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Teen Drug Detox & Withdrawal


teen going through withdrawal

Detoxification, also referred to as detox, is the process that rids one’s body of foreign substances. It is an essential component to a teenager’s recovery as it allows the body to begin to re learn how to function without the presence of drugs or alcohol. There are many different levels of support with which a teen can rely upon during his or her detox phase. Certain factors including the teen’s personal health history, the type of substance or substances abused, the potency of the abused substance as well as the duration of one’s substance abuse should all be considered and factored into the level of support needed during a teen’s detox. However, the best way to ensure a teenager’s safety throughout the duration of the detox process is to select a detox method that provides twenty-four-hour supervision. Some detox methods (e.g., medically assisted detox) provide teens with medical intervention to assist with managing the withdrawal symptoms during detox. This can be helpful for teenagers detoxing from substances such as opioids, tranquilizers and/ or alcohol. Supervised detox is beneficial for teens that are detoxing from benzodiazepines, synthetic drugs, and/ or prescription stimulants. Supervised detox can increase a young persons’ chance for long-term recovery, as it provides a safe environment during the detox phase of one’s treatment.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms are physical manifestations of the body purging abused drugs and/ or alcohol. They are essentially side effects the body endures as it begins to learn to function without the presence of the previously abused substance or substances with which it had become accustomed. The type of withdrawal symptoms that may manifest will depend on the substance or substances abused, the length of time a teen abused the substance, the potency of the substance abused, method of use (e.g., injecting, snorting, smoking, etc.) the individual’s age, as well as the personal health history of the young person. While each abused substance has its own withdrawal timeline, there are some common withdrawal symptoms that typically manifest across the board. These can include, but are not limited to the following examples of symptoms, provided by the Australian Government Department of Health:

  • Vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Hallucinations
  • Elevated heartrate
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea 
  • Dizziness
  • Depression 
  • Irritability 
  • Anxiety 
  • Diarrhea

It is important to note that every teenager is different and will likely experience a unique set of withdrawal symptoms, with varying levels of severity. Withdrawal symptoms begin at some point during the acute detox phase. The severity of the symptoms usually decrease as time progresses, but some of the symptoms may linger beyond the completion of the acute detox process.

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at

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