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Are You Missing Conversations About Detox Due to Slang?

Addiction is another world which comes with it’s own dictionary of vocabulary. You might be missing critical clues that your loved one is addicted. In addition to physical and behavioral signs of addiction, one of the best places to identify substance abuse is in the way your loved one talks. If they are hiding their addiction, they will not likely talk to you directly about entering a phase of detox. However, you might catch a text or a phone conversation where you hear unfamiliar slang. Primarily, these terms will refer to being sick or under the weather. However, the right term, like “DT’s” could indicate a higher level of concern regarding detox. Knowing these terms could be the difference between life or death if a loved one decides to hide their withdrawals at home.

Asian Flu: One source claims this is a common term for the flu-like symptoms of opioid withdrawal. It might stem from opium withdrawal, hence “Asian flu” and not some other kind of flu.

Cold Turkey: quitting suddenly without a gradual reduction in dosage. Cold turkey is the fastest way to detox and might not be too bad if you receive medication to treat withdrawal symptoms.

Dope Sick, or Dopesick: originally meant nausea specific to heroin withdrawal, but is used more generally for opiate withdrawal and is sometimes used for other drugs. Dopesickness can make it hard to drink enough water and eat while detoxing, which can make detox more painful and dangerous.

Drying out: quitting alcohol

DTs: delirium tremens, severe alcohol withdrawal resulting in shaking or seizures. The DTs are among the most dangerous withdrawal symptoms, fatal in three to five percent of cases. DTs usually require medication to prevent seizures.

Kicking: detoxing, trying to quit. One might think this derives from kicking something away, but probably derives from the kicking and flailing of heroin addicts suffering withdrawal.

The Shakes: tremors associated with alcohol or opiate withdrawal. The shakes can be an early symptom of alcohol withdrawal, appearing within a few hours, or a moderate to severe symptom of alcohol or opiate withdrawal.

The Sweats: sweating associated with many kinds of withdrawal, including opioids and alcohol

Tapering: not slang exactly. Tapering refers to gradually reducing dosage, usually of opioids, to lessen the severity of withdrawal.


Detox is the first step in the journey to recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the way we approach detox and treat those who are detoxing. Our comfortable environment, encouraging program, and engaging amenities set us apart from other detox centers. Call us today for information:  (844) 325-9168