What Happens To Your Body During Drug Withdrawal?

Your Body During Drug Withdrawal

Drug withdrawal is a term that describes symptoms that your body experiences when you stop or cut back on alcohol or drugs. Withdrawing from drugs may involve a combination of mental, physical, and emotional symptoms, which can be dangerous and life threatening if left unmanaged. Withdrawal symptoms can vary in severity based on how long you have used certain substances and which substances you are using. If you have become dependent or addicted to certain substances, then drug rehab can help by using treatments like medical detox and medication-assisted treatment.

What Happens When Your Body Goes Through Withdrawal?

When you are using any kind of drugs or alcohol frequently, your body will gradually get used to the presence of these drugs in your system. As your body becomes dependent on these substances over time, you may start to feel like you need it to function or feel normal. When you suddenly cut back on these drugs or quit consuming them completely, your body will start going through withdrawal by producing a wide range of symptoms.

Common Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The severity of drug and alcohol symptoms depends on various factors, including the types of substances that are being used, how long they have used them, the frequency used, and more. Certain drugs, such as opioids and alcohol, can cause both mental and physical side effects, while drugs like cocaine and meth tend to cause more psychological symptoms.

In general, usually the symptoms of withdrawing from certain drugs tend to be the opposite of the symptoms you feel while taking that drug.

Symptoms Of Withdrawal From Drugs

  • Sweating
  • Tearing eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle aches, tension, and cramps
  • Tremors
  • Dehydration
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Specific Type of Drug Withdrawal

The list above are some common withdrawal symptoms. You may feel some of the symptoms depending on what drug you’re withdrawing from. The following are more specific withdrawal symptoms.


Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can vary in severity, depending on the intensity of the addiction. The most common withdrawal symptoms are feelings of anxiety, depression, nervousness, jumpiness, insomnia, brain fog, nausea and vomiting, appetite loss, rapid heart rate, dilated pupils, tremors, clammy skin, agitation, severe confusion, hallucinations and seizures.

If you’re a moderate drinker, you will most likely experience moderate symptoms. If you’re a heavy drinker, you are more likely to experience severe symptoms, such as increased risk of seizures or delirium.

Withdrawal symptoms can start within a couple hours to a couple days since your last drink. Withdrawal symptoms may linger on one or two weeks, but more severe symptoms can go on for a month or more.


Prescription opioids are addictive drugs typically used for pain relief. Common ones are hydrocodone, oxycodone, and fentanyl. Heroin is an illegal opioid. Withdrawal symptoms can include feeling restless, pain in the muscles, sleeplessness, bone pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and hot and cold flashes.

When you start using any of these drugs, your tolerance level increases rapidly. This means you have to use more to get the desired effect. Typically, withdrawal symptoms from these drugs are not fatal, but they can be quite challenging.

You must always look out for relapsing, because if your tolerance has dropped, you put yourself at risk for overdosing on the drug. Withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as a day or two after the last use. For those with a severe addiction, symptoms can begin within one or two hours.


Benzodiazepines include drugs like Xanax and Valium. Withdrawal symptoms can appear similar to alcohol withdrawal. Stopping abruptly is not recommended, as symptoms can occur rapidly, produce confusion, and trigger seizures that can be fatal.

These types of drugs are best to be treated in a physician-assisted medical detox program. They would put you on a tapering schedule, which means you receive a smaller dosage over time until you are weaned off them.

Common Stimulants

A stimulant is a drug that tends to give you energy or help you focus. Cocaine, methylphenidate and amphetamines are several stimulants you may have heard of. Withdrawal symptoms from these drugs tend to produce more emotional symptoms than physical. Other symptoms include depression, sweating, nervousness, fatigue, appetite increase, slowed thinking or movement, and feelings of restlessness.

Withdrawing from these types of drugs may cause you to experience strong cravings, as well as swing from high to low. In a medical detox you are given medications to help decrease cravings and other uncomfortable symptoms.

What Does Withdrawal Feel Like?

Overall, drug withdrawal can feel scary. You may fear feeling the uncomfortable symptoms, as well as not knowing if you’ll be able to actually quit long-term. There are many rehab facilities that offer detox drug treatments that can help you or a loved one safely withdraw from alcohol and drugs in a safe environment. This reduces risks for complications and offers you helpful support as you navigate recovery.

  1. Drug withdrawal seems very harsh on anyone. So, I think that no one should consume it or avoid it seeing its hazardous effects.

  2. When one is addicted to anything, withdrawal from it will cause unpleasant experience to the body system. If one can endure, it will be better for such a person.

  3. The symptoms gradually fade during this time. Most people who quit taking their antidepressants stop having symptoms after three weeks. Thanks for sharing this blog.

  4. Oh! This is a great eye opener. It’s more than just an article, but a full bank of knowledge. Detox to Rehab, you’re highly appreciated.

  5. Withdrawal from drug and alcohol addiction isn’t easy but if the victim can take the bold step, the better for him or her. Thanks for this piece of information.

  6. Oh! Great information. This is what I’ve been looking for. Thank you guys for sharing this. It’s so helpful.

  7. It is not always easy to leave a bad habit. Several temptations that will take one back will arise. This post will definitely help those who want to have a withdrawal from substance abuse.

  8. This causes alot of havoc to the body because after been with held from drugs it causes different harmful symptoms to the entire system.it was a nice write-up.

  9. Body system will find it difficult to adjust or acclamatise. In as much the person involved can endure it, joy will be the end result.

  10. It is not an easy task to flee from that which one has been used to in life. But one need to know that there’s better life outside drug addicts. Thank you for sharing this educative information about addiction.

  11. Withdrawing from addictions generally isn’t an easy feat. Gotta be gradual and done with patience. Great article by the way. Thanks again Detoxtorehab.

  12. The body finds it hard to adjust when trying to withdraw from drug. Hence, the withdrawal comes with great cost since the body is adapted to those drugs.

  13. All manners of things happens to the whole body. After been withdrawn from drugs it causes alot of risk to the human health.

  14. Never knew the body undergo a lot of issues when it comes to withdrawal of drugs. I think the best bet is to avoid depending totally on drugs.

  15. Indeed, I am aware of symptoms of withdrawal. This piece of information is truly educative and informative.

  16. During withdrawing from addictions the body will want to ask for more of the drugs you were used to. Total recovery demands your strong determination.

  17. Been withdrawn from drugs it’s a great step to take. Because the moment you step back from all kinds of drug abuse the higher the amount of symptoms you receive.

  18. Withdrawal from drugs brings a lot of discomfort and life threatening experience to addicts. The best way to avoid such experience is not to go into drugs addiction at any point in time of your life.

  19. WITHDEAWAL will always be hard. However this is good as I can or we can now be specific about this. A very good read. Very imformative even for me.

  20. Just like the way one felt during the first intake, this feeling during withdrawal will be much severe due to the fact that the body system is used to the drug and alcohol. Thanks for this piece of information.

  21. The body will become weaken and restless due to its adjust to drugs and alcohol. Thank you for these submissions.

  22. I know insomnia and instability would be among the effects of drugs withdrawal. the body tend to go through the sleepless period. one will always find it difficult to sleep.

  23. The side effects of drug withdrawal is too scary and can scare and addicts who wants to quit off. Proper and professional attention is needed so that one won’t regret it.

  24. I enjoy reading this interesting piece of writing. I have learnt more about the symptoms of withdrawal from drugs. It’s very nice.

  25. Is it not possible to stop the manufacturing of these hard drugs? Seeing people being affected by this activity, the government at various levels should take the bull by the horn.

  26. WIthdrawal from drugs comes with a lot of uncomfortable symptoms. The best way to avoid these symptoms is not to get involved in drug addiction.

  27. The body system will experience unpleasant situation which will make life unbearable for the victim. Thanks for this piece of information.

  28. The body system will experience unpleasant situation which will make life unbearable for the victim. Thanks for this piece of information, Detox To Rehab.

  29. This article is really educative, informative and well detailed. Withdrawing from drugs isbttge best option. I’m grateful if reading this

  30. I know it takes a lot from individuals who are withdrawing from drugs, but it is there ability for them to be able to endure the process. So they can recover fro their addiction.

  31. I do feel for all those for all those going through the process of withdrawal. Reading this really gives me the shivers and makes me wants to stay further away from drugs, I do pray never to fall a victim.

  32. This is a good article. It’s obvious the body will find it difficult to adjust during drug withdrawal because it has gotten use to it

  33. People Tends to Mistake symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal for something else.
    It’s Good to be well informed about this.

  34. It’s Great to Learn the symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal so as to know the proper steps to take and not panic when they are being observed.

  35. The best way to avoid these symptoms is not to get involved in drug addiction. Most people who quit taking their antidepressants stop having symptoms after three weeks. I have learnt more about the symptoms of withdrawal from drugs. It’s very nice. Thanks for sharing this blog.

  36. This article has done a great job in educating me, this a lot to digest. I’m so informed about the symptoms and side effect of drug and alcohol addiction now. Great job.

  37. which will make life unbearable for the victim. the body tend to go through the sleepless period. the victim can take the bold step, the better for him or her.

  38. As it remains, prevention is better than cure. Looking at all the various withdrawal symptoms for diverse drugs, folks need to be educated and dissuaded from engaging in drug-dependent behaviors.
    Thanks Detox to Rehab for this enlightenment.

  39. The body is not always functioning effectively when it is experiencing withdrawal from drug. Sincerely speaking, it won’t be easy but if one can put the body under control to adapt, it will enjoy it.

  40. Clearly withdrawal symptoms can be just as devastating as symptoms from usage. Definitely a good idea to be in a controlled environment, until the cravings have subsided.

  41. These symptoms is a positive sign indeed if you have stopped taking drugs and alcohol. You are going to have a great life ahead

  42. This got me thinking, even to withdraw from usage is a problem which can cause serious problem if not care properly for. Its just better to abstain totally.

  43. Because of this symptoms and problem one could face during withdrawal, that’s why detox programs and facilities are available to help smooth the process of withdrawal atleast. It worth withdrawing than keep using please.

  44. Nothing good comes easily even to withdraw from consumption of drugs and alcohol, alot needed to be faced. I think it’s very important to join a program when trying to withdraw

  45. What happens is that your body tries to breakdown the alcohol or drugs you have consumed. Seriously we need to be careful, alot of healnesses are out there due to our bad choices of intakes.

  46. Drug withdrawal can be a harrowing experience and that’s why many people relapse. The key is to find something to fill the void like a new hobby.

  47. As a former drug addict I know exactly how bad withdrawal can be. I relapsed several times before I finally got clean.

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