Detox Symptoms and Timelines for 5 Addictive Substances


During addiction recovery, one of the hardest parts is detoxing. Depending on what substance you are detoxing from, the symptoms of withdrawal and the time it takes for symptoms to subside can differ.

Below are 5 different substances and information on the detox process for each.


During withdrawal from a stimulant, there is a crash where the person detoxing will feel fatigued, have body aches, and have an irritated mood. These symptoms mostly subside by the end of a week but are replaced by craving the drug. This is the most persistent symptom and lasts for months. This can also include prescription stimulants such as Adderall, commonly used for performance anxiety in college.


Cocaine does not typically have a terrible physical withdrawal. The symptoms are more emotional and cause a lot of fatigue, trouble sleeping, lack of appetite, and depressive mood. There are also extreme cravings that can last for months.

You may wonder how long do cocaine metabolites last in the body. Since that will help you decide how long it takes to truly detox. They can be found in blood and saliva for up to 48 hours and in urine for up to 72 hours. This causes a detox to last at least a week, but it may be longer based on how much and frequently you took it and if the drug was mixed with other substances.


The symptoms of meth withdrawal are similar to cocaine, but those going through withdrawal have been known to experience weight gain during the process. Detoxing from meth can also leave the person losing the ability to feel pleasure and becoming very dehydrated.

Detox takes around 7-10 days but can take up to 2 weeks, depending on the severity of symptoms and addiction.


Those detoxing from alcohol may experience sweating, a racing pulse, and emotional distress from anxiety or agitation. Severe cases can even have seizures and hallucinations.

Detox can last around a week, but more severe cases can last longer.


Opioid addictions often start with prescription opioid abuse and can escalate to other drugs. Detoxing from opioids can be very dangerous, and symptoms can last up to 6 months. These symptoms include severe anxiety, flu-like symptoms, hot and cold flashes, and trouble sleeping.


Heroin withdrawals can lead to intense distress because of the wide range of physical and emotional symptoms. The symptoms can sometimes be lessened through the use of Methadone or Buprenorphine.

The most severe symptoms typically only last for a week, but less severe symptoms can remain for months.


Oxycodone is an often abused prescription pain killer. The withdrawal symptoms are very similar to that of heroin, but early on, it is almost impossible to safely get through the detox without using Methadone or Buprenorphine to taper off the drug.

The worst detox symptoms can last between 10-20 days on average.


Detoxing from hallucinogens usually causes headaches, sweating, stiff muscles, and drug cravings. In extreme cases, withdrawal can cause seizures. These symptoms typically taper off, aside from the drug cravings, before a week is up. These drugs normally leave your system within a day, but they can take longer depending on the frequency of use and dosage.

Wrap up

No matter what substance you detox from, the process will likely be very unpleasant, and having a trained professional around can help. Consider seeking a detox center when you begin your withdrawal process.

Rachel Crib
Rachel Crib
Rachel has lived in Lancaster her whole life. Trish has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and the Lancaster Post. As a journalist for The Tiger News, Cristina covers national and international developments.

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