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Written by Brandon Okey. Mina Draskovic, B.Psy., reviewed this content for accuracy.

Drug and alcohol withdrawals can be manifest in both mental health and physical health. Withdrawal symptoms will differ from person to person. Everybody will react differently. Every drug is different. Drugs and alcohol suppress the brain’s production of neurotransmitters. Certain drugs will cause more mental withdrawal, whereas others will cause more physical withdrawal. When the brain has adapted to drug or alcohol use, and it is then cut off, it can create a surge of adrenaline and cause withdrawal symptoms.  Withdrawals will be influenced by many things, including the history and longevity of the substance abuse, the type of substance, the method of use, genetic makeup, and other medical and health factors.  The amount of time you experience withdrawals also differs on the substance and the person. For example, according to American Addiction Centers heroin withdrawals typically begin within 12 hours of the last dose and peak within 24-48 hours whereas cocaine withdrawals start within a few hours of the last dose and peaks in a few days but can last up to 10 weeks. The size of the dosage will also lead to more prolonged lasting withdrawals than a smaller dosage.  Some of the ways that withdrawals may impact a recovery addict include: 
  • Anxiety—anxiety often accompanies withdrawals. This is completely normal. Many people going through drug and alcohol withdrawals experience panic attacks, a feeling of restlessness, and general irritability. 
  • Depression—those experiencing withdrawals will often exhibit symptoms of depression. These symptoms may include isolation, lack of interest in other things, trouble concentrating, and a feeling of hopelessness. 
  • Insomnia—it’s very common for those doing through withdrawals to have difficulty sleeping—both falling asleep and staying asleep. 
  • Headaches—withdrawals can lead to headaches, dizziness, trouble concentrating and even having trouble remembering. 
  • Chest pain—withdrawal symptoms can manifest in discomfort in the chest. It may be tightness in the chest, shallow breathing, palpitations, or a quickened heartbeat. 
  • GI discomfort—your body may experience pain in the form of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other stomach related issues. GI issues are prevalent in those going through withdrawals. 
  • Muscle tension and twitching—withdrawals can mess with your muscles. It can lead to tension, twitching, trembling, and aching. Twitching and trembling are among some of the most common tells of drug and alcohol withdrawals. 
  • Sweating—going through withdrawals often means experiencing cold sweats. 
If you’re dealing with drug and alcohol addiction or withdrawal, join us at Ardu Recovery Center. You can change your life and kick this addiction. We’ll help you get started on the road to recovery with a few simple steps. Take the first step today by giving us a call. At Ardu, we use multiple methods of therapies that are catered to the individual to ensure their success. We’ll help you work through withdrawal symptoms and come out the other side as a happier, healthier individual, free from addiction. Begin your journey to recovery today.
Brandon Okey

Brandon Okey is the co-founder of Ardu Recovery Center and is dedicated to empowering people on their journey to sobriety.