Drug Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms

Frequent and chronic use of dangerous drugs (e.g., cocaine, heroin) typically leads to a much more severe disorder—drug addiction. Addiction or substance use disorder is a physical and psychological condition characterized by one’s inability to control the use of drugs, no matter the consequences.

As a result of addiction and long-term use, the body gradually develops a physical dependence on the harmful drug. So when you abruptly stop consuming addictive drugs, your body can experience several adverse effects from drug withdrawal.

Learn more about drug withdrawal, its signs and symptoms, and how drug rehab in San Fernando Valley can help you go through it safely. 

What is drug withdrawal?

Drug withdrawal refers to the process of discontinuing or reducing the intake of substance use. Once you cut back on drugs, your body will start to experience a variety of reactions called drug withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms happen due to the body’s acquired dependence on the specific drug. Since the body has been taught to function under the heavy influence of the illegal substance, over time, it will need the drug’s presence to exist in a stable condition. This stability becomes compromised when you suddenly take away the body’s drug of choice.

Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. Some may be life-threatening, while others may only experience mild to moderate symptoms. Additionally, drug withdrawal varies in severity and duration depending on a lot of factors, such as:

  • The type of drug used
  • The length of substance abuse
  • The drug’s potency and dosage
  • The current state of the patient’s health
  • Whether the patient undergoes self-detox or medically-assisted detox.

Drug withdrawal and detoxification play an important role in your journey towards getting clean and enjoying a healthy life. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through with it alone. You can get the medical and psychological support you need from the drug treatment center in Los Angeles.

What are the common signs and symptoms of drug withdrawal?

Substance abuse not only affects the physical body; it also affects one’s mental, cognitive, behavioral, and social well-being. The same goes for withdrawal. The body’s reaction to quitting these harmful drugs varies and may be categorized into different groups. Some examples of the most common symptoms of drug withdrawal include:


Physical symptoms are the actual manifestation of drug withdrawal, which can be seen by the naked eye or felt by the patient. Some examples of withdrawal symptoms that are consistent with almost all kinds of drug substances include:

  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Sweating, shakiness, and body tremors
  • Clammy skin
  • Tingling feeling on the skin
  • Muscle pain, cramps, and tension
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Increased appetite
  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Seizures for severe cases

Psychological and behavioral

Psychological symptoms refer to the effect of drug withdrawal on the patient’s mental well-being. It may also affect the way the patient thinks, behaves, and interacts with their surroundings during drug withdrawal. Some examples include:

  • Agitation and irritability
  • Sleeping problems or insomnia
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Hallucinations or sensory experiences that are only created by the mind. This includes seeing or hearing something that isn’t there.
  • Paranoia and delirium

The patient may also develop mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression during drug withdrawal. Unfortunately, this only worsens the psychological symptoms and makes withdrawal more difficult.


Cognitive symptoms are the effects of drug withdrawal on the patient’s brain and cognitive function. One of its most common cognitive effects is memory and concentration problems, which usually lead to confusion and disorientation. 

Moreover, drug abuse also impairs several cognitive abilities, so there’s no telling when normal brain function will return after withdrawal.

Where to seek treatment and support for drug withdrawal?

Drug withdrawal can be a scary and intimidating endeavor, with all the life-threatening symptoms that come with it. So, it’s vital to start the detoxification and withdrawal process in a safe and secure environment, such as a drug treatment center.

A drug detox or treatment center can help you overcome drug addiction by creating an individualized treatment plan to address your specific needs. They will also devise a plan of care during your detoxification process to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. This may include the following:

  • Proper withdrawal management techniques
  • Counselling
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Psychiatric treatment
  • Psychoeducation
  • Aftercare plan

Withdrawal management programs do not end when your symptoms subside. It includes an aftercare treatment plan to give patients the right tools to manage their cravings and avoid relapse. It may also involve educating your loved ones so they can support you towards a full recovery.

Get the Support You Need at One of the Best Recovery Centers in Los Angeles County 

At Innovate Recovery, we provide exceptional patient care and evidence-based treatment programs to ensure a safe, effective, and long-lasting recovery for our patients. Our trained doctors and licensed health professionals will guide you every step of the way using advanced therapeutic modalities. 

Our Tarzana recovery center treats all kinds of substance abuse, including the following:

Recovery is just a phone call away! Contact Us now to get in touch with our trusted clinical staff and start your journey towards a healthy recovery! 


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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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