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Article Summary

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable physical or mental changes that happen when the body is deprived of the alcohol or drugs that it is accustomed to getting. Withdrawal symptoms can last a few days to a few weeks and may include nausea or vomiting, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety. Keep in mind; withdrawal symptoms only occur if a person has regular, heavy use of a drug or alcohol. Drug withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable without professional help. Treatment for withdrawal from alcohol or drugs may require a medical professional to be present. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation is often the best way to overcome withdrawal symptoms and recovery from drug addiction.

Types of Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms at times may be severe, if not life threatening. Withdrawal symptoms have many variables. Everything from the type of drug, quantity of regular use, to the length of time the drug was abused, factors into how intense or mild an individuals drug withdrawal experience will be. As mentioned, the type of drug used plays an important part in determining the length and severity of withdrawal symptoms. An example would be withdrawal from methadone; an individual who uses methadone over a period of several months to years and decides to discontinue use will experience a longer and more painful withdrawal than an individual who discontinues using heroin.

Signs of Drug Use

There are a number of different signs to signify withdrawal symptoms depending on the drug of abuse. More noticeable signs are associated to certain drugs. However, there are some withdrawal symptoms that are associated with all drug use. The information listed will discuss withdrawal symptoms of illicit or illegal drugs instead of the legal drugs in the same category.

Common withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Weight loss . A loss of appetite occurs when someone is addicted to drugs due to the body.s constant craving of the drug. An appetite for the drug exceeds a normal appetite for food. 
  • Paranoia . Although this happens more frequently in certain drugs than others. Paranoia is a common occurrence in a person addicted to drugs. The drug disrupts normal mental functions creating an obsessive thought that someone is out to get them. Drugs impair normal brain functions that confuse the brain.s senses and perceptions. 
  • Preoccupation . Drug addicts become preoccupied and often desperate in searching and acquiring drugs. Many will go to any lengths to obtain the drug of choice and that includes stealing, lying, fraud, and even violent crimes. A drug addict will likely steal from anyone or ask for money with no intentions on paying anyone back. Therefore, relationships, employment, health and hygiene often suffer.

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