How Long Will A Drug Detox Take?

The use of drugs or alcohol in large quantities and for an extended period often results in dependency. What does this mean? You are likely to coin this habit like an addiction. An individual craves to continue feeding his or her body with the substances. After you put that last glass of alcohol down or snort that last stretch of heroin, the body begins to crave another cycle. Detox basically describes the period in which you stop giving in to your mind’s and body’s demand in feeding it the drugs or alcohol.

Victims will often experience withdrawal symptoms as the body’s system fights to wean off the drugs and alcohol taken. Detox can take anywhere from days to months depending on factors such as type of substance abused, frequency of substance intake, and severity of the addiction. Let’s take a look at what to expect from general detox timelines.

What’s the average period of drug detox?

While there is no definite answer to this question, your doctor will examine your addiction condition to determine the estimated period of detox. The detox phase is often the first step towards drug addiction treatment, where your body weans off all the substances in the system. Your doctor will monitor your withdrawal symptoms to ensure they are bearable and that you are safe. As earlier highlighted, several factors determine your detox period. They include:

  • The user’s gender and age.
  • Type of drug abused.
  • Frequency of drug use.
  • Quantity of drug abused.
  • Period of drug use.
  • Presence of underlying co-occurring medical and mental health conditions.
  • The number of drugs abused.

In general, detox programs take about seven days, depending on the severity of the addiction case. Nonetheless, nothing is ever certain as it can take even weeks to get out of the woods completely.

What to expect from detox with different substances


Withdrawal symptoms begin to show as early as six hours after taking the last pint for alcohol addiction. Symptoms such as shaking, anxiety, and insomnia begin showing within the first 24 hours and can drag for up to 2 days. The severity of the symptoms might continue to get worse with signs such as hallucinations, fevers, and seizures showing within 72 hours after taking your last alcoholic drink. This second phase may prolong up to 5 days. After seven days, you will notice the withdrawal symptoms slowly subsiding with easily managed cravings. The trick here is to fight the temptations.


Like alcohol, withdrawal symptoms in marijuana addicts begin to show within the first 24 hours and may extend to two days. The second phase sets in and lasts another 48 hours with signs such as insomnia, headaches, mood changes, reduced appetite, and stomach problems. After seven days, the symptoms should subside as the body resumes normal THC production of its own.

Heroin and opioids

Heroin withdrawal may begin a few hours after the last consumption depending on how fast-acting the opioid is. Patients record instances of teary eyes, muscle pain, insomnia, sweating, anxiety, and runny nose. This may last up to to 2 days. The peak of the withdrawal symptoms sets in on the third day with signs such as blurry vision, nausea, vomiting, rapid heart rate, and diarrhea. After the first week, these symptoms may fade, but symptoms such as depression, cravings, and irritability may persist for up to six months among severe addiction cases.

Stimulants such as meth and cocaine

You will follow a similar pattern displaying withdrawal symptoms during the first 24 hours after drug consumption. The body crashes initially for the first two days showing symptoms such as altered mood, fatigue, irritability, and body aches. Patients will continue to suffer from psychotic and depressive symptoms for the next three or so days. For stimulant withdrawal, patients cite cravings as the worst and most persistent symptom that could continue for months after quitting.


General withdrawal symptoms begin to occur within the first 48 hours, including headaches, nausea, and muscle pains. Individuals affected with severe benzodiazepine addiction may suffer from anxiety, palpitations, and restlessness. Severe withdrawal symptoms could last up to two weeks, dragging severe effects such as weight loss.

Generally, detox experiences vary from one person to another, depending on the circumstances and how the body reacts to the withdrawal process. Experts recommend medical detox for safe, individualized, and sure processes. Have you been looking for the right professionals to take you through medical detox? Call us today at 833-497-3812 to begin your journey to sobriety under our protective and professional umbrella.