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Understanding the Side Effects of Withdrawal

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Treatment for Three Decades and Counting

If you or a loved one is experiencing addiction, we’re here to help.

Make no mistake, drug rehabilitation has the power to change a person’s life. Drug detox and rehab can help people get clean and free of drugs. Rehab can also equip those pursuing recovery with the tools and coping skills needed to stay sober.

But, as anyone who has been through the process can attest,drug rehab is also filled with challenges. First of all, there’s the difficult adjustment to life without drugs. Then there are all the side effects that can occur in the process of treatment. Those uncomfortable symptoms may have the power to derail what progress has been made and even lead to relapse.1

Side Effects During Drug Rehab

During the drug detox portion of rehab, most individuals experience a series of withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms are psychological or physical conditions that occur while the body adjusts to the lack of alcohol or other drugs in the system.

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Hallucinations
  • Mood swings
  • Restlessness
  • Sleeplessness

Taken individually, none of these symptoms may be dangerous. But together, they can lead to significant mental and physical health concerns for the individual. In the end, the most serious reaction to withdrawal symptoms include relapse and suicidal thoughts or actions.2

How to Cope with the Negative Side Effects

People considering detox or addiction treatment often become concerned about the impact these withdrawal symptoms will have on their recovery. Fortunately, there are a number of things that anyone with a substance use disorder can do to help the process go more smoothly and, thereby, minimize the degree of resulting negative side effects.

These important measures toward a life in recovery include:

  • Check into a residential drug rehabilitation programResidential drug rehabilitation provides round-the-clock care for those individuals who fear that they may relapse during withdrawal. While outpatient programs can provide outstanding care, returning home at the end of the day can greatly increase the chance that temptation will overcome and relapse triggers will cause resumed use.
  • Be healthy – The stronger an individual is in mind, body and spirit, the less severe the side effects of drug rehab will be. In fact, many drug rehabs offer exercise and nutrition programs for this reason.
  • Talk to others – Maintaining a constant dialogue with counselors, peers and others who can give positive support can help avert negative thinking, wrong behavior, and drug use relapse. Sharing thoughts and experiences with others who are going through similar circumstances can help get through tough times.3

The Positive Effects of Completing Rehab

Despite the fact that some pain may be experienced in the process of going through detox and rehab, one needs to focus on the good things that result. Most importantly, there’s the opportunity to start anew. To reset your outlook for the future. To regain the chance to fulfill your hopes and dreams.

Many significant rewards await those who are diligent in seeing detox and rehab treatment through to completion. There’s personal health, relationships, work productivity, enjoyment of life, the capability to relax, better sleep and so much more! A fulfilling life can truly be achieved when the body is cleansed of toxins and drug addiction is managed effectively on an ongoing basis – including continued aftercare.4

Seeking Help Makes All the Difference

Michael’s House is a drug rehabilitation facility located in Palm Springs, California. We specialize in integrated treatment, in which other mental health issues are also treated at the same time in order to achieve maximally effective outcomes. If you’d like more information about our programs, please contact us at 760.548.4032.


1Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-based Guide.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, December 2012.

2Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.

3What to Do if You Have a Problem With Drugs: For Adults.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, January 2016.

4Drugs, Brains and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, July 2014.