About Withdrawal from Drugs and Alcohol
Withdrawal from drugs is a serious process and one that should be handled with care by a professional. The characteristics of withdrawal depend of the drug that is being discontinued and the amount of time the substance was used. Symptoms may include anxiety, fatigue, sweating, vomiting, depression, hallucinations, and seizures.
Below are symptoms and estimates for withdrawal of some major substances.
- Benzodiazepines: anxiety and/or seizures lasting weeks or even months
- Heroin and prescription painkillers: flu-like symptoms lasting 24-48 hours
- Cocaine: depression and restlessness lasting 7-10 days
- Alcohol: tremors and/or seizures lasting three days to several weeks
Addictive drugs and alcohol make changes to the brain and the way it processes emotions and regulates mood. Once dependence of a substance has been formed, withdrawal symptoms will start when use of that substance is removed. Drugs are absorbed and remain active in the body for differing amounts of time, this is referred to as the drug’s “half-life.” A drug’s “half-life” refers to the different withdrawal timelines for each substance.
A number of factors will contribute to the severity and duration of withdrawal, including:
- Type of substance abused
- Length of time abusing the substance
- Method of abuse (injecting, swallowing, snorting, or smoking)
- Amount taken at each use
- Medical and mental health factors
- Family history and genetic makeup
Seeking the help of a professional for detox from drugs and alcohol can assist in the management of withdrawal symptoms and reduce possible complications throughout the recovery process. Continued care for addiction treatment from professionals in an intensive outpatient atmosphere can help in the overall recovery process and in prevention of relapse. For additional information about detox and/or treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, please contact A New Start, Inc. today at 1.844.TALK.ANS.