What is the Best Way to Treat Alcohol Withdrawal?

how to treat alcohol withdrawalIf you drink a lot of alcohol for several weeks, months, or years in a row, you may be both physically and mentally addicted to it. Alcoholism is a dangerous condition that affects the way you think, feel, and behave. Without treatment, addiction to alcohol can have devastating effects on your physical and emotional health.

Unfortunately, many people are scared to stop drinking because they know what will happen when they quit: they will go into withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal is not only painful, but it can be life-threatening. People struggling with alcoholism often delay seeking treatment because they don’t want to go through the detoxification process, but there are effective treatments available.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol has a depressant effect on the system, slowing down breathing, respiration, and more. It also changes the way your brain and nerves send signals to each other. After prolonged alcohol abuse, your body adjusts to having to work harder to compensate for the depressant effects of alcohol. Then when the amount of alcohol in your system suddenly drops, your brain stays in an overactive state, resulting in undesirable symptoms of withdrawal.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may begin as soon as six hours after your last drink and can last for a week or more. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:[1]

  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Trembling
  • Shaky hands
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Increased heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever

Never Detox From Alcohol Alone

Detoxing from alcohol at home or without professional help can be dangerous. If symptoms such as seizures or hallucinations appear, your condition could become severe, and you may not have the capacity to seek help for yourself. It’s important to get help before advanced symptoms have the opportunity to appear.

The most severe form of alcohol withdrawal, known as delirium tremens or DTs, is characterized by extreme confusion, hyperactivity, and cardiovascular emergencies. While DTs only occur in 3-5% of people who have an alcohol use disorder, they are fatal in approximately 37% of cases that do not receive treatment.[2]

How to Treat Alcohol Withdrawal

The best way to treat alcohol withdrawal is with medical support. Alcohol detox centers can prescribe medications, monitor your symptoms, and help you achieve maximum symptom relief. Treatment begins with an evaluation to assess your drinking history and medical history so a custom treatment plan can be created based on your needs.

Medication: Benzodiazepines and Beyond

Medications can effectively reduce the severity of alcohol withdrawal and prevent complications like seizures. Benzodiazepines have the best track record for treating alcohol withdrawal, followed by anticonvulsants and barbiturates. Benzodiazepines are a class of central nervous system depressants that affect many of the same receptors as alcohol does.

During alcohol detox, doctors typically prescribe a long-acting benzodiazepine such as Valium (diazepam) or Librium (chlordiazepoxide) to treat symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. The dose provided is usually highest on the first 1-3 days, then the dose will slowly be reduced, allowing the body to gradually adjust to the changes it is experiencing.[3] A gradual dose reduction is a method known as tapering. Tapering can prevent many symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, prevent seizures, hallucinations, and DTs, and provide comfort to those starting their recovery journey. Benzodiazepines can also reduce anxiety and promote restful sleep.

If benzodiazepines alone are insufficient in managing symptoms, barbiturates such as phenobarbital or other anticonvulsants may be administered.

Medical Stabilization

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can change unexpectedly, so it’s important to receive medical support for the duration of your symptoms. Throughout detox, doctors, nurses, and support staff will monitor your vitals and observe your symptoms to ensure your safety.

Depending on your situation, you may also be given vitamins or supplements to promote optimal physical and mental health.

Self-Soothing Techniques

While medications and medical care are the best ways to treat alcohol withdrawal, it is also helpful to practice self-soothing techniques and proper self-care. The following tips will help you be successful during detox.

  • Staying in a quiet place with soft lighting
  • Eating healthy food and drinking plenty of liquids
  • Getting some light exercise if you feel up to it
  • Getting plenty of quality sleep
  • Talking to loved ones or a support group
  • Relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation
  • Write in a journal or read a book to keep your mind busy

Find an Alcohol Detox Center in Massachusetts Today

If you or a loved one are struggling with alcoholism, you’ve found yourself in the right place. Woburn Wellness offers several evidence-based alcohol rehab programs that can provide you with the tools necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety. Before starting one of our programs, we’ll help you locate the best alcohol detox center for you, so you can detox safely and prepare for your recovery journey.

Don’t wait any longer to get the help you need. Call today to get started.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6761824/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482134/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4085800/

Ativan Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, and Treatment

Ativan is the brand name for a benzodiazepine medication called lorazepam. Lorazepam is primarily used to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.[1] Because Ativan is a central nervous system depressant, it slows down activity in your brain causing feelings of relaxation and sometimes euphoria.

Benzodiazepines like lorazepam are known to be habit-forming and highly addictive when used long-term. Studies have found that up to 17.2% of benzodiazepine users are abusing their medication.[2]

If you or a loved one are addicted to Ativan, your body will begin relying on it to function properly. As a result, you will experience symptoms of withdrawal if you suddenly stop taking Ativan. You should always attend a medical detox program before attempting to quit Ativan or any other benzodiazepine because the withdrawal symptoms can become severe or life-threatening.

Being aware of the Ativan withdrawal symptoms, timeline, and treatment options available to you can help motivate you to seek the help you need.

The Symptoms of Ativan Withdrawal

The symptoms of Ativan withdrawal largely depend on the severity, duration, and frequency at which you abused the substance. Withdrawal symptoms occur when you suddenly stop taking Ativan after being physically dependent on it and can be severe or life-threatening without proper medical attention.

Symptoms of Ativan withdrawal may include:[3]

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Increased tension and anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors in the hands
  • Excessive sweating
  • Issues concentrating
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain and stiffness
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures

Ativan withdrawal can cause life-threatening symptoms such as psychosis and seizures so you should never stop taking it cold turkey. Attempting to detox at home could result in several adverse effects, such as relapse, overwhelming symptoms, and life-threatening health emergencies.

What is the Ativan Withdrawal Timeline?

Lorazepam has a half-life of 12 hours, which means half of the substance will be eliminated from your body in that amount of time. Because of this short half-life, your withdrawal symptoms could begin as early as 24 hours after your last dosage.

An estimated timeline for Ativan withdrawal is:

24 Hours

The early symptoms of withdrawal may begin 24 hours after you last used the drug. You may experience mild symptoms during this stage of withdrawal, including headaches, restlessness, insomnia, and nausea.

1 to 4 Days

Between one to four days after your withdrawal symptoms begin, you will experience the most severe symptoms. This is known as “peak withdrawal” and medical care is the most imperative at this time. You could experience any of the previously mentioned symptoms of withdrawal, as well as psychosis and seizures.

10 to 14 Days

After about 10 to 14 days, your withdrawal symptoms will begin to subside. However, some individuals experience something known as protracted withdrawal or post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).[4] PAWS causes mild and prolonged withdrawal symptoms that may last up to 12 months.

How is Ativan Withdrawal Treated During Medical Detox?

During detox, medical professionals will monitor your symptoms as you remain under 24-hour supervision. The physician may prescribe Ativan at a lower dose, gradually reducing your dose over a series of days or weeks, to taper your body off it. Tapering off Ativan can reduce the intensity of your withdrawal symptoms.[5]

When it comes to managing symptoms, there are several additional medications that may be used for Ativan withdrawal. These include:

  • Antidepressants for symptoms of depression and insomnia
  • Antihistamines for symptoms of anxiety and insomnia
  • Nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytics to treat anxiety

It is important to note that detox is only the first step in recovering from Ativan addiction. Once you have finished detoxing, a substance abuse counselor will help you create a plan for continued treatment that includes either inpatient or outpatient treatment. Addiction treatment programs offer evidence-based behavioral therapy and counseling that can help you maintain long-term sobriety.

Find an Ativan Detox Center Today

If you or a loved one suffers from Ativan addiction, it’s time to seek help. Ativan addiction can be incredibly difficult to overcome and the symptoms of withdrawal are potentially life-threatening without medical intervention. As a result, it’s always best to detox under medical supervision.

At Woburn Wellness, we work with some of the most trusted drug and alcohol detox centers in Massachusetts. Before starting one of our treatment programs, our team will connect you with a benzodiazepine detox program that can support your needs, allowing you to start your recovery safely. Call today to get started.


  1. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682053.html
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30554562/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7841856/
  4. https://www.semel.ucla.edu/dual-diagnosis-program/News_and_Resources/PAWS
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1711840/

What to Expect from a Benzodiazepine Detox Center in Massachusetts

Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants intended to treat anxiety and seizure disorders.[1] Sometimes, these substances are also used in the treatment of insomnia and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. While benzodiazepines are effective in managing the symptoms of the mentioned conditions, they are known to be habit-forming and highly addictive.

Because of the addiction risk posed by benzodiazepines, they are only intended for short-term use. Unfortunately, many people abuse these medications because they provide a euphoric and drowsy high. The most commonly abused benzodiazepines include Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), and Valium (diazepam).

If you or a loved one are addicted to a benzodiazepine drug, you must attend medical detox before attempting to quit. The withdrawal symptoms associated with benzodiazepine dependence can be severe and life-threatening in some cases. Benzodiazepine detox centers in Massachusetts can provide the round-the-clock support and medical care required to ensure your safety and comfort during the detoxification process.



What is Benzodiazepine Withdrawal?

If you have been taking benzodiazepines regularly and for a long time, you will experience withdrawal symptoms once you stop using them. This can happen if you were abusing them with or without a prescription.

Unfortunately, benzodiazepine withdrawal can be hazardous without proper medical assistance. The symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal may include:[2]

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Tension and anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Muscle stiffness and pain
  • Perceptual changes
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis

Because benzodiazepine withdrawal can cause severe symptoms like seizures and psychosis, you should always seek medical assistance from a licensed detox program.

What to Expect at a Benzodiazepine Detox Center in Massachusetts

Benzodiazepine detox centers in Massachusetts operate to help you safely and comfortably overcome withdrawal symptoms. They use an array of evidence-based treatments, including medications, psychological support, nutritional counseling, and individualized treatment planning.


When you arrive at a benzodiazepine detox facility you will undergo an in-depth assessment to determine your individual needs. These assessments cover information like your substance abuse, mental health, physical health, and family history. All of this information will allow the staff members to create a treatment plan that addresses your specific needs.

Common questions asked during an assessment include:

  • Which benzodiazepine are you addicted to?
  • Were you abusing any other substances?
  • How much of the drug and how often were you using it?
  • Do you have any diagnosed mental health conditions?
  • Have you ever attended addiction treatment before?
  • Do you have any medical conditions that require treatment or medication?
  • Does your family have a history of mental illness or addiction?


Without medical treatment, benzodiazepine withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable, painful, and even life-threatening. The safest way to detox from benzodiazepines is to slowly taper off them. At a detox center, the physician will prescribe a long-acting benzodiazepine medication and gradually reduce your dose over several days or weeks. Slowly reducing your dose will allow your body to adjust to progressively lower doses, thereby reducing the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

Additional symptom-specific medications can be prescribed to manage any symptoms that cause you discomfort.

During stabilization, the medical team will monitor your vitals to ensure your safety. Tapering using long-acting benzodiazepines will also reduce your risk for seizures and other medical complications.

Treatment Planning

After you are medically stabilized, you will begin collaborating with an addiction specialist to create a plan for continued care. It’s important to note that detox is only the first step in addiction treatment. Additional programs like inpatient or outpatient rehab provide you with psychological and behavioral therapies that are necessary to maintain long-term recovery.

Your counselor might recommend you transition into a sober living housing program after you complete benzodiazepine rehab because doing so can help you prepare for independent living as a sober individual.

Get Connected With a Top Rated Benzodiazepine Detox Center in Massachusetts

Benzodiazepine addiction can be incredibly difficult to overcome, especially if you are taking these medications to treat an anxiety or seizure disorder. Attending a reputable benzodiazepine detox center in Massachusetts will ensure that you overcome withdrawal symptoms safely.

At Woburn Wellness, our team works with some of the most highly rated drug and alcohol detox centers in Massachusetts. Before you transition to one of our outpatient programs, we will help you locate the right detox program for you so you can start your recovery journey safely. The sooner you get help, the easier it will be, so don’t wait any longer. Call now to start your recovery journey.


  1. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Benzodiazepenes-2020_1.pdf
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7841856/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23126253/

What to Look for in a Boston Drug and Alcohol Detox Center

Drug addiction and alcoholism are common issues in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “One in 7 Americans reports experiencing a substance use disorder.”

When you become addicted to a substance, your brain and body begin to rely on that chemical to function properly. If you were to suddenly stop taking that drug, you will experience a combination of mental and physical withdrawal symptoms. Oftentimes, these withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly uncomfortable, impossible to cope with, and in some cases, life-threatening.

Because of the potential dangers of experiencing drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, you should always seek medical attention before stopping the use of a substance you are dependent on. Thankfully, there are plenty of drug and alcohol detox centers in Boston that can provide you with the treatment and support you need to recover.

What Happens at a Drug and Alcohol Detox Center?

The goal of detox is to provide you with the medical care necessary to safely overcome physical and psychological dependency on a substance. Typically, this includes the use of FDA-approved medications, 24/7 monitoring, psychological support, and holistic treatments to soothe uncomfortable symptoms.

Understanding what happens during drug and alcohol detox in Boston can help you determine what you should be looking for when choosing a reputable program to attend.


When you arrive at a detox facility, you will undergo an in-depth initial assessment. These assessments are designed to gather relevant information about your substance use disorder, mental health, and overall physical health. In doing so, the staff members can create an individualized treatment plan that is specific to your needs and goals in recovery.

Examples of common assessment questions include:

  • How long have you been abusing drugs and alcohol?
  • What substance are you addicted to?
  • When was the last time you used “x” substance?
  • How often and what dosage?
  • Do you abuse more than one substance?
  • Have you ever been to treatment or relapsed before?
  • Does addiction or mental illness run in your family?
  • Are you diagnosed with any co-occurring mental health conditions?
  • Do you experience any chronic health conditions that require treatment?
  • Are you currently taking any prescribed medications for physical or mental health conditions?

This information will allow the physicians to determine a general timeline for your withdrawal process, what types of medications you may require, whether you need targeted mental health treatment, and more.


After your assessment is completed, you will begin the stabilization stage of detox. This is where you receive medical treatment to soothe withdrawal symptoms and prevent cravings. It is important to note that the medications and treatments you will receive depend heavily on the type of substance you are addicted to, how long you were using it, and how much of it you used at a time.

For substances like alcohol and opioids, you may receive FDA-approved tapering medications to prevent you from experiencing severe symptoms of withdrawal. For example, medications like Suboxone and methadone are used to treat opioid withdrawal because it targets opioid receptors like opioid drugs of abuse, tricking your brain into believing it is receiving the substance it’s dependent on.

Withdrawal symptoms from other substances like methamphetamine or cocaine may be treated with symptom-specific medications. For example, methamphetamine withdrawal often causes severe flu-like symptoms and psychological effects. If you are detoxing off of meth, you might receive anti-nausea medication, anti-anxiety pills, or medicine for symptoms of depression.

Treatment Planning

Once you have overcome your withdrawal symptoms, you will begin working with your doctor and psychologist to create a treatment plan. After all, detox is only the first step in addiction recovery. The staff members will help you determine what services you will require to maintain long-term sobriety and live a fulfilling life without substances.

Oftentimes, this includes attendance in an inpatient or outpatient rehab program, services for co-occurring mental health conditions, and sober living housing programs to help you transition into independent living as a sober individual.

What to Look for in a Boston Drug & Alcohol Detox

Unfortunately, not all drug and alcohol detox programs are created equally. Its important to know how to differentiate between a reputable detox program and an untrustworthy one.

If you are thinking of attending a drug and alcohol detox program in Boston, look for the following qualities:

  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) – the use of medications during detox is vital to your safety and success, as withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to overcome and life-threatening in some cases.
  • Qualified and experienced staff members – drug and alcohol detox is a highly specialized field, which means it requires extensive knowledge to provide proper care.
  • Insurance and payment options – detox can be extremely expensive, however, detox facilities accept a wide range of insurance and/or offer payment plans to make treatment accessible to everyone.
  • Access to mental health services – the best drug and alcohol detox centers near Boston will include some form of mental health treatment, as it is widely understood that addiction is both a psychological and physical disease that commonly co-occurs with additional mental illnesses.
  • Assistance with further treatment planning – detox centers should always help their patients find additional treatment programs (i.e. inpatient or outpatient rehab) if they do not offer a continuum of care themselves.

Get Connected With a Drug and Alcohol Detox Center in the Boston Area

If you or a loved one suffer from a substance use disorder, the first step to recovery is attending a medical detox program. Detox facilities in Boston can provide you with the support, treatment, and tools you need to recover from withdrawal symptoms safely and comfortably. Unfortunately, attempting to detox at home could result in life-threatening withdrawal symptoms or relapses and overdoses, making it vital that you receive professional care.

Woburn Wellness is here to help. To learn more about our drug and alcohol detox facility in Boston, contact us today.


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/stigma/
  2. https://www.samhsa.gov/medications-substance-use-disorders/medications-counseling-related-conditions/methadone

How to Find a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Center Near You

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a type of addiction treatment that combines FDA-approved medications like Suboxone and Vivitrol with a comprehensive behavioral and mental health approach. Medications help patients detox comfortably and cope with cravings, while behavioral therapy, counseling, and support groups help individuals process emotions, treat mental health disorders, and develop the coping skills they need to stay sober.

MAT programs have been clinically proven safe and effective. Research shows they improve treatment retention and completion rates, reduce the risk of overdose and drug-related criminal behavior, and result in longer periods of sustained sobriety.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may be right for you. All MAT programs are different with their own specialties and approaches, so it’s important to find the right one near you.


Medication-Assisted Treatment


What to Look for in a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program Near You

The FDA has approved several different medications to treat alcohol and opioid use disorders, but MAT is more than just medications–MAT is a whole-person approach. If a treatment center only prescribes medication but doesn’t offer counseling or case management services, they may not be the best option for your recovery. Patients who receive MAT medications require a range of relapse prevention, mental health care, and social programming services.

Before you enroll in a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) rehab near you, you should carefully assess the treatment center and its programs to determine if the program is right for you. Some characteristics you may want to look for include:

  • Program accreditation
  • Licensed physicians on staff who are qualified to prescribe MAT medications
  • A comprehensive and individualized approach to therapy
  • Psychiatric and mental health services available
  • Experienced addiction and mental health counselors on staff
  • An aftercare program for continued support
  • Case management for your individual needs

How to Find the Right Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Center Near You

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may be offered across multiple levels of care, including inpatient and outpatient rehab programs. But finding the right rehab center that offers MAT can be challenging, especially if you’ve never gone to rehab yourself or helped a loved one get into rehab before. Some ways you can find a trusted MAT center near you include:

Get a Referral

If you’re seeking addiction help of any kind and don’t know where to turn, your primary care provider or therapist is a great place to start. A medical professional who knows you well can assess your situation and make recommendations accordingly. Some physicians are qualified to prescribe MAT medications outside of a treatment clinic, so they may be able to get you started with MAT while connecting you to a supportive treatment program. A counselor, on the other hand, may have a comprehensive understanding of your addiction and your mental health, so they may be able to refer you to a treatment program that matches your needs.

Verify Your Insurance

Rehab and MAT medications are covered by insurance. However, in order to make sure your treatment is covered by your health plan, you need to verify your coverage and choose an in-network treatment facility. Your insurance may cover part or all of your treatment and medication costs at an in-network rehab. Simply call the number on the back of your insurance card and speak with a representative who can help you find in-network MAT clinics near you.

Speak With an Addiction Specialist

The best way to find medication-assisted treatment near you is to speak with a trusted addiction specialist. An addiction specialist can not only verify your insurance for you, but they can briefly assess your needs and situation to make the most appropriate recommendation for you. Addiction specialists will learn about the drugs you are using, how long you’ve been struggling, and what your life circumstances are before referring you to a MAT program in your area.

Woburn Wellness has addiction specialists available 24 hours a day to take your call and assess your needs.

Find Out if Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is Right for You

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may not be right for everyone, but if you are struggling with an addiction to opioids or alcohol, you may qualify. At Woburn Wellness, our dedicated admissions counselors are available now to walk you through a pre-assessment, verify your insurance coverage, and help you choose the best treatment program for you.

Our medication-assisted treatment (MAT) option in Massachusetts utilizes an evidence-based approach that supports your physical, mental, and emotional needs, placing you on a path toward long-term recovery. To find medication-assisted treatment near you or to learn about your additional treatment options, please contact us today.

5 Serious Problems That Can Occur During Alcohol Withdrawal and How a Detox Center Can Help

Alcoholism is a serious problem in the United States, with nearly 15 million people aged 12 or older suffering from the disease.[1]

While there are many risks associated with long-term alcohol abuse, one of the most important concerns is withdrawal. When you suffer from alcoholism, your brain and body begin to rely on the substance to function properly. If you attempt to abruptly quit using the substance, you will experience symptoms of withdrawal.

There is a common misconception that alcoholism is not as serious as drug addiction because alcohol is legal for people aged 21 and older to drink. However, alcohol abuse can be just as life-threatening as any other form of substance abuse. In fact, alcohol withdrawal symptoms are more dangerous than withdrawal from any other substance with the exception of benzodiazepines.

5 serious problems and complications that can occur during alcohol withdrawal are:

1. Withdrawal Seizures

In addition to painful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, you could experience severe seizures during the alcohol withdrawal process. Seizures are more common in those who are not receiving medical treatment, and they are completely preventable with prescribed benzodiazepine medications.

Typically, alcohol withdrawal seizures occur two days after your last drink. Most alcohol withdrawal seizures are usually grand mal seizures, which can be life-threatening without medical attention. Symptoms of grand mal seizures include jerking motions, muscle stiffness, difficulty breathing, and unconsciousness.[2]

2. Alcoholic Hallucinosis

Another risk associated with alcohol withdrawal is referred to as alcoholic hallucinosis. Alcoholic hallucinosis is an alcohol-induced psychotic disorder that can cause you to experience visual and auditory hallucinations. While this complication is not common, it is a risk you must consider if you are not under the care of a reputable medical detox program.

The symptoms of alcoholic hallucinosis include:[3]

  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations

If you develop this condition, alcoholic hallucinosis will begin 12 to 24 hours after your last drink and can be extremely distressing and even dangerous in some cases.

3. Todd’s Paralysis

If you develop withdrawal seizures, you are at an increased risk of developing another complication of alcohol withdrawal called Todd’s Paralysis. Todd’s Paralysis is a neurological condition that develops after you experience a seizure. The symptoms often mimic a stroke, can last from a few minutes to a few hours, and may include partial or complete paralysis.[4]

The symptoms of Todd’s Paralysis include:

  • Numbness
  • Disorientation
  • Weakness of a limb
  • Slurred speech

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for this condition. If you experience Todd’s Paralysis, all you can do is try to rest comfortably. Resting can be difficult during alcohol withdrawal without medical treatment, highlighting the importance of attending an alcohol detox program.

4. Delirium Tremens (DTs)

If you have gone through alcohol withdrawal before, you may be aware of delirium tremens (DTs). This is the most dangerous form of alcohol withdrawal that can lead to death without professional treatment.

The symptoms of alcoholic delirium tremens include:

  • Agitation and aggression
  • Confusion
  • Trembling
  • Excessive sweating
  • Tachycardia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Impaired consciousness
  • Hallucinations
  • Shaking, tremors, and seizures

If you develop DTs, they will begin to affect you 2 days after your last drink. Delirium tremens can last between 2 to 3 days and require extensive medical treatment to prevent symptoms from becoming life-threatening. While only up to 5% of people recovering from alcoholism suffer from DTs, it is still a large number of people, and it isn’t a risk you want to take.[5]

5. Relapse

Lastly, one of the most serious problems that can occur during alcohol withdrawal is relapse. When you are suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms without any medical assistance, the symptoms can become too much to bear. As a result, you may decide to begin drinking again to soothe your symptoms.

While drinking alcohol is not typically life-threatening, returning to your alcohol abuse after a period of abstinence can be. You might forget to factor in your loss of tolerance, causing you to drink too much alcohol for your body to handle. This can cause you to experience alcohol poisoning, which is another term for an overdose, accidental injury, or social problems.

The symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:[6]

  • Mental confusion, stupor
  • Difficulty remaining conscious, or inability to wake up
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute)
  • Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
  • Slow heart rate
  • Clammy skin
  • Dulled responses, such as no gag reflex (which prevents choking)
  • Extremely low body temperature, bluish skin color, or paleness

How Can an Alcohol Detox Program Help?

While the complications of alcohol withdrawal can be incredibly scary, receiving assistance from an alcohol detox center can reduce your risk of experiencing these conditions. Most detox centers use medications that prevent severe withdrawal symptoms such as delirium tremens and alcoholic seizures.

Because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that affects the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) most alcohol detox centers prescribe long-acting benzodiazepines like diazepam or lorazepam that target the same neurotransmitter.[7] Benzodiazepines affect the same areas of the brain as alcohol, so they can alleviate withdrawal symptoms while also preventing seizures. Over time, your doctor will reduce your dose of benzodiazepines until you are no longer experiencing withdrawal.

In addition to medication, your vitals will be monitored constantly, allowing the medical team to promptly address any medical concerns you are experiencing. Between medications and monitoring, alcohol detox centers will prevent you from experiencing the severe consequences of alcohol withdrawal, keeping you safe, comfortable, and most importantly – alive.

Find an Alcohol Detox Center in Massachusetts Today

If you or a loved one suffers from alcoholism, never attempt to detox at home. Alcohol withdrawal can be incredibly dangerous without proper treatment, sometimes leading to life-threatening conditions like delirium tremens. At a reputable alcohol detox facility, you will have all of the treatment, medications, and support you need to remain safe and comfortable throughout your withdrawal process.

To find a detox center and make arrangements for your care, please contact Woburn Wellness today.


  1. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1312739/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3830167/
  4. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/health-information/disorders/todds-paralysis
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482134/
  6. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/understanding-dangers-of-alcohol-overdose
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4606320/

What is the Difference Between Detox and Rehab and Which One is Right for Me?

According to the National Institutes of Health, 10% of the U.S. population has suffered from addiction at some point in their lives. Substance use disorders can be extremely difficult to overcome, however, leaving addiction untreated can destroy your life. The best way to recover from substance abuse issues is to attend professional addiction treatment.

There are many different types of addiction treatment programs, but they can all be grouped into either detox centers or rehab facilities. Typically, medical detox programs are the first step in addiction recovery. These programs help you overcome withdrawal by providing you with medications and treatments that soothe symptoms and prevent cravings.

Usually, rehab is the next step after detox. During rehab, you will participate in individual therapy, group counseling, holistic treatments, and relapse prevention planning. These programs provide you with the emotional and behavioral treatments you need to recover from addiction.

Learning about the differences between detox and rehab can help you determine which program is right for you.



What is Detox?

Detox is the first step in addiction recovery. The goal of these programs is to remove any and all substances from your body while preparing you for further treatment. Most detox programs last 7 to 14 days depending on your projected withdrawal timeline.

During detox, the goals include:

  • Cleansing your body of toxins
  • Reducing the pain and discomfort of withdrawal
  • Lowering your stress and anxiety levels
  • Strengthening your body’s immune system
  • Learning how to control your behavior
  • Managing withdrawal symptoms
  • Lessening drug and alcohol cravings

While the primary goal of detox is to help you overcome withdrawal, these programs also set you up with a solid foundation for further treatment. Detox helps you regain control over your body and allows your brain to begin functioning properly again. Without attending detox, your withdrawal symptoms can become too much to handle and result in relapse, making recovery out of reach. Sometimes, withdrawal can even be life-threatening.

What is Rehab?

Drug and alcohol rehab focuses on the health of your mind rather than your body. Because your body has already recovered during detox, you will focus on working on the emotional and behavioral issues related to your substance abuse. The main goal of rehab is to develop a new lifestyle that encourages sobriety.

Typically, rehab lasts anywhere between 30 to 90 days. Some individuals spend more time in rehab, especially if they have underlying co-occurring mental health conditions that must be addressed.

During rehab, you will participate in the following treatments and services:

  • Evidence-based behavioral therapy
  • Individual, group, and family counseling
  • Holistic treatments like meditation, yoga, and exercise
  • Nutritional counseling
  • 12-step programs and other support groups
  • Relapse prevention planning
  • Case management

Overall, drug and alcohol rehab helps you identify triggers for substance abuse, develop coping mechanisms, and learn how to maintain long-term sobriety after detox.

How to Determine Whether You Should Attend Detox or Rehab

When determining whether you should attend detox or rehab, there is a simple way to decide. If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, you should always choose to enter a detox program before attending rehab. Even if you are not currently experiencing withdrawal symptoms, you should receive support from a detox program before you abruptly quit using a substance.

Avoiding detox can be extremely dangerous, depending on the withdrawal symptoms you develop. Certain substances like alcohol or benzodiazepines can lead to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms without medical treatment, such as seizures. Even if your symptoms are not life-threatening, they can cause you to relapse without proper treatment.

The common symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal include:


Common Symptoms of Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal


  • Trembling and tremors
  • Muscle pain or aches
  • Hunger or loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures

If you or a loved one experience any of the above symptoms, you must attend a medical detox program. These programs can provide you with medications to soothe your symptoms and prevent you from experiencing life-threatening ones such as seizures.

However, if you have already completed a detox program or did not develop symptoms of withdrawal, you may be able to enter drug and alcohol rehab first. It is important to note that you should only skip detox if you are confident that you will not develop withdrawal symptoms.

Thankfully, drug and alcohol rehab programs will provide you with an in-depth initial assessment to determine your needs upon arriving at the facility. If you do need medical detox treatment, the rehab program will transfer you into a detoxification program. But most individuals should attend detox before entering a rehab program.

Find Help for Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Today

If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, receiving help from a professional addiction treatment program is of the utmost importance. More often than not, people require detox treatment before entering a drug and alcohol rehab program. These programs help your brain and body adjust to sobriety while preventing you from experiencing serious withdrawal symptoms.

After you complete detox, you can move on to rehab where you will recover from negative behavioral patterns and emotional traumas. To learn more about how professional rehab can help you overcome addiction, contact Woburn Wellness today.

Can I Quit Using Heroin Cold Turkey?

Heroin is a potent, highly-addictive opiate drug. Heroin users are at risk of developing brain damage and physical dependence, even after a short period of use. People who use heroin are at risk of serious complications, including addiction, overdose, and death.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an estimated 0.4% (or about 1.0 million people) had a heroin use disorder and approximately 9,173 people died from an overdose involving heroin in 2021.[1]

The serious, sometimes life-threatening consequences of heroin addiction make it critical for people to stop using the drug. But the changes to a person’s brain and body that occur after regular heroin use can make it nearly impossible to stop using it without treatment.

But many people want a quicker solution to their substance abuse or addiction. Some plan to quit cold turkey–meaning they will stop using the drug suddenly. But is it safe to quit heroin cold turkey?

Learn more about what happens when you stop heroin cold turkey and how to find the support you need to overcome drug addiction. Reach out to the Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment team to learn about your heroin rehab options.

What Happens When You Quit Heroin Cold Turkey?

Heroin use can alter the structure and chemistry of your brain. After a period of regular heroin use, your body adjusts to the presence of the drug. If you suddenly stop using heroin, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms as your body goes through the detox process. Symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:[2]

  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Body aches
  • Anxiety
  • Twitching
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Stomach pain
  • Cramping
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Intense cravings

Symptoms usually begin within 6-24 hours of your last use of heroin. The duration and intensity of your withdrawal symptoms depend on the severity and length of your addiction and other personal factors.

Many people find heroin withdrawal so uncomfortable that they may relapse before their body has a chance to detox fully. Some of the symptoms of heroin withdrawal can become life-threatening. People should always have professional support and supervision during detox to avoid potentially deadly complications.

Is it Dangerous to Stop Heroin Cold Turkey?

Heroin withdrawal can be challenging and can sometimes lead to severe complications that can significantly harm your well-being. Some of these complications include:

  • Excessive vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood sodium levels
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Seizures
  • Severe depression with suicidal thoughts
  • Intense cravings

The cravings people experience during heroin withdrawal can substantially increase the risk of relapse. This is especially dangerous during heroin withdrawal, as tolerance is lower after a period of abstinence, and the risk of life-threatening overdose is high.

What is the Alternative to Quitting Heroin Cold Turkey?

Instead of trying to abruptly stop using heroin after a period of regular use, it’s helpful to seek treatment from a medical facility or drug and alcohol detox center. Detox centers can prescribe medications, monitor your symptoms, and make sure you follow up detoxification with continued treatment that supports long-term recovery.

Medical Management of Heroin Withdrawal

Professional, medically-supported detox is the safest way to manage the dangers of heroin withdrawal. During heroin detox, medical specialists and support professionals assess and treat people’s withdrawal symptoms with medications and holistic therapies.

Common medications used in heroin detox include:[3]

These and other medications can help lower the intensity of your withdrawal symptoms. Medications can also counteract some of withdrawal’s most uncomfortable physical and emotional aspects of cold turkey heroin withdrawal.

Other forms of treatment include:

  • Emotional support, including individual counseling when appropriate
  • Distance from triggers
  • Holistic therapies like exercise, nutrition support, mindfulness, and others

Combining evidence-based and holistic treatments can help you have a safe, complete withdrawal.

Once detox is complete, you must participate in a comprehensive addiction treatment plan that can give you the skills, treatment, and support you need to avoid relapse for life.

Do I Need Treatment for Heroin Abuse or Addiction?

Recognizing substance abuse and addiction are the first steps toward getting the help you need to overcome it. If you or someone you love uses heroin, you must seek professional help to avoid addiction’s serious, sometimes life-threatening consequences.

The signs of heroin abuse and addiction include:

  • Needing to use more heroin to get the same effect
  • Using more heroin than you intended to or using more often
  • Spending a lot of time thinking about, using, or recovering from substance use
  • Continuing to use heroin despite negative consequences to your work, relationships, or health
  • Financial or legal problems associated with your heroin use
  • Stealing, lying, or hiding your heroin use
  • Isolating or losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Only spending time with other heroin users
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, in school, or at home

Getting the treatment you need can be as simple as reaching out to the caring specialists at Woburn Addiction Treatment. Our knowledgeable addiction specialists can help you get the support and care you need to have a safe, complete detox and a lifelong recovery from heroin abuse.

Find Treatment for Heroin Abuse and Addiction Today

Heroin abuse and addiction can cause significant damage to every aspect of your life. Your health, relationships, and work can suffer as your addiction becomes the center of your life.

You don’t have to carry the weight of your addiction alone. Don’t wait another day for the help you need. Find the support you need or call today to learn about the heroin addiction treatment programs at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment.


  1. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/scope-heroin-use-in-united-states
  2. https://journals.lww.com/americantherapeutics/Abstract/2022/04000/Pharmacological_Management_of_Heroin_Withdrawal.4.aspx
  3. https://www.samhsa.gov/medications-substance-use-disorders

Hydrocodone Withdrawal Timeline, Symptoms, and Detox Treatment

Hydrocodone is a prescription opioid medication that is prescribed to treat the symptoms of pain. While hydrocodone is effective in reducing the symptoms of pain, it is not recommended for long-term use because it can be habit-forming and highly addictive.

Unfortunately, prescription opioid abuse is relatively common in the United States. According to the CDC, An average of 44 people died each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids, totaling more than 16,000 deaths in 2020.[1]

When you become addicted to hydrocodone, your body begins to rely on the substance to function properly. This is known as physical dependence and is what causes you to experience withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop taking the drug. If you or a loved one abuse hydrocodone, being aware of the withdrawal timeline and how it is treated can motivate you to seek the help you need.

Symptoms of Hydrocodone Withdrawal

One of the telltale signs of prescription opioid addiction is experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when you stop taking the opioid you are addicted to. If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal if you stop taking the medication, you should consider attending a medical detox program. These symptoms can become uncomfortable, painful, and even dangerous without medical assistance.

The common symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal include:[2]

  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Teary eyes
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive yawning
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Cravings for hydrocodone
  • Depression
  • Stomach cramping
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills

The Hydrocodone Withdrawal Timeline

Before choosing to attend a prescription opioid detox program, you may be wondering how long withdrawal will last. While there is a general withdrawal timeline that most people follow, certain factors may affect how long your symptoms last. For example, the dosage, frequency of use, your overall health, and whether you were abusing other substances may play a role in how long hydrocodone withdrawal lasts.

An estimated timeline for hydrocodone withdrawal is:

6 to 12 Hours

Most people begin experiencing the initial symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal 6 to 12 hours after their last dosage. The early symptoms of withdrawal are usually mild. During this stage of detox, you may experience body aches, nausea, stomach cramps, and excessive sweating.

3 to 5 Days

Your symptoms of withdrawal will peak in intensity between the 3rd and 5th day of detox. During the peak stage of hydrocodone withdrawal, you may experience diarrhea, shaking, vomiting, body aches, and other flu-like symptoms.

6+ Days

By the 6th day of withdrawal, your symptoms should begin to subside. While the physical symptoms of withdrawal are usually gone, you can continue to experience psychological effects like depression, anxiety, insomnia, and intense cravings for hydrocodone. Because these psychological symptoms can be extremely distressing, receiving support from a medical detox center is of the utmost importance.

Variables That Affect the Hydrocodone Withdrawal Timeline

How long hydrocodone withdrawal lasts may vary from one person to another based on certain patterns of drug use and health, for example:

  • The longer you have used hydrocodone and the higher doses you take, the longer your withdrawal symptoms will last
  • Having gone through opioid withdrawal in the past may increase the severity of symptoms
  • Age, weight, gender, and body fat composition may influence the withdrawal timeline
  • Hydrocodone is processed by your liver, so impaired liver function may result in a longer withdrawal period

Since hydrocodone withdrawal can be unpredictable, the best choice to make is to detox under medical supervision.

What to Expect at a Hydrocodone Detox Center

Opioid detox centers will provide you with treatments and medications to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal and prevent you from experiencing cravings. Medical care is especially important during opioid withdrawal because symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting can lead to severe dehydration. Additionally, the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal often cause individuals to relapse when they attempt to detox at home.

With that being said, you should always receive support from a detox facility while you are going through hydrocodone withdrawal. During detox, you will be prescribed medications like methadone or buprenorphine, which target the opioid receptors in your brain to soothe symptoms of withdrawal without causing an intoxicating effect. Over time, you will be slowly tapered off of these medications, ensuring that you do not experience severe symptoms or cravings.

In addition to tapering medications, you will be monitored consistently to ensure medical stability and overall health. Nurses will check your vitals routinely, which allows them to catch any medical issues before they become an emergency.

Detox also includes 24/7 psychiatric support, as withdrawal symptoms may include feelings of depression, anxiety, mood swings, and insomnia. You will have access to licensed mental health providers like therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists. You can attend therapy, and group counseling, and receive psychiatric medications to manage any severe symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Once you have completed the detoxification process, you can move on to additional recovery programs like inpatient or outpatient treatment. Your detox treatment team will help you create an individualized treatment plan that will help you determine which type of program will best suit your needs and goals for recovery.

Find Help for Hydrocodone Abuse and Addiction Today

If you or a loved one suffer from a hydrocodone addiction, it is important to remember that recovery is possible. While attempting to stop using opioids at home can be dangerous, professional detox programs can help you comfortably and safely overcome an addiction to hydrocodone.

At Woburn Wellness, we believe in using a combination of evidence-based and holistic addiction treatment methods to ensure every patient recovers in a way that works for them. Before starting our hydrocodone addiction treatment program, we’ll make sure you have access to safe and supportive detox treatment.

To learn more about our substance abuse treatment programs, contact Woburn Wellness today.


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/deaths/prescription/maps.html
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526012/

What is Prescription Opioid Detox Like in Massachusetts?

Prescription opioids are medications prescribed to treat mild to severe cases of pain. While these medications are effective in reducing the symptoms of pain, they are also highly addictive. When someone is abusing prescription opioids, they are at an increased risk of suffering from an opioid overdose.

According to the CDC, “In 2020, an average of 44 people died each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids, totaling more than 16,000 deaths.”[1]

Keeping the risk of overdose in mind, receiving professional treatment for opioid addiction is vital. Unfortunately, many people avoid seeking help because they are worried about experiencing withdrawal symptoms. While opioid withdrawal can be uncomfortable and even painful, prescription opioid detox centers in Massachusetts can prescribe medications to soothe your symptoms and offer support to help you begin your recovery journey.

Symptoms of Prescription Opioid Withdrawal

Prescription opioids include medications like codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone. If you abuse these medications repeatedly, your brain and body will become dependent on the substance. If you were to stop taking an opioid suddenly, you may experience symptoms of withdrawal because your body is missing a substance the brain has deemed “normal.”

Common symptoms of prescription opioid withdrawal include:[2]

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Without proper treatment, these symptoms can become severe and unbearable, so many individuals relapse after attempting to detox at home. Relapsing after a period of abstinence can be extremely dangerous because your tolerance gets lower, putting you at an increased risk of overdose.

What to Expect at a Prescription Opioid Detox Center in Massachusetts

Prescription opioid detox centers in Massachusetts provide a safe and comfortable setting to overcome withdrawal. Services include an initial assessment to determine your needs, medical stabilization through treatments and medication, 24/7 supervision, and assistance in planning further treatment.


Upon arriving at a prescription opioid detox facility in Massachusetts, you will undergo an initial assessment during which medical staff asks you important questions about your family, medical, psychiatric, and substance abuse history. The information they gather will be used to create an individualized treatment plan that focuses on your unique needs and goals.

Medical Stabilization

After your assessment, the medical team will begin working on stabilizing you. This may include IV fluids, vitamin replacement therapy, and medications that soothe your symptoms of withdrawal and prevent drug cravings. These steps are taken to ensure that you remain healthy and comfortable during the withdrawal process.

24-Hour Care

Throughout your stay in detox, you will be provided with 24-hour care and supervision, ensuring you have support at any time of the day or night should something go wrong. You will not only have assistance for medical emergencies but also emotional support because prescription opioid detox and withdrawal can be mentally taxing.

Treatment Planning

In addition to keeping you stable and comfortable, the staff members will help you create a treatment plan that includes everything you need to succeed in your recovery after detox. Detox is only the first step in addiction treatment, so your doctors and therapists will help you create a treatment plan that includes further programs, like inpatient or outpatient rehab.

What Medications are Used to Treat Prescription Opioid Withdrawal?

When it comes to prescription opioid withdrawal, the symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and even debilitating, but prescription opioid detox programs will use medications to alleviate your symptoms and prevent you from experiencing cravings.

Medications used to treat prescription opioid withdrawal include:


Methadone is a medication used during medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to lessen the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Methadone works by changing the way your brain responds to pain. In addition, it blocks the euphoric effects of opioid drugs like oxycodone or morphine by binding to opioid receptors in your brain.[3]


Buprenorphine is another medication used to treat the symptoms of prescription opioid withdrawal. It is a partial opioid agonist, which means it attaches to the opioid receptors in your brain and partially activates them without causing intoxication.[4] Buprenorphine is one of the most popular treatments for prescription opioid withdrawal.


Lucemyra is a non-opioid medication that can help reduce the symptoms of prescription opioid withdrawal. Many people are beginning to choose this medication during detox because there is no risk of misuse or addiction. Lucemyra works by reducing high rates of norepinephrine, a stress hormone that is produced during opioid withdrawal, thereby reducing the severity of withdrawal symptoms.[5]

Find a Prescription Opioid Detox Center in Massachusetts Today

If you or a loved one suffer from opioid addiction, it is important that you know recovery is possible. While long-term prescription opioid abuse can cause extensive damage to your health and overall life, attending a professional detox program can help you get back on track. With a combination of medication-assisted treatment, individualized treatment planning, as well as 24/7 medical supervision and support, you can begin your recovery safely.

Speak with a team member at Woburn Wellness today to get connected with a prescription opioid detox center near you.


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/deaths/prescription/maps.html
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000949.htm
  3. https://www.samhsa.gov/medications-substance-use-disorders/medications-counseling-related-conditions/methadone
  4. https://www.samhsa.gov/medications-substance-use-disorders/medications-counseling-related-conditions/buprenorphine
  5. https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2019/0315/p392.html 

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, and Treatment

methadone withdrawal timeline, symptoms, and treatmentBeating opioid addiction is especially challenging because of the intense drug cravings and painful withdrawal symptoms that occur when you stop taking opioids. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several medications to treat opioid use disorder, some of these medications are opioids themselves and can be physically addictive. For example, methadone (Dolophine), an opioid drug used to treat opioid dependence and addiction, can be physically addictive if used for a long period of time and habit-forming if abused.[1]

If you or someone you love has become addicted to methadone, the first step toward recovery involves detoxification. Methadone withdrawal is similar to withdrawal from other opioids, but it can last longer because methadone is a long-acting opioid. Understanding what happens during the methadone withdrawal timeline and how a medical detox center can help will prepare you for starting your recovery journey.

Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal

Although methadone is used to treat symptoms of opioid withdrawal, long-term methadone use can lead to physical dependence which results in withdrawal symptoms upon sudden cessation. People can also abuse and get addicted to methadone, causing them to experience withdrawal if they suddenly stop taking the drug.

Methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance because it has a significant potential for abuse and physical dependence. In high doses, it can also lead to overdose. In 2017, 3,194 drug overdose deaths were attributed to methadone abuse.[2]

Methadone withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Body aches
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Shivering

Methadone withdrawal is generally not life-threatening, however, relapse, dehydration, and other complications are possible. As a result, it’s always best to detox from methadone and any other opioid while under medical supervision.

How Long Does Methadone Withdrawal Last?

Methadone is a long-acting opioid that has a long half-life, so symptoms of withdrawal may take 1-2 days to develop. Symptoms are usually at their most severe between days 3 and 8 and begin to lessen in severity after 9 days. After 10-14 days, most acute symptoms will subside, but some people may experience lingering symptoms of withdrawal such as irritability, sleep disturbances, and cravings.

Factors that Impact the Methadone Withdrawal Timeline

While most people experience a similar set of symptoms, the duration of withdrawal may vary from one person to the next. How long methadone withdrawal lasts varies based on unique factors such as:

  • How long you’ve been taking methadone
  • How often you take methadone
  • What dose you regularly take
  • Your age, weight, and sex
  • Overall health and metabolism
  • Whether or not you used methadone with other drugs

Taking methadone more often, in higher doses, or for extended periods of time can lead to longer-lasting and more severe withdrawal symptoms.

Methadone Withdrawal Timeline: What to Expect

While personal experiences may vary, a general timeline for methadone withdrawal is as follows:

Days 1-2

Symptoms begin 30+ hours after taking the last dose and may include chills, muscle aches, and anxiety.

Days 3-8

Symptoms peak between days 3-8 and may be very intense. Cravings will be strong as well as body aches, anxiety, flu-like symptoms, and gastrointestinal upset.

Days 8-10

Symptoms usually subside during this type but may still produce irritability, discomfort, poor appetite, depression, and more. Symptoms may also come and go.

Days 10-14

Most acute withdrawal symptoms will subside but some symptoms, such as low energy levels, difficulty sleeping, cravings, and mood changes may linger for several weeks or months.

Detox & Tips for Coping With Methadone Withdrawal

Detoxing under medical supervision is the safest and most effective way to start your recovery. Drug detox centers can slowly reduce your methadone dose to taper you off of the drug and avoid intense withdrawal symptoms. Tapering occurs over a period of days or weeks and some mild withdrawal symptoms may appear on the days that the dose is lowered. This approach is usually preferred over the “cold-turkey” method. Doctors can also prescribe symptom-specific medication to alleviate symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, or body aches.

During detox, there are several self-care practices you can take advantage of that may help soothe your symptoms. For example:

  • Drinking plenty of water and stay hydrated
  • Eating a balanced, nutritious diet, staying away from too much sugar and processed foods
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or yoga
  • Talking about your difficulties and your emotions with your support group
  • Getting plenty of quality sleep
  • Staying busy and keeping your mind occupied by doing things like reading, watching a movie, or journaling
  • Engaging in light exercises such as walking, swimming, stretching, or yoga

Rehab & Treatment Options for Methadone Addiction

After detoxing, it’s important to attend an addiction treatment program that can help you embrace a sober lifestyle. Drug and alcohol rehab centers combine behavioral therapy, counseling, and peer support to help individuals overcome their addictions. Treatment options for methadone may include:

  • Inpatient rehab
  • Day treatment
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
  • Outpatient program (OP)

Find Help Today

If you or a loved one are struggling with methadone dependence or addiction, know that there is help available. At Woburn Wellness, we work with some of the most highly-rated drug and alcohol detox centers in Massachusetts. Our qualified admissions counselors can verify your insurance coverage, get you admitted to a detox center, and make a plan for you to transition to one of our outpatient substance abuse treatment programs when you’re done detoxing.

All calls are risk-free and confidential. A team member is available now to help you get started. Call today to begin your journey toward a life beyond addiction.


  1. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2015/006134s038lbl.pdf
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db329_tables-508.pdf

Meth Withdrawal Timeline, Symptoms, and Detox Treatment

meth withdrawal timeline and symptomsMethamphetamine is a potent and highly addictive stimulant drug. According to the Natural Institute on Drug Abuse, “Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 0.9% (or about 2.6 million people) reported using methamphetamine in the past 12 months.”[1]

If you become addicted to meth, your brain and body grow accustomed to the presence of the substance, and suddenly stopping the use of methamphetamine will cause you to experience withdrawal symptoms. While meth withdrawal is usually not life-threatening, the psychological symptoms can become severe and dangerous.

Because of the dangers associated with detoxing from methamphetamine at home, you should always attend a medical detox program. Knowing the meth withdrawal timeline, symptoms, and how it’s treated can make your decision to enter professional treatment easier.


Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant, which means it increases heart rate, blood pressure, and energy levels. When you stop using meth after a period of dependency, your brain will have a difficult time adjusting to decreased activity levels, resulting in an array of uncomfortable and potentially painful withdrawal symptoms.

The common symptoms of meth withdrawal include:[2]

  • Red and itchy eyes
  • Fever
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Mild paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased appetite
  • Low energy and fatigue
  • Lack of motivation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Severe depression
  • Dehydration

Because you could experience severe symptoms like dehydration, paranoia, hallucinations, and depression so severe that it leads to suicidal thoughts, you should always receive medical support from a drug detox program.

How Long Does Meth Withdrawal Last?

Exactly how long meth withdrawal lasts depends on a variety of personal factors, however, most people follow the same general timeline. 24 hours after your last dose of methamphetamine, you can begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. Most people experience the worst of their symptoms by the 7th day of detox, with them subsiding by the 2-week mark.

Methamphetamine withdrawal can be extremely difficult to deal with without medical attention and psychological support. Oftentimes, people who attempt to quit at home end up relapsing to soothe their symptoms. Relapse can be very dangerous, as it is easy to forget that your tolerance has lowered, leading you to take too high of a dosage at once.

Factors that Influence the Meth Withdrawal Timeline

The meth withdrawal timeline is not the same for everyone because certain personal factors can influence how long your body takes to adjust to sobriety.

The factors that influence the meth withdrawal timeline include:

  • How long you have been using meth
  • The dosage level and potency of the meth
  • The frequency and method of use (smoking, snorting, or injecting)
  • Whether you were using other substances
  • Your overall physical health
  • Age, weight, and metabolism

For example, someone who has been using meth heavily for several years may experience a longer withdrawal timeline than a person who used the substance for a few months. It is important to note that no matter how long you were using methamphetamine, professional medical treatment is vital during the detoxification stage of addiction recovery.

Breaking Down the Meth Withdrawal Timeline

During meth withdrawal, you will experience physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms. These symptoms can be managed with medications and treatments under the supervision of a medical detox facility. Typically, the symptoms of withdrawal will arise 24 hours after your last dosage and subside completely after 2 to 3 weeks.

The general withdrawal timeline for methamphetamine is as follows:

  • Days 1 to 10- You will experience something referred to as a “crash” that is characterized by fatigue, cravings, reduced energy, and increased appetite. Your symptoms will increase in intensity and peak sometime between days 3 to 7. Severe depression and suicidal thoughts are extremely common during the peak stage of meth withdrawal.
  • Days 10 to 14- Your symptoms may continue to be severe during this stage of meth withdrawal. It is common to experience intense drug cravings, anxiety, depression, insomnia, loss of appetite, and paranoia. Some people suffer from psychological withdrawal symptoms like cravings and depression for several weeks to months after their other symptoms subside.
  • Day 14 and onward- Sometime between two to three weeks after your last dosage of meth your symptoms will subside. While it is possible to completely recover, some people experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). This condition causes you to experience an array of withdrawal symptoms longer than usual.

Detox Treatment for Meth Dependence

Meth detox centers aim to make the withdrawal process easier and more comfortable. Withdrawal management typically includes medications to soothe symptoms of withdrawal and psychological support to ease any stresses, fears, or worries you are facing. Meth detox centers also set the foundation of the basic addiction recovery education you will need to continue working on your sobriety in inpatient or outpatient treatment.

While there are no tapering medications approved for methamphetamine dependence, an array of medications are used to target specific symptoms. For example, if you are having trouble sleeping your doctor will prescribe you a non-habit-forming sleep medication. If you began experiencing symptoms of depression or suicidal ideation, you might be prescribed anti-depressant medications like SSRIs or SNRIs.

Overall, the goal of meth detox is to rid your body of harmful substances, help you cope with withdrawal symptoms, and prepare you for further addiction treatment.

Find Treatment for Meth Abuse and Addiction Today

If you or a loved one suffer from meth addiction, recovery is possible. Our qualified admissions counselors at Woburn Wellness are available now to assess your needs and connect you with a local drug and alcohol detox center. Once you’re medically stable, we’ll help you transition to one of our comprehensive addiction treatment programs where you can obtain the support you need to stay sober.

Don’t wait any longer–call now to speak with a team member.


  1. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-scope-methamphetamine-misuse-in-united-states
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3071736/