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: 5 to 7 days
- Marijuana withdrawal: 5 days
- Opiate withdrawal: 4 to 14 days
- Stimulant withdrawal: 1 to 2 weeks
- Nicotine withdrawal: 2 to 4 weeks
- Benzos withdrawal: 1 to 4 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.
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 Be Psychological
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.
In addition to anxiety, irritability, depression and sadness, psychological drug withdrawal can bring about a sense of hopelessness.
Feeling lonely and socially isolated is especially challenging during this time. You don’t want to hang out with friends who still use drugs. However, your loved ones who haven’t experienced addiction might not understand what you’re going through.
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.