What is Detox Like from Different Substances?

Detox treatment typically is a brief period, lasting around two weeks for most substances. On the contrary, some drugs—especially those with prior heavy use—can lead to prolonged withdrawal that can last for several months.

We want our patients and family members to be prepared for their detox journey. With that, we are sharing what it’s like to detox from different substances and general timeframes you may experience symptoms.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Once someone regularly consumes alcohol for a period of time, their brain will experience withdrawals since it becomes dependent on alcohol to function. People may experience mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, nervousness, or depression. Others may be jumpy, irritable, or experience mood swings.

More severe symptoms include nightmares, muddled thinking, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting. Serious problems may occur within the first week after the person stops drinking. They may experience hallucinations, stupor, and even seizures.

Those suffering from delirium tremens (DTS) may exhibit signs of neurological and mental changes. These issues can be life-threatening if they aren’t treated medically.

Detox duration:

For people with moderate alcoholism, such as one to two drinks per day, detox generally begins within eight hours after the last drink and typically lasts between five and seven days. For those with severe alcoholism, withdrawal symptoms may not subside for two weeks or more.

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. Withdrawal symptoms from opioids also depend on a person’s current health and the length and severity of the addiction. Within 24 hours after their last dose, a person will typically begin to experience several symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, nausea, tremors, abdominal cramps, and muscle spasms.

Detox duration:

While the acute withdrawal symptoms typically end within the first week, the prolonged abstinence period can last much longer. This period is when people in recovery are most vulnerable to triggers that can lead to relapse.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin is made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of opium poppy plants. However, it’s commonly mixed with other dangerous substances. Heroin withdrawal symptoms will differ from person to person. It all depends on how long it was abused and how much was taken each time.

Withdrawal symptoms include everything from vomiting and diarrhea to insomnia and bone and muscle pain. Additional symptoms may include anxiety, abdominal cramping, and muscle aches.

Detox duration:

The worst pain and discomfort while detoxing from heroin last a week, with withdrawal symptoms peaking during the second or third day. These are caused by neurological changes from heroin use. 

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms

Depressants, like benzodiazepine, can cause the opposite withdrawal effects. Hyperactivity of the brain can cause a multitude of symptoms such as disturbed sleep, anxiety, panic attacks, hand tremors, sweating, nausea, headaches, muscular pain and, in severe cases, seizures and psychotic episodes.

Detox duration:

Withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines usually appear within one to four days of the last dose of the substance and peak within two weeks. If untreated, withdrawal symptoms can last for months and even years.

patient holding hands with nurse in detox

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Cocaine has a short time span. Withdrawals can begin within 90 minutes of the last dose and last for up to seven to ten days. Though cocaine withdrawal may not be as physically intense as withdrawal from other drugs, it does come with its own set of challenges. Some symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include depressed mood, fatigue, discomfort, vivid dreams, agitation, and restlessness.

Detox duration

The detoxification process and the precise timeline for accompanying withdrawal are somewhat unpredictable depending on many individual differences related to cocaine abuse. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can last three to five days, although some symptoms may persist for weeks.

Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as crystal meth, is a man-made stimulant drug that has strong side effects. Withdrawal symptoms range from feelings of fatigue, lethargy, and excessive sleepiness. Increased appetite, dry mouth, and some episodes of jitteriness are also very common during withdrawals.

Detox duration

Methamphetamine is a fast-acting drug, so withdrawals normally begin within the first 24 hours of abstinence. Symptoms reach their peak within the first seven to 10 days after stopping the drug.

Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms

Typical marijuana withdrawal symptoms include shaking, sweating, headaches, muscle cramps, and anxiety. Vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, and watery eyes are common effects of withdrawal as the body works to remove THC from its system.

Detox duration

Depending on the magnitude of marijuana use, most symptoms should subside within a few days to a couple of weeks. However, some may experience symptoms of withdrawal for up to three weeks. 

Detoxing at Beachside Rehab

While withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable and sometimes painful to experience, you can help manage them with professional medical staff.  We offer facilities for medically assisted detox to help you detox as safely as possible and to help alleviate strong symptoms.

If you or a loved one is ready to change your life and enter into our detox facility, we are ready to answer all of your questions and start the process. Please call us today at (866) 349-1770 or contact one of our admissions counselors on our website to start your confidential chat. You don’t have to detox alone.