How Long Does It Take to Withdraw from Alcohol or Drug Dependence?

Alcohol becomes harmful to the health of the human being when the person starts to abuse alcohol consumption or excessive drinking. Excessive drinking can be defined as when a person begins to binge drink or heavy drink, a pregnant woman drink, or people who drink and are under the age of 21. Binge drinking can be defined as the most common form of excessive drinking wherein people drink more than 5-6 drinks on a single occasion.

Heavy drinking can be defined as a condition wherein a person consumes around 8-12 drinks in one week. However, a person can practice moderate drinking, wherein a person can consume up to 2 drinks occasionally. A person should not drink alcohol if he plans to drive in the following hours of alcohol consumption or engage in activities that require coordination and consistent alertness.

How long does it take to withdraw from alcohol?

If a person suffers from excessive drinking for some time and decides to withdraw from excessive drinking, there are some factors that he needs to consider, as these factors can impact health. One should immediately consult his doctor or healthcare provider when he feels fever, nausea, or difficulty in breathing. One should also not perform detoxing without consulting his doctor if he suffers from drug problems, liver problems, or if he has suffered from some seizures in the past.

The initial withdrawal or detox from alcohol takes about a week. But the symptoms may be felt for longer times. There exists a general rough timeline that discusses the periods of the effects. The initial stages of the withdrawal start after 8 hours of consumption of the first drink. The symptoms will be felt at the peak after 24-72 hours. The symptoms will become better after 5-7 days. Very few effects may still be there for a week.

There are three stages of alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

  • Stage 1 includes the person undergoing nausea, anxiety, and insomnia. The effects are felt after 8 hours of the first drink.

  • Stage 2 consists of the person experiencing high blood pressure, a different heart rate, and increased body temperature. These effects are felt between 24-72 hours after the last drink.

  • Stage 3 includes the person undergoing seizures, hallucinations, and fever. These effects are felt after 2-4 days. These effects usually wear off after 5-7 days.

How long does it take to withdraw from drugs?

Drug withdrawal can be defined as a physiological process or respond to a substance's quick or slow quitting, especially drugs on which a person's body has developed a dependence. There can be many symptoms of withdrawal which depend on the drugs consumed by the person. Common symptoms include muscular pain, fatigue, sweating, depression, insomnia, paranoia, dilated pupils, and many more. A person can take drug addict tests available on the internet or in some hospitals to determine if he has become a drug addict. If a person discovers that he is a drug addict, he can enrol in drug withdrawal or drug rehab centers nearby to get better and healthier.

There exist many factors which impact the time that is required to complete or get better after taking a drug withdrawal treatment. Some of these factors include the type of drug consumed, the quantity consumed, and the person's overall health. Generally, detox is considered the first step in drug withdrawal and learning to cope and recover from the drug. Multiple medications can be used in the detoxications of the drug clonidine, lofexidine, methadone, and many more.

Withdrawal is considered temporary, but it can be unpleasant and uncomfortable as it varies from person to person depending upon various factors. The drug withdrawal timeline is different for everyone. Generally, the initial symptoms can be felt within a day of taking the drug, and these symptoms tend to be at their worst by two days.

However, a person's withdrawal symptoms steadily improve as the body begins to adapt to being without the drug, and the entire withdrawal process usually lasts for 7 to 10 days. Delirium Tremens or DTs describe the most severe drug addiction withdrawal symptoms, including visual and audible hallucinations and seizures.

Opioids are substances that many people misuse, composed of drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, heroin, and fentanyl. Departing this type of drug can be very distressing for some people. However, the symptoms are typically not very dangerous for the person's health. But there is a lesser risk that a person may undergo seizures compared to when a person exercises withdrawing from other drugs. A person’s tolerance level to opioids increases rapidly. If a person has been abusing opioids for a long time, the person may have a very high tolerance.

This allows him to consume moderate to high amounts of opioids that may be dangerous for his health if he consumes them without any restrictions. The major risk associated with opioid withdrawal is that the person will relapse. Since the person’s tolerance will have instantly decreased, a relapse can easily cause an overdose that may be fatal to the health. Other risks include dehydration and self-harm due to emotional distress. For mild to moderate opioid use disorders, it may take up to 2 days for the symptoms to appear.

There also exist various health risks, which are short-term or temporary. Some of these effects include injuries caused by vehicular crashes, violence, alcohol behaviors, or miscarriage and stillbirth situations. There are also some long-term health risks such as high blood pressure, cancer, mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, and weakening of the person's immune system. Hence, one must focus on strict healthy or moderate drinking to prevent long-term and short-term effects.


Drugs can affect the body of a person in multiple ways. The effects which are exhibited by drugs are different for different drugs. There also exist some common factors on which the effects of the medicines are dependent. Some of these factors include the size of the body, general health, and the quantity and strength of the drug consumed by the person.