Substance withdrawal symptoms will manifest differently based on the user’s distinctive chemistry and the substance used. While withdrawing from most substances evokes both physical and emotional pain, it is often most appropriate for those withdrawing from chronic or prolonged use of substances to be monitored in a supervised setting. Those clients withdrawing from alcohol should only do so in a medically-monitored detoxification, often occurring in an acute care or inpatient hospital setting. Those experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms are risk of seizure, and in some cases, death can occur without medical intervention.
Severity and duration of symptoms will fluctuate due to a number of factors involved; some observable symptoms include:
Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawing from amphetamines or” meth” generally include feeling poorly and mood dysregulation. Clients may feel fatigued yet have trouble getting restful sleep; unpleasant dreams and increased appetite may occur. There’s an overall lethargy experienced, and psychomotor skills may be significantly blunted or the client may demonstrate the agitation, or an observable “antsy-ness”.
Cocaine withdrawal symptoms
The withdrawal symptoms that manifest for long-term or prolonged cocaine users is similar to that of meth addicts. There may be a prevailing dysphoric mood, which may emerge as a sullen, depressed, or cranky demeanor.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
Those withdrawing from Opioids- which includes opiates, oxycontin, and heroin-may experience more physical symptoms than other chemical withdrawals. Clients may experience nausea, vomiting, body aches, diarrhea, fever, profuse sweating, and insomnia. Those experiencing the withdrawal symptoms associated with chronic opioid use report the experience to be torturous, particularly for those the that opt out of medically-supervised detoxification.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Heroin is an opioid, and is typically the drug of choice where opioid abusers that are unable to access the pharmaceutical-grade pain medications. Some users may see heroin as an escalation of their illness, or when pain pills are in short supply. The signs of withdrawal seen among heroin abusers resembles that described for Opioids, however there also seems to be a prevalence of unpleasant tactile sensations associated with coming off heroin. Users may experience cold-sweats, chills, itching, and severe body-aches.
Oxycontin Withdrawal Symptoms
Oxycontin is a powerful variation on other Opioids such as vicodin, percocet, and morphine. It is generally prescribed to those with chronic in severe pain and debilitating illness, such as cancer. Oxycontin has a great potential for abuse and dependence, and a very alluring street value. Withdrawals replicate the previously mentioned opiod symptomology, however severity and duration of symptoms will vary based on use and potency of Opioids used.
The prognosis for overcoming substance-abuse and moving toward recovery is good for those willing to be active and vigilant in their sobriety. Taking advantage of all available resources and engagement in a therapeutic community is integral, and the best path to long-term wellness. Recovery is a journey, more so than a precise destination. It is important for those wishing to live lives freed of the binds of substance dependence, to actively engage in a recovery treatment plan that has a holistic approach implementing therapeutic tools for physical, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being.