Skip to main content

How Long Does It Take To Detox From Drugs


Detoxification, colloquially known as detox, is the process that rids one’s body of foreign substances. Every individual is unique and will have a nuanced reaction to different drugs when they are introduced into one’s system. The detox process for some individuals can last as short as two days long, while for others it may take as long as several months to complete. There are several contributing factors that will inform one’s detox experience. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse these can include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Presence of any preexisting medical conditions
  • The potency of the substance used
  • Dosage of drug used
  • Frequency of use
  • Personal health history
  • Individual’s metabolic rate
  • Gender
  • Height
  • Weight 
  • Age
  • Method of ingestion (e.g., inhaled, injected, eaten, etc.) 

The type of substance abuse plays a large role in the duration of one’s detox experience. Every substance has a different half-life, meaning the length of time the substance will remain in one’s system until the concentration in one’s blood has been reduced by half. This helps provide an indication of the duration of time it will take for the substance to fully metabolize and pass through one’s system. Each abused substance is associated with a somewhat different detox timeline, in addition to varied withdrawal symptoms. 

Detox Side Effects: Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms are adverse symptoms that occur because of ceasing the use of a substance to which one’s body has become accustomed. The duration, severity, and combination of withdrawal symptoms experienced during detox will differ from person to person. Below are examples of specific withdrawal symptoms that may occur when detoxing from the following substances, respectively:

  • Alcohol: vomiting, sweating, headaches, nausea, anxiety, hand tremors, confusion, restlessness, insomnia, loss of appetite, rapid heart rate
  • Benzodiazepine: heart palpitations, shaking, irritability, sleep disturbances, dry heaving, nausea, anxiety, sweating, muscle pain, headache, panic attacks, elevated blood pressure, agitation, difficulty concentrating, muscle stiffness
  • Opiate: diarrhea, vomiting, watery eyes, nausea, sweating, chills, muscle pain, excessive yawning, insomnia, anxiety, depression, stomach cramping
  • Adderall: muscle aches, stomach cramping, fatigue, mood swings, nausea, depression, headache, vomiting, malaise, difficulty concentrating, suicidal ideations, memory impairment
  • Marijuana: nausea, insomnia, agitation, stomach pain, decreased appetite, nightmares, irritability, restlessness, aggression, headache, tremors, extreme nervousness

Individuals who abuse more than one substance may encounter more severe withdrawal symptoms and/ or experience a longer detox process. There is no universal timeframe that encompasses every detox situation, nor could an individual expect to know the precise length of time it may take to conclude his or her detox process prior to its commencement. 

For Information and Support 

Substance abuse and addiction can be incredibly dangerous and can result in severe short and long-term consequences. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please get help as soon as possible. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to leading happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. There is no reason to go through this alone, and we are here to help. Please feel free to reach out to us for further information or with any questions regarding substance abuse or addiction. We are available anytime via telephone at: 213-389-9964, or you can always email us at:

Back to top