Author: Charles Frank

What Happens to Your Body During Drug Withdrawal?

what is drug withdrawal

AA groups meet in many different municipalities, and the largest cities also have English-speaking groups. The Päihdelinkki online service maintained by the A-Clinic Foundation contains information on intoxicant abuse and addictions. Some of the AddictionLink services are also available in Swedish, English and Russian. Seek treatment at an A-Clinic through the intoxicant abuse services (päihdepalvelut) of your area of residence. Zorick, Todd; Nestor, Liam; et al. “Withdrawal symptoms in abstinent methamp[…]e-dependent subjects.” Addiction, October 2010.

As most symptoms from cocaine withdrawal are more psychological than physical, there is not a clearly defined cutoff for when they resolve. Most symptoms will be reduced significantly within a few weeks, but some may last for several months. Most of the withdrawal symptoms from meth following the crash tend to be psychological more than physical. Like heroin, it is possible to die from prescription opioid withdrawal but very unlikely.

Stimulant drugs like cocaine are usually fast-acting and wear off quickly, so withdrawal symptoms may start sooner. The term “cold turkey” is used to describe the sudden cessation of use of a substance and the ensuing physiologic manifestations. In order for the symptoms of withdrawal to occur, one must have first developed a form of drug dependence.

Called medical detox, this option is the best for those who may have dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Drugs and alcohol can have powerful effects on the mind and body, particularly after long-term use. As a result, a person who regularly uses large amounts of drugs or alcohol may experience withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop or reduce their substance use. Read on to learn more about the various symptoms, causes, and timelines of substance withdrawal, and how to get help if you or someone you know has lost control of their drug or alcohol use.

what is drug withdrawal

Withdrawal can be different for everyone, so finding a treatment plan that will work for your loved one is crucial. Your loved one may need assistance during withdrawal, which may involve outpatient, residential, or inpatient options. For this reason, you should always talk to your doctor before stopping or reducing your substance use. Alcoholics Anonymous (Anonyymit Alkoholistit), or AA, is a peer association for men and women to share experiences about alcoholism and to help each other recover.

What Causes Drug Withdrawal Symptoms?

Confusion and disorientation are common while withdrawing from substances. Difficulties concentrating along with a slowed thought process are also regularly seen. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is a set of symptoms that can occur after physical withdrawal is completed. These symptoms are primarily psychological and can include cravings, sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression and mood swings. These symptoms can be experienced after withdrawal from any kind of substance and can last for several weeks or months. When drugs or alcohol are used heavily over a long period of time, the receptors in the brain are constantly overstimulated.

  1. Different drugs will activate different types of receptors, causing different symptoms.
  2. Dependence arises in a dose-dependent manner and produces withdrawal symptoms that vary with the type of drug that is consumed.
  3. The exact effects of drug withdrawal symptoms range from person to person.

Withdrawal symptoms from opiates include anxiety, sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include irritability, fatigue, shaking, sweating, and nausea. Withdrawal from nicotine can cause irritability, fatigue, insomnia, headache, and difficulty concentrating.

Treating Drug Withdrawal Symptoms

Having professional medical support during detox can be life-saving if you are a heavy drinker. Dependence arises in a dose-dependent manner and produces withdrawal symptoms that vary with the type of drug that is consumed. For example, prolonged use of an antidepressant medication is likely to cause a rather different reaction when discontinued compared to discontinuation of an opioid, such as heroin.

what is drug withdrawal

Drug withdrawal symptoms can also be severe if the user consumes higher doses. One common saying in the addiction world is that withdrawing from certain substances can kill you, and withdrawing from others can make you feel like you want to die. Depending on the type of withdrawal you experience, you may have symptoms that last from days to weeks, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine normally produce psychological symptoms, while alcohol, prescription drugs, and heroin can cause a range of physical and psychological symptoms.

What Happens to Your Body During Drug Withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal is more likely to be fatal than any other type of withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal can cause delirium tremens, a life-threatening condition that is fatal in 37% of people who develop it but do not find treatment. For example, opioids overstimulate opioid receptors and cause a dulled sensation of pain. The brain reduces the sensitivity of opioid receptors, causing the brain’s sensitivity to pain to return to roughly normal.

Drug withdrawal

The relief of withdrawal symptoms through the use of medical intervention and medication is a top priority. Physical reactions refer to any of the physical, bodily symptoms that result from suddenly quitting using drugs. Fatigue and lethargy are common symptoms caused by many substances because of the toll drugs take on the body.

Their body learns to function under the influence and eventually needs substances to exist. The timeline for withdrawal varies significantly based on the substance, how heavily the substance was used and your overall health. Physical withdrawal symptoms will normally begin within 24 hours for most people and last one to two weeks. Psychological symptoms like cravings are not considered true withdrawal symptoms, but they can last for several weeks or even months.

Substance dependence

While the physical symptoms of withdrawal might last only a few days or a week, the psychological withdrawal, such as depression or dysphoria, can last much longer. Fortunately, there are detox methods that can help prevent you from having any symptoms at all so you can experience a safer, more comfortable recovery. The time it takes to begin symptoms varies widely based on the specific medication and whether it is formulated to release slowly or quickly. Symptoms can begin eight to 48 hours after the last use and can last between four to 20 days, depending on the specific medication. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms will normally start within 8 hours, peak within 36 to 72 hours and last for two to 10 days. How heavily a substance is used will also be an important factor, as this will determine how severely receptors have been suppressed.