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Many addictive drugs cause harmful long-term effects when they are abused over and over again. However, quitting is often a double-edged sword due to the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms they can also cause.

If you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may experience some withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit. The duration and severity of drug withdrawal vary depending on the person and the drug(s) being abused, so not every person will experience drug withdrawal symptoms in the same way. Regardless, drug withdrawal can be unpredictable, so quitting drugs and alcohol cold turkey is not generally recommended.

The chart below may give you a better idea of what you can expect during detox and withdrawal. For answers to other common questions about drug detox and withdrawal, please refer to the following resources on the Briarwood blog:

10 Commonly Abused Drugs and Their Withdrawal Symptoms

DRUGWITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS
Alcohol
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Cloudy thoughts
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Alcohol cravings
  • Delirium tremens (vivid hallucinations, delusions, high blood pressure, racing heart, fever, excessive sweating, extreme confusion)1
Cocaine
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Overall discomfort
  • Increased appetite
  • Vivid nightmares
  • Powerful cravings
  • Suicidal thoughts2
Heroin
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Teary eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Yawning
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting3
Marijuana
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Stomach pain
  • Shakiness
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Headache4
Methamphetamine
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Severe depression
  • Psychosis
  • Powerful cravings
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Shakiness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Sleep problems
  • Poor concentration and memory5,6
Prescription Opioids

(Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, Opana, Kadian, Avinza, codeine, fentanyl, etc.)

  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Cold flashes
  • Goosebumps
  • Uncontrollable leg movements
  • Powerful cravings7
Prescription Sedatives and Tranquilizers

(Valium, Klonopin, Xanax, Halcion, Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, Luminal, Nembutal, etc.)

  • Seizures
  • Shakiness
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Overactive reflexes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature/sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Powerful cravings8
Prescription Stimulants

(Adderall, Dexedrine, Ritalin, Concerta, etc.)

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Sleep problems9
Steroids
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleep problems
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Cravings10
Tobacco products

(Cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, dip, etc.)

  • Irritability
  • Problems paying attention
  • Sleep problems
  • Increased appetite
  • Powerful cravings11

Drug withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be severe or even deadly, so it’s important to seek medical attention if you’re trying to get sober. Briarwood Detox Center provides safe, comfortable, and professional medical detox programs for all the addictive substances listed in the chart above. If you’d like to learn more about our medical detox centers and programs in Austin and Houston, please call (888) 857-0557 to speak with an admissions representative today.

 

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/alcohol-withdrawal-symptoms-treatments
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000947.htm
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000949.htm
  4. https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/marijuana-withdrawal-real
  5. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3071736/
  7. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-opioids
  8. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-cns-depressants
  9. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-stimulants
  10. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/anabolic-steroids
  11. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cigarettes-other-tobacco-products
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