one week between dose reductions.

Blockade of µ-opioid receptors by NTX attenuated the subjective effects of amphetamine in patients with amphetamine-use disorder under double-blind conditions (Jayaram-Lindstrom et al., 2008). Naltrexone hydrochloride (NTX) is a non-selective competitive antagonist at opioid receptors. The mechanism of action of NTX in alcoholism is not fully understood, but preclinical data suggest that it may partly involve blockade of the effects of endogenous opioids (Chiu, Ma, & Ho, 2005). Given their abuse potential, diversion can and does occur (Sembower, Ertischek, Buchholtz, Dasgupta, & Schnoll, 2013; Sweeney, Sembower, Ertischek, Shiffman, & Schnoll, 2013).