What to Expect From Withdrawal

Anyone that stopped or significantly reduced their drug or alcohol use knows that it can come with severe and difficult symptoms. Withdrawal is not pleasant and most often the person chooses to use the substance instead of dealing with the symptoms they are facing. Withdrawn symptoms differ based on each individual. The symptoms a person has during withdrawal change based on the type of drug being used, the length of time for use, and the number of drugs being used. In addition to the symptoms changing, so do the intensity and length of time for withdrawal.


What Causes Withdrawal?

The brain and body work together to create balance within it. When an individual uses any type of substance, it changes the balance between them. As a result, the body and the brain must work to change levels to find balance again. The substance taken has an impact on the award center of the brain. Once it is triggered, it releases chemicals that feel good. The longer a person uses a substance, the more tolerant they become to it. This means they must continue to take larger amounts of the substances to get the same feeling. The body also becomes dependent on the substance in the body. This means they must continue to use it so they do not feel those withdrawal symptoms in the body. Any abrupt change to the use of a substance throws the body into imbalance. This imbalance causes withdrawal symptoms, which are mental and physical. Most often, the withdrawal symptoms are the opposite of how the substance makes the individual feel while using it.

What are Withdrawal Symptoms?

While the symptoms of withdrawal vary from person to person, as well as other factors, there are some common withdrawal symptoms a person can expect.

These symptoms include:

  • Mood changes and irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and restlessness
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Shaking and sweating
  • Depression and anxiety

There are some more serious symptoms that may occur, such as seizures, hallucinations, and delirium. The physical symptoms may last a few days or a week, but the psychological symptoms tend to last for a longer period of time.

How to Identify Withdrawal

Many people understand what they are feeling is withdrawal because they have significantly reduced the amount of substance they use, or completely stopped using it. This can happen by simply stopping the use of coffee in the morning. Some of these symptoms include irritability, fatigue, and headache. The more a substance is used than the greater the withdrawal will be. If an individual plans to stop using drugs, they should contact their doctor or seek help from a facility such as The Palm Beach Institute. If a person attempts withdrawal on their own, it could be dangerous and not as successful as when going through assisted withdrawal. A medical professional can help the person through the withdrawal and provide some assistance that may help to reduce the withdrawal symptoms.

Helpful Resources

North Palm Health Recovery

Yahoo Gov News

The Palm Beach Institute

Baptist Health Recovery

KHN Health News


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