Fear of withdrawal is something that can keep an individual with substance use disorder in active addiction for years. Above all substance use disorders, opioid use disorder or heroin addiction is typically the most used example of an addiction with acute withdrawal symptoms. This is because the use of opioids (whether prescribed and used as prescribed or acquired and use from the street) by an individual almost always results in a physical dependency, meaning that the body becomes dependent on the use of opioids to feel normal. Within several hours of not using opioids, the individual’s body will begin to withdraw, causing symptoms of discomfort. Therefore, the user continues to use opioids simply to physically feel normal and function.


Many other substances other than opioids can cause both moderate and severe withdrawal symptoms, both physically and psychologically. Alcohol use and misuse can cause terrible withdrawal symptoms, and sometimes can be fatal if the detox process is not overseen by medical professionals. Benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin, can also cause withdrawal symptoms that last for a long period of time, and like alcohol can potentially be fatal if not detoxed under the care of medical professionals in a detox facility setting. Other substances such as cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana have less profound physical withdrawal effects (although people can still experience physical withdrawal effects from these substances), however the withdrawal from these substances can often cause more psychological issues, such as anxiety, depression, or psychiatric issues. 


Each substance can cause different withdrawal symptoms, and different individuals may experience some or all of these symptoms based on their biology and history of substance misuse.


Addiction withdrawal symptoms that are common include:


  • Lethargy or extreme tiredness
  • Irritability 
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches or muscle cramping  
  • Nausea 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Weakness or extreme fatigue
  • Mucus or other bodily discharge
  • Constipation 
  • Difficulty sleeping or insomnia 
  • Hot and cold sweats 
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Cravings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression 
  • Fits of anger or outbursts 
  • Runny nose
  • Excessive sweating
  • Goosebumps or chills 
  • Constant nervousness
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations 
  • Thoughts of self-harm
  • Tremors
  • Alcohol withdrawal can cause Delirium Tremens (The DT’s)


While not every person will experience every withdrawal symptom that can possibly occur when stopping substance use, these are many of the possible withdrawal symptoms. While some symptoms are mild, others are severe and can potentially be fatal.


Regardless of symptoms, if you are experiencing withdrawal from drug use, it is always best practice to seek out help from professionals and detox under 24-hour round the clock medical care. When doing so, the detox and treatment professionals can continually assess your medical needs, prescribe detox medications to help with withdrawal symptoms, make you as comfortable as possible throughout the detox process, and monitor your vitals and other medical needs. The goal of detox is to safely get you through withdrawals, monitor any additional medical or co-occurring mental health needs, and get you to a state of physical and mental stability. Once you are feeling better physically, mentally, and emotionally and are safely through the detox process, the medical and clinical staff can work with you to help you move on to the next appropriate treatment and recovery support step to support your newfound sobriety.


If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorders, please give us a call. Innovo Detox offers the latest in evidence-based medical, psychiatric, and clinical care for those in need of detox and medical stabilization in Pennsylvania and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or a loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a detox, rehab, treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (717) 619-3260 or email our team at info@innovodetox.com. For more information on our company or services, please visit our website at www.innovodetox.com.