Signs of Substance Withdrawal


Are you concerned that a loved one may be suffering from substance abuse? Perhaps they’re keeping it a secret from you but you can’t help but notice the sudden change in their behavior.

If you suspect that this may be the case, you’d want to keep a keen eye out, especially when you’re spending time with them. They will try very well to hide their real condition, but there will be signs, most definitely. Slip-ups that they may not notice, but which you should pick up on, so you can work on getting them the help they need.

With keen observation, you might even catch some telltale signs of substance withdrawal. It can be at a prolonged meeting or another professional business setup, at a social gathering with many other people, or even during some private time together.

1What is substance withdrawal?

A withdrawal is when physical and mental effects take place when a person highly dependent on a particular substance, whether it is drugs or alcohol, suddenly stops its intake. In withdrawal, the body is basically recognizing the absence of the substance, and reacts accordingly, given how it’s gotten so used to being inundated with it.

Substance withdrawals have a wide range of effects on the person. The longer they are without their substance of choice, the more these symptoms come up and affect their state.

2Behavioral Signs of Withdrawal

The first thing you might notice is a change in their mood or behavior. In the early hours of withdrawal, it may show as agitation and irritability. They may start losing their focus or concentration because they cannot satisfy their craving.

They may become fidgety and eager to leave the room for some privacy. It’s possible that they have access to the substance right then and there, and the fact that they can’t take it when they want is adding to their discomfort.

They may try to first come up with excuses to leave the room and find an opportunity to take the substance, whether in the privacy of the office bathroom, their car, or even as you have your back turned from them.

The longer they go without taking it, the more unpleasant the situation is for them. And because substance abusers take it so frequently, their tolerance for the substance eventually builds too, which means its effects last for a shorter period of time. This means that they need to increase the frequency of use just so they can keep their cravings constantly in check and satisfied.

3Physical Signs of Withdrawal

It gets to a point that even as the person denies that they are in withdrawal, their body no longer can. Physical signs of withdrawal do eventually manifest, and may initially include fidgeting, breaking out into cold sweats, and hyperactivity.

Later on, it may also cause nausea, flu-like symptoms such as chills and fever, inability to get some decent sleep, tremors, and vomiting. As the body rids itself of all the toxic substances, it reawakens, so to speak, the organs that have been impeded from full functionality due to the presence of the substance. This jump-starting of the system into a reset of sorts is what’s wreaking havoc in the body.

These should eventually subside, however, as soon as the toxins are completely flushed out. Throughout this time, it is important to give as much support and care for the addict. Even more ideal is for them to enter into a rehab facility like Gallus Medical Detox Centers (, so they can have a supervised withdrawal for their own safety.