What to Expect from Withdrawal Symptoms
Overall, withdrawal symptoms are different and unique to the individual because several underlying factors dictate severity. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and depend on some of the following:
- The type of drug, amount, and how long it was used.
- The individual’s age and physical and psychological health.
- What withdrawal process is used.
- Underlying medical conditions.
Mild symptoms are uncomfortable and not necessarily life-threatening. Severe symptoms, however, are painful and, under some circumstances, are life-threatening.
Some of the more common withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- Changing moods
- Aches and pains
- Intense cravings
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hot and cold flashes
Treating Withdrawal Symptoms
Treating withdrawal symptoms involves drug and alcohol detox. Clinical detox programs are best equipped to manage less severe withdrawal symptoms, such as cocaine or cannabis withdrawal. Medical detox programs are better equipped to treat opioid or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The process is different for everyone, yet it is necessary before starting drug rehab.
The Lethality of Withdrawal Symptoms
When severe withdrawal symptoms are medically managed with qualified professionals, for example, alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opioids, there is little risk for a lethal outcome.
Medical detox facilities are equipped to help anyone with an addiction involving large amounts of alcohol, opioids, or benzodiazepines. The risk is removed with proper withdrawal management techniques.
The Withdrawal Timeline with Alcohol, Opioids, and Benzodiazepines
Drugs and alcohol create different withdrawal symptoms and outcomes for each person. However, the following general symptoms may occur with these substances:
The initial symptoms appear within several hours after the last drink and, generally, peak within 24 to 72 hours after drinking stops. Withdrawal symptoms can last for three to five days or longer, depending on the severity of dependence.
Prescription Pain Medication/Opioids
Withdrawal symptoms begin within 8 to 24 hours after the last dose was taken and can last three to ten days or longer, depending on the severity of dependence.
Withdrawal symptoms begin within one to three days after the last use and peak in severity within two weeks. Benzodiazepine withdrawal is problematic because it lingers and can last for months.
The severity of these withdrawal symptoms is contingent upon many factors, such as the amount of drug used, underlying medical condition, and length of the time the drug was used.