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Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2006. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 45.)

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Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.

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Appendix B: Common Drug Intoxication Signs and Withdrawal Symptoms

CocaineAlcoholHeroinCannabis (marijuana)
Action StimulantSedativeSedative, euphoriant, analgesicEuphoriant, at high doses may induce hallucinations
Characteristics of intoxication ↑BP, ↑HR, ↑temp,↑energy,↑paranoia,↓fatigue, ↓appetite, move bowels/urinate• Sedation, ↓respiration• Depresses CNS system, can result in coma, deathDrowsiness, “nodding,” euphoria (happy giddiness)↓BP, ↑HR, ↓intraocular pressure (pressure in the eyes), conjunctival injection (reddening of the eyes)
Onset Depends upon type of cocaine used: for crack will begin within hours of last use24–48 hours after blood alcohol level dropsWithin 24 hours of last useSome debate about this, may be a few days
Duration 3–4 days5–7 days4–7 daysMay last up to several weeks
Characteristics Sleeplessness or excessive restless sleep, appetite increase, depression, paranoia, decreased energy↑BP, ↑HR,↑temp, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, seizures, delirium, deathNausea, vomiting, diarrhea, goose bumps, runny nose, teary eyes, yawningIrritability, appetite disturbance, sleep disturbance, nausea, concentration problems, nystagmus, diarrhea
Medical/psychiatric issues Stroke, cardiovascular collapse, myocardial and other organ infarction, paranoia, violence, severe depression, suicideVirtually every organ system is affected (e.g., cardiomyopathy, liver disease, esophageal and rectal varices); fetal alcohol syndrome and other problems with fetusDuring withdrawal individual may become dehydrated


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