The drug withdrawal meaning stems from the physical and emotional cravings that an addict experiences as their drug of choice leaves their system.
Being a drug addict fills a person with many fears and doubts about the future; one of the biggest is about how painful withdrawal will be.
If you or someone you know is considering quitting drugs, there are some things you should know beforehand. Like what is withdrawal exactly, withdrawal meaning of different types of drugs, and what signs of drug addiction withdrawal to expect.
What is withdrawal?
Drug withdrawal is a set of symptoms that someone experiences when they abruptly stop taking their substance of choice. There’s no way to say how someone will experience the signs of drug addiction withdrawal, but fear is not a reason to avoid getting clean.
As the great American poet Robert Frost once wrote, “The best way out is always through.”
How long does drug withdrawal last?
Just as the signs of drug addiction withdrawals vary, so does their duration. The length of drug withdrawal symptoms depends on the type of drug, a person’s biological makeup, and how long they’ve been addicted.
Signs of Drug Addiction Withdrawals
Every drug has its own withdrawal symptoms. There are some withdrawal signs and symptoms considered common for all types of drugs. But the intensity that is felt and a person’s likelihood of experiencing them varies depending on their drug of choice.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Cocaine
Cocaine is a stimulant made from South American coca leaves. It’s classified as a Schedule II drug, which means that it can be used medically by doctors under some circumstances.
However, cocaine is far more common on the street than in the hospitals. It can be snorted as a powder, inhaled, or injected directly into the bloodstream.
It’s a very addictive drug that causes a jolt in the brain’s chemicals. People high on cocaine typically feel very happy, so the crash during withdrawal makes them feel the opposite.
Withdrawal symptoms of cocaine include:
- Strong cravings.
- Fatigue and exhaustion.
- Inability to feel pleasure (Anhedonia).
- Depression and suicidal thoughts.
- Chills, shaking, tremors, muscle and nerve pain.
- Increased appetite.
- Vivid nightmares.
How long do withdrawal symptoms of cocaine last?
Typically, cocaine withdrawal lasts between seven to 10 days. People can expect to experience the first symptoms within 90 minutes after they stop using the drug.
Medical detox is recommended since cocaine’s withdrawal symptoms are strong and can result in depression and suicidal thoughts.
If you get help to treat the withdrawal symptoms of cocaine, you can be more comfortable and get any help the second you need it.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Opioids
Many opioid addicts never intended to be drug users; some of the most common opioid drugs are actually prescribed by doctors. Like OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, codeine, morphine, and hydrocodone.
When someone is addicted to opioids, their body is used to being sedated. Because of this, the withdrawal symptoms of opioids tend to include uncomfortable disturbances such as:
- Tears welling up in eyes.
- Excessive sweating.
- Increased sensitivity.
- Muscle aches.
- Runny nose.
- Dilated pupils.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
- High blood pressure and rapid pulse.
How long do the withdrawal symptoms of opioids last?
People usually start experiencing opioid withdrawal symptoms 24 hours after their last dose. Symptoms usually start to improve within 72 hours.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Heroin
Heroin is a stimulant that has some of the most intense withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms of heroin can not only be incredibly painful but also dangerous.
Heroin addicts, especially long-term users, should plan to detox in a hospital or rehab facility to make their withdrawal from heroin less painful as well as guarantee their safety.
The heroin withdrawal symptoms vary, but some common symptoms most addicts experience during detox include:
- Intense cravings.
- Mood changes.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Muscle aches and pains.
- Abdominal pains and diarrhea.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Restlessness and trouble sleeping.
How long do withdrawal symptoms of heroin last?
Heroin doesn’t stay in the body for long, so users usually experience the first symptoms within six to 12 hours after they stop using.
Heroin drug withdrawal usually lasts between five to 10 days, though some symptoms come and go for months after an addict quits.
Speaking to a certified drug counselor or going to rehab can help you gauge your heroin addiction recovery and gain the skills you need to manage heroin cravings and other withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Weed
A big misconception about weed is that it isn’t addictive. A lot of people decide to try it because they are told it’s a “safe drug.”
While it’s true that marijuana doesn’t have as high of an addictive quality as other drugs like cocaine or heroin, long-term users can become dependent on it.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that nine percent of all marijuana smokers will develop an addiction.
The withdrawal symptoms of weed are similar to that of nicotine. People who quit smoking cigarettes often report similar symptoms to those who are quitting marijuana.
If you are looking up how to stop smoking weed, it’s a good idea to understand what the withdrawal may feel like.
The good news is that the withdrawal symptoms of marijuana aren’t life-threatening.
The biggest hurdle is getting past the cravings and not allowing yourself to smoke no matter how badly your body tells you to.
Some signs of drug addiction withdrawals from marijuana include:
- Mood swings.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Appetite changes.
- Weight loss or gain.
- Digestion problems, stomach cramps, and nausea after eating.
How long do the withdrawal symptoms of weed last?
If you quit smoking pot today, you could expect to feel some withdrawal symptoms within a day. The most intense withdrawal symptoms of weed usually happen during the first 48 to 72 hours; by the third week of marijuana detox, you should be nearly free of all symptoms.
How to Get Drug Withdrawal Help
The 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey estimates that 4.4 percent of Canadians meet the qualifying criteria for substance use disorder. To put that in perspective, Canada’s population in 2012 was 34.75 million.
Millions of addicts, friends, and families suffer in secret, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s no shame in admitting you have an addiction. In fact, it’s probably the most important step.
Now that you know the withdrawal meaning and signs of drug addiction withdrawals, you can take the next important step: getting help.
Once you’re honest with yourself about your drug addition, you can be honest with the people who can help. Recovery starts with a decision to get clean.
With some research, free inquiries to a local drug rehab that have access to a good detox program, your new life is only a struggle away. All you have to do is fight for it, and the battle doesn’t have to be fought alone.