Understanding Withdrawal

During the drug treatment process, people may experience symptoms of withdrawal. Almost everyone detoxing from a drug or alcohol experiences withdrawal, which can come with uncomfortable symptoms and side effects. Withdrawal is the body’s way of ridding itself of the toxins and harsh chemicals that circulate when someone uses drugs frequently.

Everyone experiences withdrawal differently, and every drug has a slightly different effect. Some drugs cause physical withdrawal symptoms, like dizziness, heart palpitations, nausea, and sweating, while others cause emotional effects, such as anxiety, restlessness, and cravings. But withdrawal is the first step towards recovery, and it needs to happen before you can start any other form of treatment.

If you’re recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, you might be wondering how long it will take you to fully detox and start the healing process. But withdrawal timelines vary based on the type of drug, how long you’ve been using, and how much you usually take at a given time. Certain substances take longer to leave the body, while others get released more quickly. Here’s a look at the estimated withdrawal timelines for some commonly used drugs.

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Benzodiazepine Withdrawals

  • Hours after the last does

    Withdrawal symptoms can start several hours after the last dose is taken, and often include anxiety and trouble sleeping.

  • Day 1-4:

    During the first few days of withdrawal, many people who use the drug for anxiety or depression will experience rebound effects, meaning their condition will get even worse when they stop taking it. Other side effects include rapid heartbeat, sweating, and nausea.

  • Day 15+

    At this point, most symptoms will have disappeared. However, people who suffered from serious addictions may experience a random period of withdrawal symptoms for several months after their last dose.

  • Day 5-14:

    Most people will experience heightened depression, anxiety and insomnia for up to two weeks after they begin detoxing.

Opioid Detox Timelines

  • Day 1:

    Most people start experiencing the withdrawal symptoms of opioids about 6-24 hours after their last dose. The initial side effects include muscle aches, difficulty sleeping, restlessness, anxiety, sweating, a runny nose, and high blood pressure.

  • Day 2-4:

    This is the period when symptoms are the most intense. Many people will experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pains, and depression. Several days after the last dose is also when intense opioid cravings will set in.

  • Day 5-8:

    By this point, most physical side effects will begin to subside, although the mental symptoms can linger for several weeks after. Depending on the severity of the addiction, some people will continue experiencing cravings, especially if they aren’t getting professional treatment.

Marijuana: Is Detox and Withdrawal Necessary?

  • Day 7+:

    After the first week of withdrawal, most side effects should subside, although cravings may continue to pop up.

  • Day 2-7

    Over the next several days to a week, some people will experience mental side effects, like anxiety, mild depression, and even lack of motivation. This is also when relapses are most common.

  • Day 1:

    During the first 24 hours of withdrawal, many people will experience irritability, difficulty sleeping, decreased appetite, restlessness, and cravings for the drug.

Drug Treatment in Los Angeles

Regardless of the type of drug you’re recovering from, it’s important to find a treatment center that can make the withdrawal and detox process as comfortable as possible. At Launch Centers, we are committed to working with young people who suffer from addiction and helping them recover so they can live a successful and fulfilling life. We want to help clients detox safely so they can begin their recovery process and achieve their purpose in life. If you think you may need detox prior to coming to our program, we will be happy to help you find a center that can provide those services.

Learn more about the outpatient and day programs we offer at Launch Centers.

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