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Drug withdrawal symptoms mainly affect the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Their intensity depends on the doses of the drug taken in the last few weeks, the ways of its administration and the he alth condition of the addicted person. Find out what withdrawal symptoms are associated with withdrawal from heroin, amphetamines, cocaine and marijuana.

The withdrawal syndromeoccurs as a result of a reduction in the daily dose of the drug or its complete withdrawal. This causes a reduction in the concentration of the psychoactive substance in the blood, to which the body reacts very violently. The functioning of the circulatory, nervous and digestive systems is disturbed. The withdrawal of the drug also affects the psyche - there is an unmanageable urge to use the drug, i.e. drug craving. This state of affairs lasts for several days, with the maximum intensity occurring on the 3-4th day of withdrawal.

Drug withdrawal symptoms - what determines their severity?

The severity of drug withdrawal symptoms depends on several factors:

  • the type of substance you take - the most severe course is the opioid withdrawal syndrome, the less dangerous withdrawal symptoms are seen in marijuana (but this is only theoretically because the factors listed below are also important);
  • time of taking the drug - in a drug addict with several years of experience, a sudden break in taking a psychoactive substance will cause more severe symptoms than in a person who used the drug several times;
  • doses of the drug taken in the last few weeks before discontinuation - the higher the doses, the more rapid and painful the rehab is;
  • physical and mental he alth of the addicted person.

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Opioids are derivatives of opium - including morphine, codeine, and heroin. Their withdrawal has the most severe side effects, especially if it was preceded by a long drug chain. They are extremely unpleasant and difficult to deal with. The first symptoms of drug craving after opioids appear 8-12 hours after the last dose. They last 7-10 days and are most intense on the 3-4th day.

In the course of the teamThere are two phases of opioid withdrawal: the acute phase - lasts 5-10 days and resembles flu symptoms. It includes symptoms such as:

  • very strong desire to use the drug,
  • tearing,
  • Qatar,
  • sweating,
  • goosebumps,
  • chills,
  • pruritus,
  • yawning,
  • sneezing,
  • drooling,
  • dilated pupils,
  • stomach pains,
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,
  • pain in muscles, joints, bones,
  • increased blood pressure,
  • insomnia,
  • anxiety,
  • irritability and tantrums.

After the most violent symptoms have subsided, there is a late phase that lasts for another 26-30 weeks. It appears:

  • low blood pressure,
  • low heart rate,
  • reduced body temperature,
  • dilated pupils,
  • insomnia,
  • anxious.

In addition, there is still a very strong urge to take the drug. Reaching for the next dose immediately causes another addiction.

Worth knowing

The side effects of heroin withdrawal are severe - methadone therapy helps to alleviate them. It is a synthetic opioid that is given to addicts instead of heroin. Methadone does not cause euphoria, and at the same time it reduces withdrawal symptoms, thanks to which the patient can function normally without taking the drug.

Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

Abstinence symptoms after discontinuation of amphetamine appear up to 12 hours after taking the last dose of the drug. They are not as sudden as in the case of opioids, as the metabolism of amphetamine in the body is relatively slow. They mainly concern the mental sphere - because amphetamine has a strong stimulating effect, limiting drug consumption causes apathy and promotes depression.

The most common withdrawal symptoms after amphetamines are:

  • despondency,
  • anhedonia - a state of deep apathy, inability to enjoy anything,
  • reticence,
  • depression,
  • suicidal thoughts,
  • anxiety,
  • irritability,
  • fatigue,
  • excessive sleepiness (sleep may last up to 48 hours),
  • headaches,
  • increased appetite,
  • reduction of muscle tone.

The severity of side effects is greatest in the first 2-3 days of withdrawal, after which the symptoms gradually disappear.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

The course of withdrawal syndrome following cocaine withdrawal is similar to that of amphetamines. Drugthis one is euphoric and stimulates psychomotor, therefore its withdrawal has the opposite effect - reduction of psychomotor drive.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms are:

  • despondency,
  • anhedonia,
  • depression,
  • inner anxiety,
  • lethargy or fatigue,
  • disorientation,
  • suicidal thoughts,
  • irritable and irritable,
  • increased appetite,
  • insomnia or excessive sleepiness.

There is an increased risk of suicide attempt if associated with withdrawal symptoms and depression.


In the case of discontinuation of the drug mixture (the so-called afterburner), it is more difficult to predict what consequences the withdrawal syndrome will have. Such stimulants can contain many types of psychoactive substances, both natural cannabinoids and toxic substances that are expected to increase the effects of the drug. Then the withdrawal syndrome may include symptoms characteristic of various psychoactive substances.

Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms

Marijuana has a lower addiction potential than "hard" drugs such as heroin, cocaine and amphetamines, but its withdrawal also causes withdrawal symptoms. They are generally milder and concern mainly the mental sphere, but a lot depends on the doses taken. A person who smoked marijuana daily or every few days before stopping treatment will experience more severe side effects - both mental and physical. In turn, people who use this drug occasionally, every few weeks or months, may not experience withdrawal symptoms at all.

Side effects appear 2-3 days after consuming the last dose of marijuana. Most often they include:

  • feeling hungry for a substance and wanting to be under its influence,
  • anxiety,
  • anxiety disorders,
  • irritability,
  • depressed mood,
  • appetite reduction,
  • sleepiness or insomnia.

Less frequently, after stopping the consumption of larger doses, the following may appear:

  • increased sweating,
  • convulsions,
  • accelerated pulse,
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,
  • depression.

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