INTOXICATION AND WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS
Withdrawal occurs because your brain works like a spring when it comes to addiction. Drugs and alcohol are brain depressants that push down the spring. They suppress your brain's production of neurotransmitters like noradrenaline. When you stop using drugs or alcohol it's like taking the weight off the spring, and your brain rebounds by producing a surge of adrenaline that causes withdrawal symptoms.
Every drug is different. Some drugs produce significant physical withdrawal (alcohol, opiates, and tranquilizers). Some drugs produce little physical withdrawal, but more emotional withdrawal (cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy). Every person's physical withdrawal pattern is also different. You may experience little physical withdrawal. But that doesn't mean that you're not addicted, instead you may experience more emotional withdrawal.
Below are two lists of withdrawal symptoms. The first list is the emotional withdrawal symptoms produced by all drugs. You can experience them whether you have physical withdrawal symptoms or not. The second list is the physical withdrawal symptoms that usually occur with alcohol, opiates, and tranquilizers.
Intoxication and Withdrawal Symptoms - By Category
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
With lower doses:
With higher doses:
Tell me more about withdrawal from opiates...
Opiates stimulate the reward/pleasure centers of our brains and release a neurotransmitter called Dopamine which can create analgesia (pain relief) and feelings of euphoria or a sense of “well-being.” Most drugs either stimulates dopamine release or enhances it’s activity, directly or indirectly.
When you take opiates for an extended period of time (10 days or longer), your brain begins to build tolerance to the drug and subsequently alters the pleasure pathways which become more accustomed to higher levels of dopamine. I other words, your brain becomes use to being stimulated by the opiates and steadily needs more drugs for you to feel that “sense of well-being.”
When you take away the substance that produces these euphoric feelings, your brain begins to rebel and that rebellion is the beginning of the withdrawal process. The withdrawal process in your brain is a complicated series of events. Your body is craving more of the medicine that you were feeding it and now that it doesn’t have it, you have (or will) become sick.
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• slurred/incoherent speech
• poor concentration
• mood instability
• impaired judgment
• stupor and coma
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
• impaired thinking
• rapid fluctuations of mood
• aggressive behavior
• sluggish pupils
• coma at very high doses
The shocking vast array of
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
Phase 1 : “Crash” (9 hrs-4 days)
Phase 2 : Withdrawal (1-10 wks)
Phase 3 : Extinction (indefinite duration)
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