Drug addiction is a serious problem with many consequences, one of them being, drug withdrawal symptoms which are experienced when a drug addict stops taking the drug they are addicted to. Drug withdrawal symptoms at times can be severe, if not life threatening. Drug withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable and should be treated with professional medical care.
Drug withdrawal symptoms have many variables depending upon what drug the addict is addicted to. The other main factors which contribute to the severity of withdrawal symptoms are quantity of the addictive drug being used and the length of time the drug has been abused.
As mentioned the type of drug used plays an important role in determining the length and severity of the drug withdrawal phase. An example would be withdrawal from methadone; an individual who uses methadone over a period of years and decides to discontinue the use of the drug may experience longer and more severe withdrawal symptoms than an individual who stops using heroin after an equal period of years of heroin use.
Another factor to be aware of during drug withdrawal is drug cravings. Drug cravings are the result of the drug's imprinting in the drug addict's memory, a pleasant association of euphoria with the addictive drug. The subconscious memory can motivate the drug addict to crave the drug because of the imprint. The brain, in effect, has been trained that using the drug is the quickest way to feel good. Due to the extreme physiological or physical pain some drug addicts experience during drug withdrawal a person can relapse before they complete the withdrawal process if professional care in a secure location is not provided. This is an important reason that the drug withdrawal should take place in an in-patient drug detox center. There the drug addict will be removed from the immediate access to the addictive drug. Drug withdrawal done at an inpatient drug detox center also provides the safety of medical supervision by trained professionals who are better able to monitor the withdrawal process, and insure the detox is done safely.