Drug Withdrawal

Drug withdrawal is a reaction the body can have if a person suddenly stops using illegal drugs, prescription medications, or alcohol. This can occur if the person has been using drugs, medications, or alcohol regularly. Depending on the type and amount of the substance you were using, withdrawal can be a life-threatening condition.

  • Causes

    Drug withdrawal can be caused by medications, alcohol, or illegal drugs.

  • Definition

    Drug withdrawal is a reaction the body can have if a person suddenly stops using illegal drugs, prescription medications, or alcohol. This can occur if the person has been using drugs, medications, or alcohol regularly. Depending on the type and amount of the substance you were using, withdrawal can be a life-threatening condition.

  • Diagnosis

    You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done through blood and urine tests.

  • Prevention

    To help reduce your chances of developing drug withdrawal, take the following steps:

    • Attend regular support group meetings.
    • Avoid people and situations where drugs are available.
    • Inform all healthcare providers of your history with drugs.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that increase your chances of drug withdrawal include:


    • Sudden stopping of
      illegal drugs, prescription medications,
      or
      alcohol
    • Substance abuse
    • Psychological dependence and addiction

  • Symptoms

    Withdrawal symptoms are different based on what you used. Symptoms may include:

    • Marijuana—loss of appetite, chills, weight loss, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, irritability, feeling restless or nervous

    • Alcohol—shaking, hallucinations, seizures, confusion,
      anxiety, sweating, nausea
    • Barbiturates—weakness, tremors, hallucinations, lack of appetite, seizures

    • Opioids—abdominal pain or cramps, muscle aches, panic, tremors, sweating, nausea,
      diarrhea, fever, chills, irritability, goose pimples, runny nose, drug craving, inability to sleep, yawning
    • Benzodiazepines—abdominal pain or cramps, fast heartbeat, vomiting, tremors, seizures, anxiety

    • Cocaine—anxiety, feeling tired,
      depression
    • Amphetamines—depression, irritability, sleeping too much, muscle aches, abdominal pain
    Anxiety
    Physical reaction anxiety
    Anxiety is a symptom of drug withdrawal from substances like cocaine and alcohol.
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  • Treatment


    Talk with your doctor about the best
    treatment plan for you.
    Treatment options
    include one or more of the following: