After a person stops using drugs, they may experience physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. The intensity and duration of these symptoms vary and can depend on what kind of drug a person was taking, how long they were using, the amount they were using, whether they were using more than one substance, a person’s overall physical condition, age, psychological characteristics, and health. Drug addiction withdrawal symptoms can occur with both recreational and street drugs as well as prescription medications, especially when the prescription medication is being taken other than prescribed. Read on to learn more about withdrawal symptoms and how our treatment can help you safely stop drug abuse.


We can help you achieve permanent sobriety that gives you your life back. Call to learn more about our therapy options in Phoenix, AZ.

Call 602-466-9880

Drug Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms may include one or more of the following, depending on what you were using:

  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Changes in mood
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Muscle pain
  • Shakiness
  • Congestion
  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Racing heart
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety

Some severe and dangerous withdrawal symptoms include seizures, hallucinations, and delirium. Delirium is a potentially deadly disturbance in cognitive abilities resulting in confusion and reduced awareness of a person’s environment. It can start very rapidly.

Drug addiction withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable, unpleasant, and sometimes downright miserable. But it’s also very possible for withdrawal symptoms from some substances and for some people to be life-threatening and potentially fatal. This is especially true for withdrawal from alcohol and from a category of drugs called benzodiazepines, including Xanax and Ativan.

Withdrawal symptoms for GHB and ketamine can also be very high risk. For this reason, when you are ready to stop using, it’s essential to make sure you are under medical supervision. At a medically supervised detox facility, medical providers will help make you more comfortable by providing medications to reduce and manage your symptoms. The detox staff will also monitor your vital symptoms and observe you for problematic reactions while going through withdrawal to ensure your safety. Detox can take several days or several weeks, depending on the severity of your addiction and how you respond to treatment.

When you use drugs and alcohol, it alters the neurochemistry of your brain. Neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin help regulate mood. Drugs and alcohol act on your brain’s reward system, or what is sometimes known as the “pleasure pathway” gets disrupted. They interfere with the effective functioning of the neurotransmitters. As a result, your brain learns to depend on drugs or alcohol to feel good. Once you stop using, your brain has to adjust to not having a steady supply of the drug or alcohol. This is when withdrawal kicks in.

Steps After Detox

It is also crucial to keep in mind that immediately following detox, a person no longer has the tolerance to drugs or alcohol they had before detoxing. Tolerance means that a person’s body had gotten used to a certain amount or dosage of a drug or alcohol and no longer responds to it in the same way as when the person initially started using. As a result, the person must take a larger dose of the drug to achieve the same effects. But after detoxing, a person goes back to square one. This means they are at high risk if they resume using the substance, especially if they use the amount they were using before detoxing. The risk of overdose for someone who has just detoxed is very high. For this reason, it’s essential to immediately start a treatment program following detox to ensure you don’t resume use. After detox, plans for treatment should be made before or during the detox process.

Even after a person is done with the acute symptoms of detox, they may still experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms or PAWS. These are symptoms that occur following the acute detox phase, which can be distressing and uncomfortable. It’s essential to learn to recognize PAWS symptoms when they arise and to be involved in a treatment or recovery program to help address and manage PAWS symptoms when they come up.

Where To Find Mental Health Treatment in Phoenix

At Camelback Recovery, we can help you find a medically supervised detox program and a variety of treatment programs you can start immediately after detoxing. In addition, we operate a partial hospitalization (PHP), intensive outpatient program (IOP), and four sober living homes for men and women who live in or near Phoenix.

Contact us today at (602) 466-9880 to learn more about our available mental health treatments, or fill out our contact form to hear back from us within one business day.


Camelback Recovery’s therapy center provides treatment to residents across the state of Arizona and the greater Phoenix area which includes Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, and Glendale. Click the button below to read more testimonials from our happy and sober alumni.


Camelback recovery is amazing. The environment is great and welcoming. I highly recommend this place to anybody who is looking to better their life.

Joseph C

It was a really good experience! I made some stable friendships, had a lot of fun, and got to reside in an absolutely beautiful house.

Allie H