Why Does Withdrawal Make People Feel Sick?

The impact of drugs on the body is not in dispute. Whenever a person uses drugs, it changes their body and brain while also impacting their entire life, in some cases. For people who use them regularly and become addicted, their body becomes used to it and needs it to function. Quitting drugs at this point will make people feel sick in what is called withdrawal. Rehab is a safe space to experience withdrawal with people who can support and help a person go through it without concern for personal safety.

Drug Dependence

People who use drugs long term develop dependence in that their bodies need more of the drug to function the same and cannot function without it. Some of the factors leading to drug dependence may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Emotional or environmental stress
  • Low self-esteem
  • Peer pressure

Some symptoms of dependence can include lack of control over drug use, poor performance in daily activities, need for daily use to function, and continued use in spite of the damage to the brain, body, and relationships.

Why People Get Sick

When people with addiction stop using drugs, the body responds in a negative way. The body wants to get the toxins out of the system. The nervous and hormonal systems cannot cope with the drugs in it everyday, so when the abuse ends, these systems are limited for a time. This creates withdrawal symptoms to emerge as the body begins to deal with the build up of toxicity:

  • Extreme sweating
  • Severe nausea
  • Physical pain
  • Elevated blood pressure


Since withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening in some cases, people go through detox under medical supervision. This set of interventions helps manage acute intoxication and withdrawal. This also explains the goal of detox being to clear the drug from the body while minimizing harm. Treating symptoms is often followed by a plan to support the person, even through the worst parts of withdrawal:

  • Evaluation: testing for drugs in the system and to identify co-occurring conditions
  • Stabilization: involves helping the person manage withdrawal symptoms through counseling or therapy. Involves explaining what the person’s role will be in treatment and recovery
  • Assistance with entry into treatment: detox rarely ensures long-term recovery. Detox should emphasize the importance of continuing on to rehab after addiction is broken. People are often supported to enroll in a long-term program

Seeking help for drug addiction and withdrawal is not the basis for shame. People can seek help for addiction recovery, heal, and grow. The most effective way is to be under medical supervision in a treatment center that supports a full and long lasting recovery.

Oceanfront will help you kick addiction to the curb with our premier beachfront community in Laguna Beach. We are founded on the principle of providing the best in care and services at affordable prices. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 877-279-1777