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What is Withdrawal

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Withdrawal is different for each person, depending on the substance they have abused, as well as how long and how much they have been using it. Withdrawal syndrome is defined by a variety of signs and symptoms associated with abruptly stopping the use of a substance or the rapid reduction of the dose of drugs or alcohol. It is characterized by the over activity of the physiological functions that were suppressed by the substance and/or depression of the functions that were stimulated by the substance. For example, if drugs were used to suppress pain, when stopping the drug the individual will experience extreme pain along with various other withdrawal symptoms.

Physical Dependency Resulting in Withdrawal

When abusing drugs or alcohol, your body will begin to develop a tolerance which means you will require higher doses of the substance to achieve the desired effects. As your dose increases, as does your risk of developing a physical dependency to the substance you are abusing.

Prolonged use of drugs and alcohol often results in a physical dependency, addiction. When dependent on drugs or alcohol, you will be consumed by the thoughts and actions of using more regardless to the negative effects it has on your health, social life and financial situation. When you abruptly stop the use of drugs or alcohol, or drastically educe the dosage, you will begin to experience various withdrawal symptoms. Without appropriate treatment you could return to drugs or alcohol for comfort from these symptoms of withdrawal, or experience dangerous symptoms that could pose a risk to your health.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

When stopping the use of drugs or alcohol, withdrawal symptoms typically will begin within 4 to 72 hours depending on the severity of your addiction. You will experience a wide array of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms which my include but are not limited to:

  • dilated pupils
  • goose bumps
  • watery eyes
  • runny nose
  • yawning
  • loss of appetite
  • tremors
  • panic
  • chills
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • muscle cramps
  • insomnia
  • stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • shaking
  • chills or profuse sweating
  • depression
  • irritability
  • jitters
  • increased sensitivity to pain

Controlling Withdrawal With Detoxification

Without treatment withdrawal symptoms can become rather painful, often resulting in health concerns or you turning back to drugs or alcohol to find comfort. Turning to a treatment facility for detoxification services will get you the help you need. Your needs will be assessed and an individualized treatment plan will be put in place to ensure you get the care you need to successfully overcome the withdrawal period and your addiction.

During the detoxification process you will be monitored carefully by chemical dependency specialist and medical staff to ensure your safety and comfort during this process. With 24-7 supportive care, you will have staff by your side to help comfort you in knowing that all you are experiencing is normal and soon will pass. If needed, your doctor may prescribe a prescription medication to ease symptoms of withdrawal.

The detoxification processes last as long as the withdrawal period, on average 2 weeks. Once you complete this process you will be able to continue on through the remainder of your treatment if your choose, or you will be released with a referral for outpatient treatment services.

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For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the Withdrawal.org helpline is a private and convenient solution.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC), a paid advertiser on Withdrawal.org.

AAC representatives are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. These representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. This helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither Withdrawal.org nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit AmericanAddictionCenters.org. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.