How Long Do Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

How Long Do Withdrawal Symptoms Last?Withdrawal from alcohol and drugs can be uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous. A medically supervised detox can reduce the length and severity of withdrawal symptoms and greatly increase a patient’s chances of success. Detox by itself is not enough to cure addiction, and should be followed by proper treatment for long-term sobriety.

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Opiate withdrawal symptoms vary by drug, but the duration can be anywhere from three to five days for drugs like heroin, and up to six weeks for long-acting opiates such as suboxone or methadone. The following symptoms are common for opiate withdrawals:

  • Tremors
  • Muscle cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Sinus irritation
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Weakness
  • Suicide ideation

Long-time users who are dependent on opiates should never stop using suddenly, as this can lead to withdrawal symptoms that can be fatal.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal can range from mild discomfort to months of depression and insomnia. The severity largely depends on how much and how long a person has been drinking. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include the following problems:

  • Shakiness
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Sweating
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Delirium tremens—severe and dangerous withdrawal including seizures

Repeated alcohol relapses can lead to a condition known as kindling, which causes more severe withdrawal symptoms during future detox attempts. This condition damages parts of the brain that control behavioral inhibition, which complicates future attempts to quit drinking.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Cocaine withdrawal mostly involves mental symptoms, but the craving to use the drug can last for years after quitting. Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include the conditions listed below:

  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Cravings
  • Nausea

These symptoms can last for weeks or even months, causing many people to use cocaine for relief and begin the cycle of addiction all over again.

How Medically Supervised Detoxification Helps Withdrawal Symptoms

By entering a rehab program, you will receive medically supervised detox. This can greatly reduce anxiety and physical discomfort during withdrawal, as well as reduce the chances of more dangerous side-effects. Doctors may prescribe medication to make you more comfortable, and they will monitor your health during withdrawal.

While medically supervised detox is much safer than trying detox at home, it does not rid you of addiction. Detox should always be followed by a quality addiction treatment program to treat the problems that caused your addiction.

What to Do after Medically Supervised Detoxification

Without treatment for the underlying causes of addiction, most people will relapse if they only seek detox treatment. A quality treatment center will assist you with detox as part of an overall treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.

Co-occurring mental health issues are a common cause of addiction, and they must be treated if patients are to recover. During treatment you will be fully evaluated to determine if there is an underlying issue that is causing these symptoms, or if they are due to severe withdrawal. Either way you will receive proper care that will help you on your way to sobriety.

Addiction Detoxification Help

If you are dependent upon drugs or alcohol, seek treatment now. Our counselors are here 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about detox and treatment. Medically supervised detox can make the difference between failure and success when trying to quit an addicting substance. Call our toll-free helpline now to begin recovery from addiction.