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What is Drug Withdrawal?

By March 14, 2008 No Comments

“What Is Withdrawal? How Long Does It Last?”

Withdrawal is the variety of symptoms that occur after use of some drugs are reduced or stopped. Length of withdrawal and symptoms vary with the type of drug. For example, physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal may include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting and cold flashes. These physical symptoms may last for several days, but the general depression, or dysphoria (opposite of euphoria) that often accompanies heroin withdrawal can be easily treated with medications to ease the symptoms, but treating withdrawal is not the same as treating addiction.
Drug withdrawal has many variables. Everything from the type of drug, quantity of regular use, to the length of time the drug was abused. These all factor into how intense or mild an individual’s drug withdrawal experience will be. An example would be withdrawal from methadone. An individual who uses methadone over a period of several months to years who decides to discontinue use will experience a longer and more painful withdrawal than an individual who discontinues using heroin.
Another factor to be aware of during drug withdrawal is drug craving. Drug craving is the result of the drugs imprinting in the memory, a pleasant association of euphoria with the drug. The subconscious memory then motivates the individual to seek this drug because of the false imprint. The brain, in effect, has been trained that using the drug is the fastest way to feel good. Due to the extreme physiological or physical pain some experience during drug withdrawal they can relapse before they complete the withdrawal process.
These are important reasons why drug withdrawal should take place at an inpatient drug rehabilitation center. There, the individual will be removed from the immediate access to drugs or alcohol. Drug withdrawal done at an inpatient drug rehab also provides the safety of medical supervision by trained professionals who are better able to monitor the drug withdrawal process.

Work Cited: https://addictionwithdrawal.com/

Teresa Roy

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