Anyone who abuses prescription drugs or an illicit substance can benefit from a drug detox. While most drug withdrawal symptoms are not fatal, they are often extremely unpleasant, and may invoke feelings of anxiety, depression, and suicide. The first few hours to days of drug detox is often enough to make user relapse to escape the horrible symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms occur because the brain receptors affected by the drug have been used to the drug’s effects.
For any drug, withdrawal effects may be mild, moderate, or severe. While there is usually a general time frame for effects, the duration and intensity will vary for every user.
Prescription Opioids/Opiates Painkillers
Prescription opioids are central nervous system depressants. They adhere to receptors in the brain responsible for pain and general well-being, and increase dopamine.
They include medications such as Oxycontin (oxycodone). Vicodin (hydrocodone and acetaminophen), Dilaudid (hydromorphone), Percocet, and Morphine sulfate
Withdrawal symptoms commonly include:
- muscle aches
- lacrimation (eyes tearing up)
- runny nose
- excessive sweating
- abdominal cramping
- nausea and vomiting
- dilated pupils and possibly blurry vision
- rapid heartbeat
- high blood pressure
Heroin withdrawals are very similar to those of opioid withdrawals. Withdrawing from heroin is known as being “dope sick’. Because heroin is often more powerful than prescription opioids, the withdrawals may be more severe depending on frequency and duration of use.
Detox for Benzodiazepine and Anti-Anxiety Medications
Benzodiazepines are also depressants. The effect GABA (the neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for suppressing activity) in a similar manner as alcohol.
Withdrawal effects commonly include:
- anxiety and panic attacks
- hand tremors
- Impaired concentration, cognitive ability and confusion
- memory problems
- weight loss
- heart palpitations
- muscular pain and stiffness
- hallucinations and/or psychosis