Withdrawal is the physical disturbance or changes that occur when a person begins to discontinue or suddenly stops their heavy use of drugs or alcohol. It also freqently accompanies ceasing the use of some prescription drugs or opiods.

The period following such a cessation may include painful physiological and psychological symptoms. Such as rapid pulse, perspiration, shaking, agitation, anxiety, and or depression.

A person going through withdrawal may also experience hallucinations or convulsions. These are strong signs that the person has become dependent on a substance.


Withdrawal symptoms range from subtle early-stage indications (anxiety, irritability, nervousness, nausea, insomnia, gastrontestinal distress, loss of appetite), to more obvious and undeniable later-stage evidence (blackouts, uncontrollable tremors, seizures, hallucinations, mental confusion).

References: Addiction: Why Can’t They Just Stop? Sheff, Warren, Ketcham & Eban 2007. ISBN 978-1-59486-715-6

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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National Clearing House for Alcohol and Drug Information

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)