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Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms

Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms

Clinically referred to as substance use disorder (SUD), addiction, is a complex, chronic neurological disorder that is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). It is characterized by “drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.” An individual struggling with addiction will prioritize satisfying her cravings above all else, which can wreak havoc in all areas of her life. The habitual abuse of drugs and/ or alcohol causes an individual to develop a tolerance to the abused substance or substances. When a drug tolerance is built, one’s body begins to rely on the substance to function. The typical treatment process for substance use disorder is comprised of three stages in sequential order: the detox stage, formal treatment program, and aftercare. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explains detox as “a set of interventions aimed at managing acute intoxication and withdrawal. It denotes a clearing of toxins from the body of the patient who is acutely intoxicated and/ or dependent on substances of abuse.” Withdrawal symptoms will manifest during detox, as one’s body is devoid of the previously abused substance. Withdrawal symptoms are adverse symptoms that occur because of ceasing the use of a substance with which one’s body has become accustomed.

Withdrawal Symptoms

An individual’s detox experience will depend on a variety of contributing factors. These could include one’s personal health history, the type of substance abused, the potency of the substance, the frequency of abuse, the length of time the individual abused the substance, if she simultaneously abused other substances, and the presence of any co-morbid disorders. Below are examples of withdrawal symptoms specifically related to the following substances, respectively:

  • Alcohol: vomiting, sweating, headaches, nausea, anxiety, hand tremors, confusion, restlessness, insomnia, loss of appetite, rapid heart rate
  • Benzodiazepine: heart palpitations, shaking, irritability, sleep disturbances, dry heaving, nausea, anxiety, sweating, muscle pain, headache, panic attacks, elevated blood pressure, agitation, difficulty concentrating, muscle stiffness
  • Opiates: diarrhea, vomiting, watery eyes, nausea, sweating, chills, muscle pain, excessive yawning, insomnia, anxiety, depression, stomach cramping
  • Adderall: muscle aches, stomach cramping, fatigue, mood swings, nausea, depression, headache, vomiting, malaise, difficulty concentrating, suicidal ideations, memory impairment
  • Marijuana: nausea, insomnia, agitation, stomach pain, decreased appetite, nightmares, irritability, restlessness, aggression, headache, tremors, extreme nervousness

Drug withdrawal encompasses both physical and emotional symptoms. The severity of withdrawal symptoms, the duration of withdrawal symptoms experienced, as well as which withdrawal symptoms manifest will differ from person to person. 

For Information and Support 

Substance abuse and addiction can be incredibly dangerous and can result in severe short and long-term consequences. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please get help as soon as possible. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to leading happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. There is no reason to go through this alone, and we are here to help. Please feel free to reach out to us for further information or with any questions regarding substance abuse or addiction. We are available anytime via telephone at: 213-389-9964, or you can always email us at:

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