Medical detox before primary treatment is often necessary for alcoholics and substance abusers. Addicts who make the decision to stop using often find that it is not as simple as just putting down the drug or drink. Often, after years of alcohol and drug abuse and dependence, the body and mind are so accustomed to the altering substance that any attempt to stop taking it results in withdrawal.
Withdrawal happens because drugs and alcohol suppress the brain’s production of neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline. When the substance is suddenly withheld, the brain rebounds by producing a surge of adrenaline that causes the symptoms of withdrawal.
Every withdrawal experience is different depending on the substance in question. Alcohol, opiates, and tranquilizers produce significant physical withdrawals, while cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy cause little physical withdrawal but induce major emotional withdrawal. All drugs can cause severe emotional withdrawal symptoms.