Detoxing from Five Most Common Drugs: Know What To Expect

Overcoming addiction is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. Regardless what substance reigns over the body and the mind, recovery is always an option no matter how bad the situation may seem. However, quitting a drug cold turkey is just the first step and it’s probably one of the most difficult ones. It may seem that once someone has decided to get help, it’s all rainbows and butterflies. In reality, the hard part is just starting and it usually begins with withdrawal symptoms.

Knowing what to expect and why professional support is mandatory can make a world of a difference. Courtesy of a 2018 infographic published by an online resource providing information on drug and alcohol detox, a quick overview is now available. The material highlights the most frequent early and late symptoms associated with withdrawal from alcohol, and different drugs including opioids, stimulants and benzodiazepines.

For opioids, withdrawal can start anytime between first 12 hours, as it is the case of heroin or 30 hours for methadone from the last time the person has had a hit. Most common early symptoms observed are muscle pain, runny nose, anxiety, sweating or insomnia. As more times passes by, an individual who is addicted will experience cramping, vomiting, goosebumps and nausea.

Withdrawal from stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine can last as long as a week. During the course of which people can shy away from social interactions, dream intensely about using the drug and have challenges focusing. They also go through a wave of anxiety, chills, depression and insomnia. For cannabis users certain withdrawal symptoms can go on for weeks or months. People have most commonly reported being irritable and restless, having a loss in appetite as well as sweating, headaches and insomnia.

Quitting alcohol will put the body through at least five days of hallucinations, shakiness, anxiety, seizures and confusion. It’s not uncommon either for people to feel nauseated or impossibility to fall asleep. With benzodiazepines, it depends how severe the addiction is. Symptoms can persist between two months and a whole year, with some people reporting they still feel the symptoms years after quitting the drug. And they are not the easiest to experience: muscle stiffness, dry retching, panic attacks, palpitations, nausea or weight loss are just some of the most severe ones.

As of 2017, nearly 26% of Canadians said they feel like opioids have created a crisis for their communities and almost half reported using an illicit drug so far, with marijuana being at the top of the list followed by hallucinogens, cocaine and ecstasy. The crisis is real and it’s threatening millions of lives, young and adults altogether. Making sure people are supported during the earliest stages of the recovery process is a decisive factor in helping them lead happy and productive lives.

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