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How Long Do Withdrawals Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 to 3 Weeks

Withdrawals are a very tough phase to go through. It is a phase where an addict tries to abstain from their addiction but feels an increased urge in using that particular form of addiction. If the person persists, and they do not put up with the addicted substance, their health begins to go through negative effects.

The form of addiction withdrawn from is usually alcoholic. However, a person can be addicted to other habits also like tea and coffee. The process of withdrawal lasts for a certain period and ends after a couple of weeks of the consumption of an addicted item.

How Long Do Withdrawals Last?

Form of AddictionTime for Withdrawal
Alcohol
A. Symptoms start3 to 4 days after the last drink
B. Peak of withdrawal4 to 7 days after start of withdrawal
C. Withdrawal ends10 to 12 days after start of withdrawal
Opioids
Short Acting Opioids
A. Symptoms start 1 to 2 days after the last intake
B. Peak of withdrawal 3 to 5 days after start of withdrawal
C. Withdrawal ends 7 to 10 days after start of withdrawal
Longer Acting Opioids
A. Symptoms start 3 to 5 days after the last intake
B. Peak of withdrawal 3 to 5 days after start of withdrawal
C. Withdrawal ends 18 to 24 days after start of withdrawal
Sedatives
Short Acting Sedatives
A. Symptoms start 3 to 5 days after the last intake
B. Peak of withdrawal 3 to 5 days after start of withdrawal
C. Withdrawal ends 18 to 24 days after start of withdrawal
Long Acting Sedatives
A. Symptoms start 3 to 5 days after the last intake
B. Peak of withdrawal 3 to 5 days after start of withdrawal
C. Withdrawal ends 18 to 24 days after start of withdrawal
Stimulant
A. Symptoms start A day after the last intake
B. Peak of withdrawal 2 to 3 days after start of withdrawal
C. Withdrawal ends 4 to 6 days after start of withdrawal

Withdrawal from different substances lasts for different periods. The addictive substances can be divided into five major types to study the effects of withdrawal, namely, alcohol, opioids, sedatives, and stimulants. Each of these substances affects the human body and mind differently and thus, their withdrawal is quite different from one another.

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Why Do Withdrawal Last So Long?

When a person is addicted to something, they feel the irresistible urge of having that thing. Usually, when any alcohol or drug is frequently intaken, the human body adapts it into its system. Since the intoxicating substance generally remains in the system for a few days before its expulsion, the body gets adapted to it. This phase is termed addiction.

However, when the addicted person tries to make amends, they may confront several health issues. Nevertheless, they should not give up quitting as the long-term effects of alcohol and drugs may be far more harmful than the short-term effects of withdrawal.

If the person tries to suddenly put a stop to drug intake, they may experience serious health problems. When planning on withdrawal, a person must take the assistance of medical professionals. This will help them lessen the physical pain and emotional outburst experienced during such times.

The body would show signs of violent withdrawal symptoms and the person may experience the severe illness. This is because the human body would resist the change and take time to adjust to the absence of alcohol or drug from the body system.

Withdrawal symptoms are generally specific to people. Moreover, these effects are the opposite of the effects felt upon intaking that drug.

Conclusion

The effects of withdrawal are felt when an addicted person immediately stops the consumption of the intoxicating substance. These effects are person-specific and vary from person to person. There are 4 broad categories of intoxicating substances, namely, alcohol, opioids, sedatives, and stimulants. All these substances have different withdrawal timelines.

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When a person immediately quits the addictive substances, their body and mind begin to go on a downward spiral. They experience negative effects before being back to normal. However, this would be an essential step to prevent and safeguard oneself from the hazardous effects of drug and alcohol consumption.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0166223692901714
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1360-0443.1994.tb03745.x

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