Withdrawal from drug and alcohol abuse may be dangerous and life-threatening. Two addiction experts discuss this important topic in a comprehensive South African guide on addiction.
The DSM-IV-TR states that withdrawal from a substance refers to the development of a substance-specific syndrome due to the cessation or reduction in the substance use that has previously been heavy and prolonged. Such a substance specific syndrome should also cause significant distress or impairment in the level of functioning, in order to be clinically relevant. Furthermore, this syndrome should not be due to any other medical or mental condition.