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What is Going Through Withdrawal Like? The Drug and Alcohol Symptoms

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Going Through Withdrawal: Different Symptoms for Different Substances

No two addictions are exactly the same. Likewise, those who are going through withdrawal may experience entirely different detox symptoms than others, especially when different substances are involved.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

When coping with withdrawals from alcohol addiction, you may feel extremely run-down both physically and mentally. This is because alcohol is a depressant, meaning it slows down and relaxes the body. Without it, you may experience feelings of overstimulation that can lead to unpleasant side effects.

The following symptoms are common when going through withdrawal following an alcohol addiction:

  • Cold sweats/clammy skin
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Shakiness
  • Nervousness/anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Heart palpitations

As you overcome an alcohol addiction, the central nervous system often has trouble making up for the usual depressive effects of alcohol. This is what causes you to start going through withdrawal and may be difficult to overcome on your own.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin is an incredibly addictive and dangerous substance, often leading to quite the struggle when going through withdrawal. Typically, withdrawal symptoms feel like a severe flu and can be very painful to get through.

These are the most common symptoms of heroin withdrawal:

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fever
  • Extreme cravings
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Excessive sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness

The heroin high is often described as a “borrowed feeling”; that is, while the feel-good rush may seem pleasurable at first, the body will always experience a long and painful withdrawal to readjust.

Finding Treatment for Addiction

Addiction is a complex condition that involves both physical and mental attachments to a substance. When going through withdrawal and addiction treatments, the solution is hardly ever black or white. Oftentimes, it’s much more complicated than that.

That’s why, in many cases, treatment is based on a dual diagnosis plan. This means that in addition to treating the body’s chemical addiction to the substance, various behavioral treatment methods are employed as well. These two combined methods are meant to attack addiction from every angle, from the physical to the mental aspects of it.

For example, if a patient’s addiction is tied to an anxiety disorder, a dual diagnosis program may feature medication to ease unpleasant symptoms from going through withdrawal, as well as other medicines to ease the recovery process. While that is happening, a behavioral therapist may work with the patient to discover the root causes of the anxiety and help them find healthier coping methods.

Going through withdrawal alone can be extremely difficult. That’s why it’s best to seek help so you can be sure you’re equipping yourself with the best tools to overcome the addiction, once and for all.

 

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Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.