Withdrawal Symptoms & Quick Facts
Withdrawal occurs when one reduces or altogether stops drug use. There are both physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms that occur, and these symptoms differ based on the type of substance as well as the individual’s genetics and external environment.
Physical withdrawal symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle tension
Emotional withdrawal symptoms include:
The type of substance greatly affects the type and intensity of withdrawal. For example, marijuana, ecstasy, and cocaine users experience more emotional withdrawal than physical. However, those recovering from alcohol, opiates, and tranquilizers tend to experience intense physical, and even dangerous, withdrawal symptoms.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol or painkillers, it is important to know that some withdrawal can be deadly. Be sure to seek medical help before deciding to quit overnight, as more extreme symptoms include seizures, heart attack, or stroke.
There are generally two stages of withdrawal: acute and post-acute. While acute withdrawal involves primarily physical withdrawal, post-acute involves greater emotional withdrawal. In the post-acute stage, your brain is returning to its normal equilibrium, and therefore affects your overall mood, anxiety, energy level, and more. It is important to remain patient and work through each symptom as they come, knowing that they will eventually pass.
Recognize that your body is doing its job, and give yourself and others grace to overcome each hurdle. Although this is a process that will not occur overnight, with time and perseverance, your mind and body will once again become healthy, whole, and functioning at its maximum potential.