Drug Withdrawal Symptoms For Teens: What Does It Look Like?

The first step in overcoming any addiction is going through withdrawal, which is when your body adjusts to no longer having the drug in its system.

Withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the type of drug you were using, how long you were using it, and how much you were taking.

Withdrawal symptoms can be both physical and psychological, and they can range from mild to severe.

Some common physical withdrawal symptoms include:

Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are common withdrawal symptoms associated with many types of drugs. In some cases, nausea and vomiting can be so severe that they lead to dehydration or even malnutrition.


Diarrhea is another common withdrawal symptom, especially with drugs like cocaine and heroin. It can be very uncomfortable and can lead to dehydration if it’s not treated properly. In some cases, diarrhea can be so severe that it leads to intestinal damage.

Headaches and migraines

A man having man Headache

Withdrawal from drugs can cause a variety of physical and psychological symptoms, including headaches and migraines.

Muscle aches and pains

Muscle aches and pains are common withdrawal symptoms for many drugs, including heroin, cocaine, and methadone. The aches and pains can be very severe, making it difficult to move or even function normally.


Sweating can be quite severe and can make it difficult for you to function normally. Sweating is often an indication that your body is trying to rid itself of the drug, and it can be very uncomfortable.

Tremors and shakes

Tremors and shakes are common withdrawal symptoms for many drugs. The aches and pains can be very severe, making it difficult to detox.

Common psychological withdrawal symptoms include:

Anxiety and panic attacks

Anxiety is one of the psychological withdrawal symptoms. It can range from mild to severe, and it can be accompanied by other psychological symptoms such as depression, irritability, and mood swings.

Anxiety can manifest in a number of ways, including:

  • Racing thoughts
  • Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
  • Panic attacks

Depression and suicidal thoughts

Depression can range from mild to severe, and it can be accompanied by other psychological symptoms such as irritability, mood swings, and anxiety.

Mood swings and irritability

Man changing his mood

Mood swings and irritability are common psychological withdrawal symptoms of many drugs. In some cases, mood swings can be so severe that they lead to violence or even suicide attempts. Irritability can make it difficult to get along with others.


Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects many people and is common during a drug or alcohol withdrawal. Insomnia can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Difficulty concentrating

Difficulty concentrating can manifest as difficulty focusing on tasks, remembering things, or staying organized. In severe cases, it can lead to complete inattention and the inability to concentrate on anything.

How to prepare a teen for withdrawal symptoms

If your teen is going through drug or alcohol withdrawal, it’s important to help them prepare for the symptoms they may experience. It’s also important to be there for them during the withdrawal process.

What are the withdrawal timelines?

Withdrawal symptoms usually peak within the first few days after you stop using the drug, but they can last for weeks or even months in some cases. It is important to remember that withdrawal is not dangerous and will not kill you, but it can be very uncomfortable.

How can you convince your teen to get treatment?

If your teen is reluctant to get treatment, there are a few things you can do to convince them.

  • First, try to have a conversation with them about their drug use and the damage it’s doing to their life.
  • If they’re not ready to talk, you can write them a letter expressing your concerns. You can also tell them about your own experiences with drug abuse or addiction if you have any.
  • Finally, you can offer to help them find a treatment center and make all the arrangements for them.

Purpose of a teen addiction treatment center

The purpose of a teen addiction treatment center is to help your teen overcome their drug addiction and get their life back on track. Treatment centers offer a variety of services, including:


Detox is the first step in treatment, and it’s important to have medical supervision during this process.


Man during counseling session

Counseling can help your teen identify the underlying causes of their addiction and develop healthy coping skills.

Group therapy

Group therapy can provide support and accountability for your teen as they recover from addiction.

Family therapy

Family therapy can help repair the damage that addiction has done to your family dynamic.


Aftercare services can help your teen transition back to their life after treatment.

Final Thoughts

If you are worried about your teen going through withdrawal, the best thing you can do is talk to a professional who can help you create a plan to get them through it safely. With the right support, your teen will be able to make a full recovery. Stonewater Recovery Center has a residential treatment program, teen boys get evidence-based treatments combined with a variety of holistic therapeutic modalities.

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.

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