If you have been taking a substance with a high potential for dependency and suddenly quit or reduce your usage abruptly, you may suffer a range of withdrawal symptoms. The duration and overall extent of these symptoms can vary greatly depending on the substance and your biological makeup.

Withdrawal can be unpleasant and, in some cases, dangerous. Before quitting or lowering your substance usage, you should always seek the advice of a professional healthcare provider.

One of the first major steps on the road to recovery is getting through withdrawal. At DeCoach Rehabilitation Centre, we provide clients with a private space for withdrawal while ensuring that the process is safe and comfortable. During withdrawal management (WM), our interdisciplinary team guarantees the highest standard of medical care and a safe transition to aftercare.

Click here to learn more about our recovery programs.

What Symptoms Are Experienced During Withdrawal?

What is it like to experience withdrawal? Symptoms of withdrawal differ based on the type of substance used.

The symptoms commonly associated with withdrawal:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Chills or shivering
  • Congestion
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Runny nose
  • Shakiness
  • Sleep issues
  • Sweating

Occasionally, more severe symptoms such as seizures, hallucinations, and delirium may also develop. The type of substance you were taking, the length of time you were taking it, and the dosage can all influence the nature and severity of your symptoms.

While physical withdrawal symptoms may only last a few days or a week, psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as depression can linger for much longer.

How Can Withdrawal Be Identified?

Withdrawal symptoms are an indicator of drug dependency. Before reducing or discontinuing any drug, you should consult your doctor for guidance on how to do so safely and avoid any withdrawal symptoms. If you are experiencing difficulty controlling your withdrawal symptoms, your doctor may be able to give medical monitoring to guarantee your safety.

Moreover, your doctor will be able to establish if the symptoms you are experiencing are the consequence of withdrawal or another issue.

Why Do Withdrawal Symptoms Occur?

The body and brain collaborate to maintain homeostasis, a condition of equilibrium. A chemical alters this equilibrium, requiring the body to make adjustments, such as altering the levels of specific neurotransmitters. These compounds activate the reward system in the brain, causing the release of chemical messengers.

When a substance is frequently used over some time, tolerance and dependency may develop in the body. Tolerance indicates that higher dosages of a substance are required to provide the same effects as before, whereas dependence indicates that the body needs the substance to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

If you quickly cease or reduce your consumption, your body will once again be thrown off balance, and withdrawal symptoms may ensue. These effects are frequently both physical and mental and, depending on the substance, can be deadly.

Frequently, withdrawal symptoms are the reverse of the substance’s effects. For instance, alcohol is a depressant, so if you abruptly quit drinking, you may feel overstimulation symptoms such as anxiety or restlessness.

Are There Different Types Of Withdrawal?

The withdrawal symptoms you experience are influenced by the sort of substance used.

Withdrawal can result from a range of substances, including:

  • Antidepressants
  • Barbiturates
  • Cannabis
  • Depressants
  • Hallucinogens
  • Inhalants
  • Opioids
  • Stimulants

Here are some examples of substances that can cause withdrawal symptoms and how long they are likely to last:


Although not everyone who quits drinking alcohol experiences withdrawal symptoms, most people who stop abruptly after consuming enough alcohol for any amount of time might have a variety of symptoms. Those symptoms will often precipitate a relapse.


Not everyone suffers the same nicotine withdrawal symptoms. As many smokers are aware, the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can make quitting cigarettes difficult. but there are things you may do to alleviate such symptoms.


While compared to alcohol and other substances, the withdrawal symptoms experienced by some marijuana users when attempting to quit are moderate. However, some of these side effects are so terrible that some people opt to resume using the drug.

OxyContin (oxycodone):

The intensity of OxyContin and other prescription opioid withdrawal symptoms is often proportional to how long and how much the drug was taken. If you take the medication exactly as prescribed, you may not have any withdrawal symptoms or experience just minor ones.


Those who have grown addicted to heroin endure particularly severe withdrawal symptoms, although even the most severe of these symptoms will go away in five to seven days. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) can, however, linger for weeks or even months in some people.

How Should Withdrawal Be Managed?

Withdrawal treatment involves counseling, care, and medications that help alleviate symptoms and avoid difficulties. Some medications allow individuals to discontinue usage and handle withdrawal symptoms on their own.

However, stopping the use of substances such as alcohol or benzodiazepines can be risky, so it’s imperative to always consult a healthcare provider before devising a detox plan. Medically assisted withdrawal can keep you safe while also reducing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

How Can I Support a Loved One During Withdrawal?

When a loved one is going through withdrawal, it may be stressful for both of you. Withdrawal may be physically and emotionally draining, and your loved one will require all available support.

Explore the available treatments

Exploring therapy choices is one of the finest things that you can do. This will allow you to comprehend what withdrawal means and the optimal path of action. Finding a treatment plan that will work specifically for your loved one is vital, as withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person. Your loved one may require outpatient, residential, or inpatient care throughout withdrawal.

Take care of yourself

When caring for someone else, it is necessary to take care of oneself as well. This may be challenging and demanding, so take care of your physical and mental health. This may mean taking time for yourself, ensuring that your needs are met, and frequently checking in with yourself. This way, you will be in the most advantageous position possible to help your loved one.

Just be there for them

One of the most important things you can do during this time is just be there for your loved one. Simply by being there and accessible, you may provide them with tremendous help. This may entail listening to them, offering a shoulder to cry on, and providing a reassuring presence. Sometimes, simply having a caring person around may make all the difference.

Provide practical help

Frequently, withdrawal is accompanied by bodily symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Your loved one may require assistance with duties like preparing meals, using the restroom, and moving around. If possible, provide your assistance so that your loved one may focus on recovering.

When to Seek Medical Assistance

Occasionally, withdrawal might be accompanied by severe, perhaps fatal symptoms. If your loved one exhibits any of the following symptoms, it is imperative that you seek emergency medical attention:

  • Delusions
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of awareness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Tremors or convulsions

If you are ever uncertain as to whether a family member needs medical treatment, err on the side of caution and get assistance.

Mental Health & Addiction Treatment Services Available in Cincinnati, Fairfield, Hamilton, Xenia, and Fairborn Ohio

Medication-Assisted Treatment is available to program participants at DeCoach Rehabilitation Centre. This program is specifically developed to assist participants by reducing withdrawal symptoms, diminishing impulses, and making the process more gradual.  This lessens the impact of abruptly ceasing substance use.

MAT eases your body into recovery, and it may be extremely successful when combined with support systems such as group therapy and individual counseling.

If you’d like to learn more about MAT and how it may help you recover, please contact our team!

Published On: August 17th, 2022 / Categories: Substance Use /