By: Nicole
August 13, 2020

Signs of Drug Withdrawal & How to Cope

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Experiencing drug withdrawals when detoxing from a substance isn’t always the easiest thing to do when overcoming an addiction. Unfortunately there is no way around it, you just have to get through it. Like everything else in life, drug withdrawals are only temporary. They definitely don’t last forever. Here at Multi Concept Recovery, we want to help make the detox process and withdrawal symptoms easier by providing care, information, and resources for anyone who needs it. 

What Are Drug Withdrawals?

To put it bluntly, a substance withdrawal is a change within physical, mental, or emotional behaviors/functions, when the body is trying to retain some form of homeostasis due to this substance. During an addiction to drugs, an individual may develop a tolerance to a substance, which then leads to a greater usage. This individual may become dependent on this substance to just feel normal, like their usual self. This will cause an individual to experience withdrawal symptoms when they are not partaking in this substance, which is due to the dependence of this substance. 


Signs of Drug Withdrawal 

There are many different drug addiction withdrawal signs, depending on the substance someone is abusing. Some of the drugs seem to have a few of the same symptoms, while others vary completely. Below is a list of commonly abused substances and their potential withdrawal symptoms. Please note this isn’t a comprehensive list and we are not offering medical advice. Drug withdrawal symptoms can be different for everyone and you should always consult a doctor in regards to these matters. 


  • Opioids (heroin/painkillers) 
    • Can last around a week or less
    • Sweating, shaking
    • Nausea, abdominal pain
    • Muscle spasms 
    • Mental symptoms such as depression, nervousness, and agitation


  • Opioids (long-lasting)
    • Can last around 10 days or so 
    • Agitation and anxiety
    • Yawning & insomnia
    • Sweating
    • Runny nose
    • Goosebumps/trembling
    • Nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea
    • Watery eyes.


  • Benzodiazepines
    • Sensitivity to light and sounds
    • Headaches & blurred vision
    • Muscle pain & numbness (usually in fingers)
    • Heart palpitations
    • Panic & paranoia, anxiety
    • Loss of appetite
    • Seizures, tremors
    • Diarrhea
    • Sweating


  • Cocaine 
    • Physical symptoms: muscle aches, tremors, chills, fatigue, restlessness
    • Mental symptoms: anxiety, depression, depletion in sexual arousal, suicidal thoughts


  • Alcohol 
    • Physical symptoms: increased blood pressure, irregular heart rate, hallucinations, seizures, nausea
    • Mental symptoms: anxiety, insomnia, confusion, agitation


  • Marijuana 
    • Physical symptoms: weight loss, restlessness, decrease in appetite
    • Mental symptoms: irritability, anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, depression


  • Meth
    • Physical symptoms: muscle pain, fatigue, weakness, headaches, insomnia
    • Mental symptoms: depression, anxiety


How to Safely Detox off Drugs

Safely detoxing off of drugs without complication is practically on a spectrum. The amount of complication within withdrawal symptoms truly depends on the drug, severity of addiction, dependence to the drug, duration of the addiction, genetics, family history, etc. The safest way to detox from a substance addiction is through professional care. This professional should be able to evaluate the addiction, stabilize and support the client when going through the detox, and then preparing the client for further treatment. 


Getting professional help during a detox is crucial and can help prevent some of the severe side effects of going through a detox and also some of the withdrawal symptoms. While detoxing is possible at home, it is not the safest route and can even become deadly. Detoxing through inpatient and outpatient treatment centers is the safest route to go. This not only helps with the detox, but also provides support, resources, and a plan on getting treatment after the detox occurs. 


How Multi Concept Recovery Can Help

Here at Multi Concept Recovery, we want to help our clients succeed in their detox, withdrawal symptoms, and overall recovery. We provide individualized and unique approaches for each of our clients because we understand that each of our clients are different. Reach out to us today to discover which treatment options best fit your needs.