Timeline for Drug Detoxification

Drug detoxification, commonly known as detox, is the process of removing harmful substances from the body. The duration of detox varies depending on several factors, including the type of drug abused and the severity of the addiction. In this article, we will explore the detox timelines for different drugs and provide insights into the withdrawal symptoms that individuals may experience during the detox process.


Stimulant drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines, can have a significant impact on the central nervous system. Detoxing from stimulants typically takes around 7 days. During this period, individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms such as mood swings, trouble sleeping, and food cravings.

The first 72 hours of stimulant detox are particularly challenging, with individuals likely to experience a wave of depression followed by a crash that leaves them feeling depleted of energy. Cravings for the drug may subside during the first week but can return in the following month. Mood swings and physical discomfort are common during this time.

It is essential to note that methamphetamine users, in particular, have a high relapse rate, with approximately 93% of individuals relapsing. Therefore, a strong aftercare plan is crucial to support long-term recovery.

Heroin and Opiates

Heroin and other opiates, such as prescription painkillers, can lead to severe physical and psychological dependence. The detox timeline for heroin and opiates is typically around 7 days. Withdrawal symptoms usually set in within six to twelve hours after the last exposure to the substance.

During detox, individuals may experience symptoms such as salivation, cramping, trouble breathing, trembling, and nausea. The most challenging period of withdrawal is typically around day three. However, symptoms tend to subside within five to seven days.

Medicated treatment programs, which involve the use of medications like methadone or buprenorphine, may be initiated from the first day of detox to help individuals gradually taper off the substance. Some individuals may require maintenance medication for months or even years to support their recovery.


Benzodiazepines, commonly prescribed for anxiety and sleep disorders, can cause physical and psychological dependence when misused. Detoxing from benzodiazepines can take anywhere from a few days to several months.

Withdrawal symptoms from benzos often include irritability, anxiety, and nausea. These symptoms can be managed through medical intervention, such as the use of barbiturates or other long-acting benzos to taper off the drug. Typically, withdrawal is completed within a few weeks, but some individuals may experience symptoms intermittently for months, especially if they were addicted to long-acting benzos like Valium.


Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances worldwide, and detoxing from alcohol can be particularly challenging. The detox timeline for alcohol is typically around one week. Withdrawal symptoms may include anxiety, sweating, and depression within the first eight hours of abstinence.

Within 24 hours of the last drink, individuals may experience hallucinations that can persist for several days. Alcohol detox can be risky, as it may lead to seizures and delirium tremens. The most intense symptoms usually peak around day four of detox.


Detoxing from marijuana is generally considered easier compared to other substances. The detox timeline for marijuana is typically around two weeks. Withdrawal symptoms may include restlessness, chills, loss of appetite, and headaches.

Most withdrawal symptoms develop within one to three days after the last use and subside within two weeks. However, some individuals may experience insomnia and fatigue for up to a month after quitting marijuana.

Detoxing from any substance can be challenging, but it is essential to remember that help is available. Many individuals now have the option of medicated treatment to manage withdrawal symptoms and support their recovery journey. It is crucial to follow up detox with comprehensive treatment to address the underlying causes of addiction and develop strategies for long-term sobriety.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, reach out to The Recovery Village for support and guidance. Our dedicated team is here to help you detox safely and maintain a drug-free life.


Detox timelines for different drugs can vary depending on various factors, including the type of drug and the severity of the addiction. Stimulant detox typically takes around 7 days, while detox from heroin and opiates lasts approximately 7 days. Benzodiazepine detox can range from a few days to several months, and alcohol detox usually takes about a week. Marijuana detox is generally shorter, lasting around 2 weeks.

It is crucial to remember that detox is just the first step in the recovery process. Comprehensive treatment and ongoing support are essential for long-term sobriety. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, do not hesitate to seek help. The Recovery Village is here to provide the support and resources needed to embark on a journey towards a healthier and drug-free life. Call us today at 833-820-2922.