How Long Does Drug Withdrawal Last?

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Drug withdrawal is a serious condition that has the possibility of being life-threatening. Many addicts and alcoholics continue to drink with the very specific reasoning of trying to avoid the symptoms of withdrawal which can last for days or even weeks.

When does drug withdrawal start?

Drug withdrawal technically starts immediately after the last time an individual takes a drink or drug. Depending on the type of drug and how long and frequently they have been using, symptoms can begin to surface anywhere between an hour to a few days after the last ingestion.

The initial detox symptoms can vary in time and intensity, and most addicts report that withdrawal symptoms will begin 6 to 12 hours after their last dose, peaking within 1 to 3 days, and gradually subsiding over 5 to 7 days. Studies have shown that heroin detox is successful when combined with other modes of recovery. A sober living environment adds a structured and supportive component necessary to detox from all drugs and alcohol and especially heroin. These communities will usually support and follow the 12 step recovery model, incorporate peer-to-peer feedback, teach healthy living skills and embody an attitude of long-term sobriety where young people are still having fun.

What are the symptoms of drug withdrawal?

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sweating
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Headaches Nausea / Vomiting
  • Shaky Hands / Extremities
  • Confusion / Disorientation
  • Aural / Visual
  • Hallucinations
  • Hypertension
  • Delirium Tremens ** Delirium tremens, also known as “the DTs”, is also a very common condition associated with alcohol withdrawal. It is the psychotic condition as a result of alcohol withdrawal characterized by tremors, hallucinations, high anxiety, disorientation and seizures

Is there a timeline for drug withdrawal?

There is no definitive schedule for drug withdrawal, and it can be an uncomfortable time. Impatience can lead to relapse, so it’s important to consider detox or consulting your physician before you quit cold turkey.

Remember that abstaining from drugs is just the beginning, and for true addicts or alcoholics, a long-term care plan is oftentimes needed to prevent relapse. For more information about drug withdrawal or detox, call us at (888)357-7577.


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