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How Long Do Withdrawals Last?

How Long Do Withdrawals Last?

Here we are going to take a look at withdrawal symptoms. We will look at what they are, what determines how you will experience them and talk about how long they last. Then, what is the best way to overcome withdrawals.

How Long Do Withdrawals Last: What is Drug Withdrawal?

Drug withdrawal refers to the group of symptoms that occur upon the sudden discontinuation or even the decrease in consumption of prescription medications, illegal recreational drugs or even some other everyday substances like caffeine.

In order to experience withdrawal an individual must have first developed a dependence on the substance. This dependence can be physical, psychological, or both. Using a substance for an extended period of time will cause the body to gradually adapt in one way or another until it has become used to having it. Once the substance is removed or decreased, there becomes an imbalance in the body or mind as the individual is used to functioning with the substance.

There are many elements that symptoms of drug withdrawal, and the length of that withdrawal, vary depending on the drug of abuse and the length of the addiction.

How Long Do Withdrawals Last: Period of Use

The period of time one uses a drug can contribute to the length and intensity of the withdrawals. For someone who has been using drugs for a few months, the residual impact of those drugs may not be as strong or last as long as someone who has been using drugs for several years.

Because the body takes time to become dependent, the longer you are using a drug the more tolerance you build to it. Also, the functions of the body and mind can be altered by prolonged drug use to the point where they may take a long time to full heal. In some instances research has suggest there is damage that cannot be undone.

How Long Do Withdrawals Last: Different Substances

Of course one of the primary factors to answering this question is to identify the specific substance. Different substances will create different withdrawals, which will last different lengths of time and impact an individual in different ways. Some examples of specific withdrawals and how long they last include:

  • Heroin and prescription painkillers: Many people experience flu-like symptoms that last for at least 24-48 hours
  • Benzodiazepines (Benzos): People using benzos often experience withdrawals like anxiety and/or seizures, which can last weeks or even months
  • Cocaine: For someone withdrawal from cocaine addiction, depression and restlessness lasting at least 7-10 days can occur
  • Alcohol: Withdrawals from alcohol abuse can cause tremors and/or seizures, which can last from three days up to several weeks

So prolonged use of anti-depressants like the benzo drug Xanax will cause a much different reaction that withdrawals from an opioid like heroin. Some may be the same.

Don’t forget, these symptoms can be made even worse depending on other factors, such as length of time the substance has been used, at what dosage and how the drug was consumed.

How Long Do Withdrawals Last: General Withdrawal Timeline

Many sources have gathered data that could be used to make a rough estimate of how long withdrawals may last for certain substances. However, this general timeline cannot be guaranteed to be accurate considering each individual’s own health and habits can make these timelines vary.

Prescription Opioids

  • 8-12 hours after last dose, for drugs like OxyContin and morphine, the withdrawals can start around this point
  • 12-48 hours after the last dose the intensity of withdrawals can peak
  • 5-10 days even up to a month or more after last dose opioid withdrawals can persist


  • 24-48 hours after last dose the withdrawals can begin
  • Methadone withdrawals will peak in first few days
  • Withdrawals will typically last 2 weeks or more


  • 1-4 days the withdrawals from drugs like Xanax, Valium and Ativan will begin
  • Benzo withdrawals will be peaking within the first 2 weeks
  • Protracted withdrawals can last months or even years without treatment


  • 8 hours- a few days is usually all it takes for alcohol withdrawals to kick in
  • Within 24-72 hours alcohol withdrawals will peak
  • Alcohol withdrawals can last several weeks


  • Withdrawal from cocaine starts within hours of the last dose
  • After a few days cocaine withdrawal peaks
  • Cocaine withdrawals can last anywhere from a week to 10 weeks

The data for these numbers can be found through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and various other sources.

Withdrawal symptoms will still depend on the many factors we have already mentioned, including the individual’s general health in the first place. Some drugs cause very real damage to the vital organs that can creature further complications with withdrawals.

How Long Do Withdrawals Last: Medical Detox

To avoid the pain, discomfort and health risks of withdrawal from drugs or alcohol do not detox at home. A safe medical detox is the best way to get the effective and comprehensive help you need to stay healthy while receiving quality care. Medical detox provides a safe and secure space to get through this beginning difficult stage of recovery.

The Palm Healthcare Company detox facility has a 24-hour medical and addiction professional staff to continuously evaluate individual progress, administer the appropriate medications, if needed, and provide unlimited support during this process.

Our highly qualified specialists genuinely strive to make recovery possible for everyone who needs help. If your or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free.

CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?

With prescription drug abuse being one of the biggest issues facing the country today, there is an increasing need for education and awareness as to what these drugs really are and how powerful they can be. One of the prescription narcotics most commonly abused is Xanax, a name brand medication in the Benzodiazepine (Benzo) category of depressant drugs. This medication can be very helpful to those who use it accordingly, but it can also be seriously addictive and even life threatening.

So in taking a closer look at specific substances, we want to of course answer the question- how long does Xanax stay in your system.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System: Understanding Alprazolam

Alprazolam is the generic name for a potent, short-acting anxiolytic drug in the benzodiazepine class. Xanax is actually a brand-name for Alprazolam, and is typically the most commonly known version. Alprazolam is frequently utilized in the treatment of anxiety disorders, such as:

The drug binds to a number of specific sites on the GABA receptor of the brain, and elicits responses as a:

  • Anxiolytic (Anti-panic)
  • Sedative
  • Muscle relaxant
  • Anti-convulsant
  • Amnestic
  • Antidepressant

While there is some debate about people building a tolerance to the anxiolytic effects, there is a clear indication that tolerance to the sedative effects will build in a couple days of using the drug. Thus, withdrawal symptoms can occur after only a few weeks of use if the drug is suddenly stopped.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System: Side-Effects

There are various possible side-effects that may occur while taking Xanax or any Alprazolam drug. Some possible adverse effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Slurred speech
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Urinary retention
  • Skin rash
  • Respiratory depression
  • Constipation

These side-effects can be uncomfortable and some are more common than others. However, probably some of the greater risks come with prolonged use, which can lead to severe dependence and withdrawal.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System: Withdrawal

Another reason people as how long does Xanax stay in your system is to determine how long the withdrawal periods are. Once the body has developed dependence on a drug, withdrawal or “rebound” symptoms can make it extremely difficult to discontinue use. Some common symptoms of withdrawal from Xanax include:

  • Rebound anxiety
  • Panic
  • Hallucination
  • Insomnia
  • Moodiness
  • Tremors
  • Nightmares
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

Some of these seizures and other reactions can actually become life-threatening, making Xanax withdrawals some of the most dangerous one can experience.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System: Overdose

When asking- how long does Xanax stay in your system- you may be concerned about the risks of overdose. An Alprazolam overdose can range from mild to severe depending on how much of the drug has been taken. One of the primary problems with an Alprazolam overdose is that it creates an excessive depression of the central nervous system. Some of the signs of Xanax overdose are:

  • Dizziness
  • Impaired balance
  • Muscle weakness
  • Hypotension
  • Drowsiness
  • Shallow breathing
  • Fainting
  • Coma
  • Death

These risks may be more or less serious depending on a number of factors, including if Xanax is taken with any other substances.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System: Half-life

As with all drugs, and even most chemicals or substances that enter our bodies, there are a number of factors that influence how long it takes for Xanax to leave the body, such as:

  • Metabolism
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Body fat content
  • Age
  • Health of the liver
  • Kidney health
  • Amount of the drug taken
  • Length of time using the drug

Typically Xanax has a half-life of 9-16 hours, meaning it takes a healthy body 9-16 hours to get rid of half of a dose of the drug. Because of the half-life, the drug will typically be out of the systems after 4 days. However, this is usually just for the occasional consumption. Xanax can stay in the system for a week or longer for frequent or heavy users depending on the above factors.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System: Detoxing

A huge problem with drugs like Xanax is that a lot of people assume these prescription narcotics are safer because they are not street drugs. Yet, Benzodiazepine drugs like Xanax are commonly connected to serious health issues. Beyond that, the dangers of addiction and the potentially fatal withdrawals are exactly why these medications are not nearly as safe as some people like to think they are.

Because of the risks of Xanax withdrawal it is crucial to seek out safe medical supervision for the detox process. Because Xanax can be present in the body for over a week for long-term users, it is important to have a means to monitor the complications Xanax withdrawal may cause. This is especially true if the individual has been using other substances in combination with Xanax.

Detoxing does not have to be what stands between someone who is suffering and a full recovery from this progressive and far too often fatal disease. If you want to get Xanax out of your system in a safe and effective way, a medical detox is the best choice. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

Heroin (diacetylmorphine) is a Schedule I controlled-substance in the United States and is considered by many to be the most addictive drug in the world when compared to other more popular illicit drugs. Heroin is typically associated with the highest likelihood of developing an addiction both psychologically and physically.

Given the fact that the country is facing the most deadly drug epidemic in American history thanks to the opioid overdose outbreak, heroin abuse is now a primary concern facing most of the nation. Other opioids, like prescription painkillers, have contributed to the rising rates of heroin use, and the addition of other potent drugs like fentanyl, heroin is more dangerous than ever.

Heroin overdose is currently one of the top causes of accidental death. People use more than the body can handle and it shuts down. Also, the withdrawals of heroin can be particularly difficult. So how long does heroin stay in your system?

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System: Important Elements

When asking how long does heroin stay in your system we have to examine some of the important elements that impact the effects of heroin on the body. Heroin is typically injected intravenously to make a faster impact, but it is also smoked or snorted. Heroin has longer lasting effects compared to drugs like cocaine and meth, but it also has a shorter half-life of only approximately 30 minutes.

What does half-life of heroin mean? Essentially, when an individual uses a single dose of heroin, it will take about 30 minutes for half of the drug in the person’s system to be flushed out. However, some studies actually suggest that this half-life is as short as 3-8 minutes, not 30.
The accurate amount of time it would take is not cut and dry. The half-life of heroin depends on a number of factors for each individual, including:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Body fat
  • The amount taken
  • Purity of the drug
  • Method of use
  • Metabolism
  • Health of the liver
  • Kidney health
  • Hydration

Not all bodies are the same, so of course not all bodies will be able to get rid of heroin at the same exact rate. A body with more fatty tissue and less hydration will probably retain the chemicals longer than someone well-hydrated with a lean build.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System: Drug Testing for Heroin

Some might hope they can measure the presence of heroin in the system based on drug tests. Of course the length of time a drug is detectable with a drug test depends directly on the rate at which heroin leaves the body. Different drug tests often have different lengths of time they measure, so one might be able to tell you someone used heroin, but it may not be particularly active in the body.

Approved drug tests through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for heroin use:

  • Blood
  • Saliva
  • Urine
  • Hair follicle

Heroin is typically no longer detectable in a person’s urine after just 2 days, but some tests have detected positive results in up to 7 days.
Blood and saliva tests aren’t often used for most opioids because they have such a short half-life. It can only take about 5-6 hours for heroin to be undetectable for these tests, but in some cases it may actually last up to 2 days.

The only effective long-term test for traces of heroin is the hair follicle test, which can detect heroin for up to 3 months or more. However, if you are trying to find out if heroin is still active in the body, the long-term doesn’t really help.

Many tests now look for heroin metabolites, which are what is created when the liver metabolizes the drug. These stay in the system much longer than the actual intoxicant, so while you can detect the presence of the metabolites, the drug itself isn’t necessarily active. However, many believe that among long-term and/or frequent heroin users, the drug may actually remain in a person’s system for much longer than detectable on a drug test.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System: Withdrawal

One reason many people will want to know how long heroin stays in the system is for the sake of overcoming their withdrawal symptoms. Especially for those who are familiar with suffering through these painful periods of abstinence, the question of how long does heroin stay in your system is about avoiding extended discomfort.

Withdrawal symptoms of heroin include:

  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Malaise
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Depression
  • Itchiness
  • Excessive yawning and sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Cold sweats
  • Chills
  • Severe muscle and bone aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Cramp-like pains
  • Involuntary spasms in the legs, arms, and neck

Heroin withdrawals will not be the same for everyone. The same things that impact how long it stays in the system will also impact how severe the withdrawals are. Other substances that are used along with heroin will also have an impact on how serious the withdrawals can be and how long they may persist.
It has been estimated that heroin withdrawal symptom can start within 6-12 hours from the last dose and may be present up to 5-10 days.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System: Overdose Danger

One big reason things like the half-life matter is because of how it increases the risks of overdose.

If we say that after ingesting heroin approximately 50% of the drug has been cleared from the body in somewhere between 8-30 minutes, what tends to happen during this time is that many people assume by time their “high” ends, most of the heroin is already fully cleared from their system. However, when the “high” ends, up to 50% of the heroin will still be in your system, and so will its metabolites! So while some people think the high wears off that quick so they may think it’s safe to do more, there is still a fair amount of that drug present in the body.

Although heroin is quickly metabolized and eliminated from the body, its metabolites remain present for a longer duration. When heroin is used it is de-acetylated into 6-monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM). This chemical then metabolizes into morphine. Morphine’s half-life is estimated to be between 1.5 and 7 hours. As a result, the morphine in the body created by using heroin could stay in your system for 1.60 days before it is entirely eliminated.

So when we ask how long does heroin stay in your system, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing. What we can say is that one thing the probably contributes a lot to the skyrocketing rates of overdoses and deaths is that people don’t understand the heroin half-life or how long it stays in the system.

The longer the drug is in the system, the harder it will be to detox from it. That is why medical detox is so crucial to effectively and safely getting off of heroin. It also shows why treatment can be critical to lasting recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

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