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Drug Withdrawal by Classification (Drug Types)

Drug withdrawal refers to the psychological and physiological symptoms associated with withdrawal due to the reduction or elimination of a drug from the body. This includes smoking, drinking, and other types of drugs. If you or someone you love would like more information about a withdrawal symptoms list, call 1-888-935-1318 Who Answers? for a full list of potential symptoms by drug classification.

Overview of Withdrawal and Detoxification by Type

There are a number of different drug types that have withdrawal potential. This list of drug classifications includes:

Barbiturates are sometimes referred to as central nervous system depressants, or tranquilizers. These drugs produce an anesthetic and sedative effect. Drug intervention is often required when barbiturate addiction is indicated. This drug's withdrawal can be uncomfortable without medical assistance.

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is used for medical, religious, and recreational purposes around the world. It is one of the most widely used illicit drugs in the world. It is a Schedule I drug in the United States, making it illegal to possess, sell, or use the drug. It has a combination of hallucinogenic, depressant, and stimulant properties. The most common withdrawal symptom of cannabis is a low-grade form of anxiety. This type of anxiety is best treated through medical care.

Hallucinogens cause changes in thought patterns, emotions, consciousness, and perception. These drugs can make a person hear, smell, taste, and feel things that are not real or are not happening. A hallucinogen is normally known to intensify a person's mood, according to the mood that he or she is in when the drug is taken. Withdrawal is not normally dangerous for a hallucinogen, but the potential for injury is high while the drug is in effect. This drug is best used under medical care.

Narcotics are analgesics, also known as pain-relieving drugs. Narcotics are central nervous system depressants with the added psychoactive compound that can increase sleep, reduce pain, and induce euphoria. Narcotics are used for a number of pain-reliving situations, from surgeries and major pain to temporary pain relief. Narcotics can also be used as cough suppressants. Narcotics can cause withdrawal as soon as 12 hours after the last dose, with symptoms lasting up to five days. Psychological withdrawal can last a number of months.

Inhalants are volatile substances used to produce mild-altering affects by producing chemical vapors that are inhaled by the user. Inhalants are normally psychologically addictive, but not physically.

Depressants are psychoactive drugs. These drugs are used to temporarily reduce the function of the brain and central nervous system. These drugs can include opiates, barbiturates, tranquilizers, and others. Alcohol is one form of depressant. Depressants can cause dependency, which causes a user to need more of the drug to achieve the same effects. Withdrawal can occur when a depressant is reduced or stopped. These withdrawal symptoms can be potentially dangerous, so medical withdrawal is often required.

Antidepressants include drugs that are used to treat depression in individuals. These drugs, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, as well as other forms of antidepressants such as NDRIs, MAOIs, Tricyclic antidepressants, and SNRIs, can cause tolerance and dependency in some individuals. These drugs can cause a psychological and physical addiction. Withdrawal can occur if the drug is not tapered correctly.
Stimulants increase the normal activity of the central nervous system. There are a number of legal stimulants, as well as illegal. Legal stimulants include caffeine, nicotine, energy drinks, and prescription amphetamines. Illegal drugs include methamphetamine (meth), cocaine, and ecstasy. These drugs are highly addictive. Often, these drugs cause a mild withdrawal at the onset of use. Over time, if the drug is increased in the body, withdrawal symptoms may worsen.

This withdrawal symptoms list includes both the physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms a patient might experience from any of these types of drugs.

Physical

  • Sweating
  • Racing heart
  • Palpitations
  • Muscle tension
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Tremor
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing

Emotional

  • Restlessness
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Poor concentration
  • Depression
  • Social isolation

These withdrawal symptoms are not all-inclusive, and some individuals have unique symptoms that are not commonly seen. The easiest way to deal with withdrawal symptoms is to contact a healthcare provider. A doctor can help you decide on the best way to stop a medication or drug addiction with minor withdrawal and side effects.

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