Withdrawal syndrome: what is it?

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When abusing alcohol, doing drugs and smoking, there is withdrawal syndrome. It is a certain reaction of the body and mind, which manifests itself in the form of disorders that have psychological, somatic and neurological character. Specific manifestations occur as a result of abandonment of alcohol, narcotic substances and nicotine. This condition is not critical, as there are certain techniques that help to withstand a difficult period of getting used to new life without bad habits.

Many people who want to free themselves from alcohol and nicotine addiction are interested in what is withdrawal syndrome. This condition is formed gradually and in different periods. It is a kind of mental and physical disturbance after reducing the dosage of harmful substances or the complete cessation of their entry into the body.

Most often this phenomenon occurs in alcoholics and drug addicts, but it also happens that people get addicted to psychotropic drugs or analgesics. How quickly this state develops is largely dependent on the duration of taking alcohol or drugs, age, gender, as well as the general condition of a person. It is much easier to refuse the use of harmful substances for the smokers and the hardest for the drug addicts.

What are the causes of withdrawal syndrome? As we said, it is a long-term consumption of alcohol or drugs in high doses.

In alcoholics, this syndrome is formed after about 1-2 years of constant consumption of alcohol. People taking heroin, cocaine get addicted very quickly. Much more time is required in order to become addicted to hashish. Very rapidly develops the state of agony in case of refusal of consumption of hypnotics and stimulants.

What are the symptoms of withdrawal syndrome? This question is of interest to many people who consume alcohol or drugs. Given the severity of the course of this syndrome, there are 4 degrees. Each subsequent one indicates deterioration in condition of the addict, as well as a significant dependence on substances or the difficulties that arise in the process of treatment.

During this state, there are such signs as:

  • Distracted attention
  • Feeling of anxiety
  • Feeling of general weakness

Mild withdrawal syndrome has a more pronounced symptomatology, which manifests itself in anxiety, the appearance of insomnia, lack of appetite, accelerated heartbeat and breathing. This condition can be diagnosed very quickly. Moderate withdrawal syndrome manifests itself by hallucinations and changes in consciousness and sleep disturbances with terrible dreams. In addition, a person refuses to eat food. He or she has dyspnea and a very fast pulse. Severe withdrawal syndrome symptoms are expressed in significant changes in the psyche, manifested in the form of hallucinations, anxiety, aggressiveness, inadequate response. In addition, there is a strong sense of fear; appetite and sleep are completely disturbed. There is a very strong shaking of hands, severe sweating, seizures, frequent pulse and shortness of breath. In case of misdiagnosis or untimely treatment, there is a possibility of a fatal outcome.

How long does withdrawal syndrome last? It is practically impossible to talk about a specific period, as this time depends largely on the duration of taking substances, as well as the individual characteristics of the body.

Each person is trying different ways to get rid of this difficult state, but it is advisable to ask for qualified assistance to specialists. The duration of mild syndrome is 1-5 days. People who have been dependent for a long time will, most likely, experience painful conditions for few weeks or even months. Without proper treatment, period of withdrawal can last much longer, and the consequences can be very dangerous.

Despite the fact that there are no exact numbers, nevertheless, scientists were able to calculate the approximate time periods. The results of the observations are as follows:

  • With alcoholism, duration of this syndrome may range from one week to several months
  • If a person tries to quit narcotic drugs several weeks
  • Withdrawal syndrome can last from several days to several weeks, depending on the smoking experience
  • Withdrawal syndrome, caused by the administration of antidepressants, can make itself felt within three weeks

According to physicians, it is much easier to deal with this condition with support of the family. Help and support of the loved ones adds decisiveness and strengthens the will of the patient. Therefore, the probability of complete deprivation of dependence increases.

Medical professionals talk about a few stage of this condition. Pathological manifestations begin with minor problems, which, without proper treatment, become more severe. It happens that some people immediately after refusing their harmful habits start experience severe symptoms of withdrawal.

At the first stage, the patient may still struggle with the desire to take psychotropic drugs, so the period of abstinence lasts for no more than 2 days. During the next stage, the disease progresses markedly. The need to take psychotropic drugs or alcohol far exceeds everything else. At this stage, there is a process of degradation of the individual. The last stage is characterized by a very difficult condition of the patient, who constantly lives with the idea of getting another dose. He or she is not able to sleep normally, and it is difficult for him or her to move without help.

What helps with withdrawal syndrome? This condition should not be confused with the usual hangover and poisoning of the body. Very often, patient should stay in a rehab center, since they are not able to adequately perceive all that is happening. In this case, doctors first of all stop acute syndrome, and then conduct therapy, so that the patient subsequently refused to consume harmful substances.

Treatment is carried out with the help of medications, in particular, such as:

  • Detoxifying agents
  • Tranquilizers
  • Antidepressants
  • Neuroleptics
  • Nonsteroidal drugs

Additionally, it is imperative to eliminate insomnia and anxiety. Nootropic medications are used for this purpose. In certain cases, medical professionals prescribe Nootropil. Patients can purchase it at any drugstore, it is very popular. Or they can buy it from Swedish pharmacies, for example from online pharmacies.

This phenomenon can happen to everyone. No matter how strong addiction is the patient will be able to cope with everything if he or she truly wants to get rid of the habit, and also, if they feel constant support from the loved ones.

Last update: Mar 24, 2018

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