Drug Withdrawal: What Symptoms Should Families Recognize To Help A Loved One


When someone intakes a certain substance repetitively, that person will eventually become physiologically dependent on that substance. And as what anyone who is familiar with a North Carolina drug rehab or other addiction recovery programs, it doesn’t come as a surprise if a recovering person will experience the so-called withdrawal.

In a nutshell, withdrawal is a mix of mental and physical effects brought forth by the sudden halt or reduction in a person’s substance intake. It can be stemmed from the body adjusting to find a new state of homeostasis (or balance). In this process, the brain chemicals fluctuate, creating an impact on one’s physical and mental well-being. Depending on the type of drug that a person used to take, withdrawal symptoms can be detrimental. Another crucial factor is the patient’s tolerance.

If someone in your family is transitioning into having a sober life or has recently undergone a Michigan drug rehab, it’s essential to know the most common symptoms of drug withdrawal.

Symptoms To Watch Out For

In general, withdrawal is characterized by headaches, abdominal pain, muscle cramps, heart palpitations, sweating, loss of appetite, and insomnia. People who experience withdrawal also have the tendency to become more anxious, depressed, and easily irritated. In other cases, they could also have seizures and chills.

If the substance that the patient used to be abuse is heroin or opiate, you may also notice the following:

Runny nose

Frequent yawning


Hot and cold flashes


Body aches

On the other hand, if the person has cocaine withdrawal, you should be aware of these symptoms:



Psychotic episodes

Tendency of inflicting self-harm

Lethargy or ongoing fatigue and tiredness

If someone is recovering from both drug and alcohol dependency, experts (such as those who work in North Carolina drug rehab facilities) also advise that you should be wary of the following withdrawal symptoms:







Delirium tremens


The Different Stages of Withdrawal

The process of withdrawal can last anywhere from a few days to months. And it’s typically segmented into three stages.

The acute withdrawal period refers to the period when patients begin to exhibit the abovementioned symptoms. This is when symptoms are at their most intense levels.

When the patients’ symptoms peak then start to fade, they are in the so-called protracted withdrawal period.

On the other hand, the prolonged or post-acute withdrawal period refers to that time where more long-lasting symptoms appear — including cravings and depression.

How You Can Help

People who work in Michigan drug rehab centers advise the loved ones of recovering drug addicts to give extra support and care to these people. It’s also best to ask a doctor about the safe and appropriate withdrawal medications that can be prescribed. Without proper consultation, you could make the mistake of giving patients medications that can trigger their drug dependency.

Apart from medications, you should help recovering patients to live a healthier life. This means eating well-balanced meals and avoiding fatty and sugary foods; exercising regularly; and drinking plenty of water. To help minimize withdrawal symptoms, proper sleep is also essential.

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