Withdrawal is the group of symptoms that occur upon the abrupt discontinuation or decrease in intake of medications or recreational drugs.

In order to experience the symptoms of withdrawal, one must have first developed a physical or mental dependence (often referred to as chemical dependency). This happens after consuming one or more substances for a certain period of time, which is both dose dependent and varies based upon the drug consumed. For example, prolonged use of an anti-depressant is most likely to cause a much different reaction when discontinued than the repeated use of an opioid, such as heroin.

The route of administration, whether intravenous, intramuscular, oral or otherwise, can also play a role in determining the severity of withdrawal symptoms. There are different stages of withdrawal as well. Generally, a person will start to feel worse and worse, hit a plateau, and then the symptoms begin to dissipate. However, withdrawal from certain drugs (benzodiazepines, alcohol) can be fatal and therefore the abrupt discontinuation of any type of drug is not recommended. The term "cold turkey" is used to describe the sudden cessation use of a substance and the ensuing physiologic manifestations.

Read more about Withdrawal:  Substances, Overview, Withdrawal From Drugs of Abuse, Withdrawal From Prescription Medicine, Rebound, Pseudoabstinence

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Famous quotes containing the word withdrawal:

    A separation situation is different for adults than it is for children. When we were very young children, a physical separation was interpreted as a violation of our inalienable rights....As we grew older, the withdrawal of love, whether that meant being misunderstood, mislabeled or slighted, became the separation situation we responded to.
    Roger Gould (20th century)

    A bizarre sensation pervades a relationship of pretense. No truth seems true. A simple morning’s greeting and response appear loaded with innuendo and fraught with implications.... Each nicety becomes more sterile and each withdrawal more permanent.
    Maya Angelou (b. 1928)