How do I Treat Withdrawal Symptoms?

Ken Black

Withdrawal symptoms may be treated with a combination of drug therapy, behavior modifications, mental exercises and other forms of therapy. Often, the treatment of symptoms may continue over time until the individual being affected feels they are controllable without specialized techniques. Treating the symptoms of withdrawal should only be done after consulting with a health care professional.

Drug therapy may be used in the treatment of withdrawal symptoms.
Drug therapy may be used in the treatment of withdrawal symptoms.

Clonidine and chlordiazepoxide are two common drug therapies used for withdrawal symptoms. These drugs work to lessen the effects of withdrawal symptoms and generally are only used for a short period of time. In many cases, the drugs prescribed for someone trying to get over an addiction have the least chance of being habit forming. Despite this precaution, there may be some cases where the patient may develop a dependency on the treatment drug of choice, prompting a different medication or the discontinuation of medication to treat withdrawal symptoms overall.

Prayer might be a way for some people to treat withdrawal symptoms.
Prayer might be a way for some people to treat withdrawal symptoms.

Drugs used in the treatment of withdrawal symptoms often work by blocking chemicals in the brain that promote urges for certain chemicals, and may decrease blood pressure and heart rate. While many forms of addiction affect the same areas of the brain, only a medical professional can prescribe the medication most likely to work and the correct dosage. A doctor may prescribe different drugs, based on the patient's allergies, weight, gender and specific addiction. Withdrawal symptoms causing pain, such as headaches, can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers.

Chlordiazepoxide may be used for withdrawal symptoms.
Chlordiazepoxide may be used for withdrawal symptoms.

In some cases, a doctor or counselor may recommend other forms of therapy in addition to, or in lieu of, drug treatment. These therapies may include support groups or other accountability measures, along with a redirection to other activities. This type of treatment offers no side effects and may help individuals who feel they are all alone in trying to combat their urges. Such treatments are often dependent on the commitment of the patient to be effective.

Bed rest is helpful when dealing with withdrawal.
Bed rest is helpful when dealing with withdrawal.

For some individuals, meditation or prayer may be helpful in treating withdrawal symptoms. These techniques can help train the mind to focus on something other than the immediate feelings and urges at the time. This approach often requires the patient to be dedicated to the regimen. Often, this approach is proactive, being used before the individual begins having those urges or symptoms of withdrawal.

Hypnosis may be another option to treat withdrawal symptoms in some patients, especially those who do not respond to more conventional therapies or who may want to avoid medicines. With hypnosis, the individual may experience less severe symptoms or may find the symptoms totally disappear. This is another way of altering the mind through natural means to help patients recover most effectively. Hypnosis may not be suitable for all patients, however, and some people may not be hypnotized easily.

The drugs prescribed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms typically lower blood pressure and heart rate.
The drugs prescribed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms typically lower blood pressure and heart rate.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


Bhutan - I also heard that alcohol withdrawal symptoms can cause depression, fever, irritability, loss of appetite, and headaches, along with bouts of insomnia.

Most people seeking rehab for alcohol addiction resort to inpatient therapy supported by group therapy by going to an AA meetings.

These meetings are based on twelve principles that make recovery possible. In addition, the Alcoholics Anonymous meetings also help the alcoholic become accountable because the program issues a sponsor that acts like a mentor in order to help the alcoholic through the process.

In addition, they will also learn coping strategies and realize that they are not alone in their addiction.

The accountability aspect of the meetings is what makes them most effective for treating alcohol addiction because the alcoholic begins to understand that the addiction and propensity to drink will always be there so this is a lifelong problem not something that they will ever be cure of.


I know that withdrawal symptoms can occur when you stop drinking coffee or soda drinks laden with caffeine.

It also occurs if you dramatically alter your diet and stop eating sugary foods. This happened to me when I tried the South Beach Diet.

Initially I started getting headaches, but after a few days I actually had more energy than before. The same thing happened when I stopped drinking coffee when I was pregnant.

I also experienced some headaches that even developed into migraines. I think that this common among drug withdrawal symptoms for stimulants like caffeine.

I know that drug addiction withdrawal symptoms are far worse and most people need inpatient therapy in order to begin to wean themselves off of the drug. This also requires medications because some drug dependencies are so great that even when the patient stops the drug altogether it may result in death.

Post your comments
Forgot password?