Different drugs impact the body differently, and the process of detoxifying, or quitting, a drug habit also features different side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Some drugs have very low recovery rates because they are so addictive. Other drugs are incredibly difficult to stop using because of the pain and sickness the addict experiences during a detox.
A person with a cocaine addiction often seems energetic, euphoric, and talkative because of the drug’s stimulant properties. Addicts routinely snort cocaine through the nose or inject the drug directly into the bloodstream via a needle. The high that a person receives from snorting cocaine might last just a half hour, but the withdrawal effects will occur almost immediately.
One of the problems that cocaine addicts experience is that cocaine withdrawal symptoms begin even if someone isn’t interested in quitting the drug. During a lengthy detox, a cocaine addict will usually experience many of the following symptoms:
Some symptoms, like depression, may last for months after a former cocaine user has kicked the habit. A person in recovery might feel like the world has slowed down, and that nothing is exciting or interesting anymore.
The side effects from using heroin are life-threatening, and every year it seems like another famous movie star or celebrity was struck down by this vicious drug. The recent death of Philip Seymour Hoffman has put this deadly drug into the news again because Hoffman had been clean for over a decade before relapsing.
In addition to heroin, other opiates that may cause addiction include Oxycontin, Dilaudid, methadone, codeine, and morphine. The symptoms of withdrawal from heroin and these opiates are incredibly intense. Even when someone is able to quit their addiction, the danger of falling back into drug abuse remains.
Some of the immediate symptoms associated with heroin or opiate withdrawal include:
Unfortunately, these symptoms aren’t the only problems a former addict might face while trying to quit opiates. After some time spent off the drug, further symptoms may include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and cramps. Trying to quit “cold turkey” is exceptionally difficult and seeking inpatient treatment offers the best opportunity to get clean.
People who don’t abuse alcohol and only experience the occasional hangover or headache don’t realize how devastating the effects of alcohol withdrawal feel on someone who has become dependent upon the substance.
The high-profile death of Amy Winehouse in 2011 brought the painful realities of addiction and withdrawal into the public spotlight. Amy’s family told the press that they believed symptoms from alcohol withdrawal may have led to her death. Such danger means that seeking treatment with professionals might be the safest option.
Some of the terrible withdrawal symptoms experienced by someone who has quit alcohol include:
These symptoms may begin as soon as 8 hours after an alcoholic has decided to stop drinking. However, there are several other symptoms that may occur in the weeks after alcohol is no longer in an addict’s system.
Additional symptoms include loss of appetite, excessive sweating or clammy skin, dilated pupils, insomnia, and tremors. Some people who experience the most severe symptoms of withdrawal may experience a condition called delirium tremens, which may cause seizures, confusion, hallucinations, and delusions.
The recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington has focused much attention on this drug. The push to legalize marijuana all over the country has led to many people believing that there aren’t any consequences to using the drug, but a study from Australia suggested that withdrawal from marijuana wasn’t a benign experience.
During active use, marijuana raises the heart rate by anywhere from 20 to 100 percent and some chronic users have experienced temporary psychosis and hallucinations or paranoia. The government warns that marijuana is an addictive substance and that young people who try to quit may face a strong addiction and inability to stop smoking.
There is a growing assumption that marijuana is harmless, but there are several symptoms that long-term marijuana users tend to experience when they seek treatment for their addiction. Some of those symptoms include:
Methamphetamine addiction has been a problem around the world for decades, but addiction to this deadly substance was put into the public’s notice after the television show “Breaking Bad” featured the adventures of a meth-cooking chemistry teacher and his accomplice. Unfortunately, real life imitators have increased incidence of methamphetamine abuse.
The withdrawal symptoms experienced during cessation of methamphetamines vary widely, but often feature depression and psychotic episodes. Common symptoms often include aches and pains, insomnia, lethargy, and memory issues.
One of the reasons chronic use of meth results in such a difficult time getting off the drug is because of the chemical changes that happen in the brain during addiction. An addict may have to undergo several weeks of significant withdrawal symptoms, which is often not the case with other drugs that have a shorter withdrawal timeline.
One of the fastest-growing segments of drug abuse in the past several years has been prescription painkiller abuse. The widespread availability of prescription drugs has created addicts in every corner of society. Like most drugs today, prescription painkiller abuse is an evil that impacts all income levels in society.
Although research suggests, and doctors agree, that prescribing painkillers is appropriate in many circumstances, the medical industry has come under criticism for over-prescribing drugs. The flood of prescription drugs in homes around the country, as well as on the black market, creates a precarious situation for addicts who are trying to quit.
Drug addiction is a serious and deadly problem in today’s society. Seeking treatment is a brave, yet necessary step to preserve health and well-being. Treatment in a facility might be the only way to cope with the devastating symptoms of detoxification.