Chills Signs and Symptoms

Chills – feelings of coldness, without any obvious reason- may occur when you, or someone close to you, overdoses on drugs or tries to withdraw suddenly from drugs. You will start shivering, looking like someone who is suffering from a high fever or who has been exposed to a cold environment. Chills happen as a result of the constriction of the blood vessels in your skin, along with the expansion and contraction of your muscles. When the shivering is very severe, it is referred to as ‘rigours’.

When you experience chills as a result of abusing drugs, or from an attempt to withdraw from drugs, you’ll feel that you can only get well again when you get your hands on more. This is one of the reasons why it is usually difficult for a drug addict to stop using. You are likely to suffer chills when you try to withdraw from drugs like opiates, drugs commonly found in nightclubs, hallucinogens, and inhalants.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Chills?

Not knowing what characterises chills means that you may not understand, or be able to identify, them when they occur. This means that you may make things worse for yourself when you try to get rid of the feeling without actually understanding what’s happening. When you experience chills for the first time, and recognise the symptom for what it is, you will know how to proceed with the right treatment. The common signs of chills include:

  • Feeling cold (even though you’re wearing your thickest clothing and lying under thick blankets)
  • Shivering (your body is involuntarily shaking)
  • Tremors (certain parts of your body shake because of the unintentional, rhythmic movement of the muscles)
  • Fever (your body’s temperature rises above the normal 38 C)
  • Pale or clammy skin (sweating profusely and your skin having a bluish tint)

You may worsen chills if you wrap yourself up in a lot of blankets, especially if you are running a high temperature. Instead, try getting enough rest, and drink plenty of fluids.

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When Should I Consult a Professional?

It’s advisable to seek medical help, or speak to a loved one, when you notice any of the above symptoms as a drug addict. Since chills can also be a symptom of high fever and illnesses such as malaria, a professional will be in the best position to examine the root cause. This will ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment.  Your doctor might ask you questions about your diet, lifestyle, medical history, stress, and whether fever is one of the accompanying symptoms.

Providing the correct and honest answers to these questions will help the doctor make the right assessment of your condition.

Your doctor might need to conduct urine or blood tests to check for infection, anaemia, and hypothyroidism. Cooperate as much as you can.

When chills, as well as any other symptom of drug abuse and withdrawal,occur, the feeling that you are dying or can only possibly get well by using more drugs is normal. However, that feeling usually only lasts for a short while. Cooperating with a medical professional will help you get through the withdrawal stage and help you overcome the addiction completely.

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