The County of Dukes County
Persons who become dependent on alcohol or other drugs will experience a variety of symptoms when they abruptly stop using the substances. This experience is referred to as withdrawal, and its severity depends on a variety of factors including type of drug being used, consumption levels, general physical condition, and length of time using the drug. Symptoms of withdrawal vary with the type of drug. Alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal are the most serious and can be life threatening. Symptoms include tachycardia, tremors, nausea, anxiety, and—in more severe cases—seizures and delirium tremens. Opiate withdrawal symptoms include nausea, sweating, bone pain, and symptoms reminiscent of a bad case of the flu. While these are uncomfortable, they are not life threatening. Medications could be used to lessen symptoms and make it less likely that you will experience complications requiring more intensive hospital care.