Many people who struggle with addiction want to stop using drugs. However, they’re afraid of the withdrawal symptoms. This is an understandable fear. Drug withdrawal symptoms can be agonizing. Every drug produces different withdrawal symptoms. Individuals also experience withdrawal differently. Understanding withdrawal is important if you’re trying to quit or helping a loved one through treatment.
Withdrawal Can Be Intense
For individuals who don’t use drugs, the body produces its own mood-enhancing chemicals. Many drugs interfere with this process, throwing off the body’s natural balance.
When you stop using drugs, the body may react by overproducing certain chemicals in an effort to catch up. On the other hand, the body may take time to respond, leaving you without a natural way to feel better.
Drug withdrawal can make you feel like you’re dying. You may think that the fastest way to feel better is to start using again. Understanding the timelines for drug withdrawal can help you make a plan for getting through it.
The following timelines give you an idea of the acute withdrawal period for different drugs:
- Alcohol withdrawal: five to seven days
- Marijuana withdrawal: five days
- Opiate withdrawal: four to 14 days
- Stimulant withdrawal: one to two weeks
- Nicotine withdrawal: two to four weeks
- Benzos withdrawal: one to four weeks
Physical Drug Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms usually contrast with the effects of the drugs. For example, if a drug makes you feel calm, you may experience anxiety and a racing heart when you stop taking it.
Physical withdrawal from almost every drug involves flu-like symptoms. You may feel sick to your stomach, have chills and a fever and ache all over. Hot flashes and sweating might keep you up all night.
Withdrawal from some drugs can be dangerous. If you’ve been chronically abusing alcohol, quitting cold turkey can be deadly. Unassisted benzodiazepine withdrawal can also be fatal.
The physical symptoms of drug withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Muscle cramps
- Extreme anxiety or agitation
Some of these symptoms can be quite severe and may require medical attention. It is important to seek help if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, as they can be dangerous if left untreated.
Seeking proper medical care during withdrawal can help you manage your symptoms and stay safe throughout the process. In some cases, undergoing treatment during withdrawal can eliminate physical symptoms altogether.
Drug Withdrawal Symptoms Can Also Be Psychological
When people are addicted to drugs, they will often experience psychological withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit. This can make it very difficult to stop using drugs, as the person may feel like they are unable to cope without them.
Mental and emotional symptoms of drug withdrawal can be just as intense as physical symptoms. In some cases, they can be worse. It’s easy to feel like you’ll never get out of the frenzied and depressive detox state.
Some of the most common psychological withdrawal symptoms include the following. Everyone is different, so you may only experience a few of these symptoms:
People with a drug addiction may experience a great deal of anxiety when they try to quit. This can be accompanied by feelings of panic, apprehension, and fear.
Many people who are addicted to drugs also suffer from depression. Quitting drugs can intensify these symptoms, leading to a deep sense of sadness and hopelessness.
Withdrawal from drugs can often cause people to become irritable and short-tempered. They may find it difficult to control their emotions and may lash out at those around them.
One of the most common psychological withdrawal symptoms is cravings for the drugs that were once abused. People may obsess over the drug, thinking about it constantly and wanting to use it again.
Drug addiction can often cause people to have problems sleeping. When they try to quit, they may experience insomnia or nightmares as their body tries to adjust.
Quitting drugs can also cause people to feel extremely tired and fatigued. This can make it difficult to carry out everyday tasks and can be very discouraging.
Loss of appetite
Many people who are addicted to drugs have problems with their appetite. When they try to quit, they may lose their interest in food and experience weight loss.
In some cases, quitting drugs can cause people to experience psychosis. This is a condition that causes a person to lose contact with reality and may experience hallucinations or delusions.
A Drug Addiction Treatment Center Can Help
Getting support at a rehab center can make you feel like you have a lifeline. Contact Crestview Recovery at 866-580-4160 to begin your journey to addiction recovery.