Symptoms of Withdrawal for Drugs & Alcohol – Infographic

Symptoms of Withdrawal for Drugs Alcohol 800

What Is Drug Withdrawal?

Drug withdrawal is a physiological response to the sudden quitting or slowing of use of a substance to which the body has grown dependent & may involve different combinations of physical, mental, and emotional symptoms—some of which can prove dangerous if left unmanaged.

Why Does Withdrawal Occur?

When someone regularly drinks alcohol or uses certain drugs, their brain may begin to adjust to the presence of these substances. They may eventually become physiologically dependent on their substance of choice and utterly reliant on it to function and feel “normal.”

Symptoms of Withdrawal from Alcohol

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Racing pulse
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Symptoms of Withdrawal for Opioids & Heroin

  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Frequent yawning
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Muscle cramps/body aches
  • Runny nose
  • Excessive sweating
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Goosebumps

Symptoms of Withdrawal from Benzodiazepine

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Symptoms of Withdrawal from Cocaine

  • Depressed mood
  • Ongoing tiredness or lethargy
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Increased appetite
  • Problems with concentration
  • Slowed thoughts and movements
  • Intense drug craving

How Long Does Withdrawal Last?

  • Alcohol: Usually 24-72 hours after heavy drinking stops and usually lasts for 3-4 days but can last up to 8 days
  • Short-acting opioid withdrawal (heroin and certain prescription painkillers) symptoms generally begin 8-24 hours after last use and last an average of 4-10 days
  • Longer-acting opioids (such as methadone): may take 2-4 days for withdrawal symptoms to emerge & fade within a period of 10 days
  • Benzodiazepines (Xanax & Valium): may begin within 1-4 days after the last use, peaking in severity in the first 2 weeks, but can remain troublesome for months or years without treatment

Can Withdrawal Be Lethal?

If not medically managed, withdrawal from certain substances, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, can be quite severe and, in some cases, lethal. But it’s rare.

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