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Withdrawal
What you need to know

  • Drug and alcohol withdrawal is a physical process. Often, symptoms are so intense, and affect the body’s physical process so dramatically, that it has to be done in a medical setting under the supervision of doctors. You get physically sick and need the same level of care as other illnesses.
  • Withdrawal is a high-risk time. The symptoms of withdrawal can be so unpleasant that it sends people right back to drugs or alcohol. Not because they want to use again, but because it’s the only thing that will stop the withdrawal. Being surrounded by support is key.
  • Detox is a process, not an event. The first few days are the worst, but symptoms can linger for weeks or months. A person in recovery can experience recurring headaches, anxiety or depression, panic attacks, irritability or memory loss.
  • Withdrawals are not an excuse. The illness, anxiety or irritability that come with withdrawals may make your family member hard to live with for a while, and of course, you should be patient with them. But going through withdrawal doesn’t mean that the recovering person is free to treat family members badly or unkindly. A simple reminder—“I understand that you’re not feeling well, but please speak respectfully to me”—can go far in establishing new, healthy norms for your newly clean relationship.

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All Withdrawal Articles

Oxycodone Withdrawal & Detox Timeline (And Helping the Symptoms)

Oxycodone is a pain medication in the opioid class. Take it for too long, and your brain becomes accustomed to it. You'll need to go through withdrawal to reverse the damage and prepare you for the work that comes next in rehab. Learn more about the process.

Drug Use and Constipation: The Facts to Know

Drugs can keep your intestines from functioning. You'll visit the bathroom less, and when you do go, it's uncomfortable. The easiest way to ease symptoms is to stop using drugs. Learn about additional options to keep things moving.

The Definitive Signs of Binge Drinking

Drink alcohol with the express purpose of getting drunk, and you're binge drinking. Do that too often, and you could qualify for an alcohol use disorder. Learn the signs of binge drinking here.

Morphine Withdrawal: What to Do During Each Step of the Timeline

Detox is the first stage in your recovery process. Your brain cells will heal, and you'll learn how to avoid morphine for good. Learn the steps you can take to keep yourself calm and comfortable as your brain and body heals.

How Long Does Vicodin Withdrawal Last?

Vicodin withdrawal is the first stage on your recovery path. The discomfort can last for a few days to a few weeks, but the cravings could persist for even longer. Learn how your team can use medications to help you move through the change without returning to Vicodin abuse.

Xanax and Fentanyl

Xanax and fentanyl both work on your central nervous system. Take them together, and you could slide into a coma. You may never wake up. Even if you never plan to mix, if you buy from street dealers, your Xanax may come tainted with fentanyl. Learn more.

Fentanyl Withdrawal and Detox Timelines

Fentanyl withdrawal is sometimes described as "flu-like." But people who have lived through it talk about a full-body misery that's unlike anything else they have ever experienced. It's more than the flu. Learn how it can be life-threatening.

Hydrocodone Withdrawal

Hydrocodone abuse causes persistent brain changes. During detox, you'll work through the damage and ease your brain and body into a new way of life. After detox, you'll be ready to do even more work in rehab.

DXM Withdrawal

A longstanding DXM habit leads to dependence. You'll break that habit with detox. Significant symptoms last for about three days, but your cravings may last even longer.

Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be tough, and without proper medical care, severe alcohol detox can even be fatal. Alleviate your worries by learning about what will keep you safe during alcohol withdrawal and how long the whole process will last.

Heroin Detox

If you need to detox from heroin, you know how intensely addictive the drug is. Learn what physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms you’ll experience and how long the process will take.

Withdrawal Timelines

Your experience with withdrawal and detox will be different than anyone else’s experience. Various personal factors influence the process, but there are some overall things you can expect.

Codeine Withdrawal

Your body begins to heal during codeine withdrawal, and the worst of it is usually over in about a week. But some symptoms will persist for weeks or even months.

Cocaine Detox

The acute phase of cocaine detox is over in less than a week, so you might think you’re in the clear. But cravings for the drug can persist for weeks or even months. Treatment can keep you from acting on the urge to use.

Xanax Withdrawal

It can be daunting to think that Xanax withdrawal can take months to complete. Your doctor can help by creating a tapering schedule for you, and there are other therapies you can try to ease distress at home.

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