An individual who becomes dependent on a drug or alcohol may experience withdrawal syndromes. It may also result in relapse if not addressed properly and immediately. As a person continues to abuse any substance and then reduce its consumption immediately, it can result in withdrawal symptoms.

What is the Withdrawal?

Withdrawal symptoms are also known as discontinuation syndrome, it transpires when an individual develops a physiological dependence on a certain drug or alcohol and automatically reduce or quits their intakes of it.

The risk of having a series of symptoms depends on how long an individual uses any substance and how much they consume. A person will experience more serious withdrawal symptoms when drugs or alcohol are used for a long time and with a higher dosage. 

There are different types of symptoms based on the substance abused by a person. Let’s discuss different types of substances that can cause withdrawal and what withdrawal looks like in general. 

Opioid Withdrawal

Opioids are drugs that are mostly used for severe pain control. These are also widely identified as psychoactive substances. Opioids can be drugs like morphine, heroin or hydrochloride, Oxycontin, codeine, and methadone. They create mental relaxation, relief from pain and euphoria.

Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol is the number one most widely abused substance, and most young people who have an addiction are also caused by alcohol. It develops when an individual stops or minimize the consumption of alcohol automatically.

When the alcohol that was consumed starts to drop and they have developed a dependency, an individual starts to experience symptoms of alcohol withdrawals. 

Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome

Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome occurs when there is an interruption of SSRI (Selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitor) or SNRI (Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) medications.

Antipsychotic withdrawal syndrome

Antipsychotics are drugs that are responsible for and are licensed to treat different types of mental health problems. This type is present when an individual decides to reduce or even quit using antipsychotics.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome

Benzodiazepines are commonly used for anxiety and several other psychological conditions, and it works by affecting the neurotransmitters in the brain. Withdrawal from using the drug appears when a person reduces dosage or even stops using the drug.

Cannabis withdrawal

Cannabis also is known as Marijuana, is on the list of substances commonly abused by individuals because of its addictive chemicals which can give a euphoric sensation. Cannabis withdrawal is a form of withdrawal associated with marijuana. 

Nicotine withdrawal

Although smoking cigarettes is already a bad habit, many people still abuse the substance because of its addictive qualities. When a person becomes dependent on nicotine or decides to quit smoking, that person will not only suffer from lung-related diseases but also withdrawals.

How long does withdrawal syndrome last?

Different substance abuse may result in different side-effects. The span of withdrawals cannot be determined exactly because any individual who suffers from addiction has a unique case, most cases are different from one another.

As each substance is different from each other, they also differ when it comes to timelines. Listed below is an overview of different drugs and their withdrawal timeline.

  • Heroin: according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse begins within the last dosage, occurs within 24 to 48 hours and continues for a week to a week (which sometimes lasts for months), including signs.
  • Prescribed opiates (for instance, Vicodin, Oxycontin, methadone and moral): withdrawal for most prescription opiates begins in 8–12 hours, occurs in 12 to 48 hours and usually lasts 5 to 10 days. The retreat of methadone by the Cambridge Health Partnership occurs within 24-48 hours, increases within the first couple of days and lasts 2-4 weeks.
  • Withdrawal may start within 1 to 4 days and peak within the first two weeks (such as Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan). In some cases, the extensive drug and alcohol addiction manual allows for prolonged withdrawal for months or even years without treatment.
  • Cocaine: withdrawal begins within hours of the last dose, peaks within a few days and lasts for a week to 10 weeks.
  • Alcohol: Withdrawal usually starts within eight hours of the last drink and continues for 24-72 hours until a few days after drinking.

What causes the symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms have the same effect when you skip your normal routines like when you skip your 10 minutes exercise in the morning you may experience trouble with concentration or the feeling that your day isn’t complete. Withdrawal is a problem that troubles an individual whenever they try to reduce or even end their usage of any substance.

The body responds when the chemicals from drugs or alcohol are not present in the system because the body is already dependent on the drug, which means that the chemicals from the drug are already part of your body’s functions. As a result, the body adjusts to it and has made to compensate for the presence of the chemicals that is once present in the system those results in a sudden shift of the body.

What are the symptoms of withdrawal?

Some of the known symptoms may include:

Mental and Emotional Symptoms

Physical Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Chest
  • Heart
  • Muscle
  • Skin

Dangerous Symptoms

  • Seizures
  • Heart attack
  • Strokes
  • Hallucination
  • Delirium

How to deal with Symptoms?

A person dealing with withdrawal symptoms should always consult a doctor because they know how to handle such symptoms and manage its effects. This is a major source of relapse.

There are things that you can do to fight back withdrawal symptoms:

  • Enroll in a detox program
  • Regular exercise, and yoga for stretching and mind meditation
  • Have a balanced diet
  • Stay hydrated
  • Create a sleeping schedule
  • Join groups which advocate for the fight against addiction
  • Try other relaxing methods such as massages, and other alternative medicine options

Withdrawal symptoms can be treated, there are a lot of things that you can do to counter withdrawal symptoms, you just have to pick the best for you.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.