Once a dependence on a substance has formed, withdrawal symptoms will start when the substance is then removed.

Different drugs and substances will have different withdrawal symptoms and timelines, depending on how they interact with the brain and body. Drugs are absorbed and remain active in the body for differing amounts of time. This is often referred to as the drug’s “half-life,”which relates to the different withdrawal timelines for each substance.

The severity and duration of withdrawal is influenced by the level of dependency on the substance and a few other factors, including:

  • Length of time abusing the substance
  • Type of substance abused
  • Method of abuse (e.g., snorting, smoking, injecting, or swallowing)
  • Amount taken each time
  • Family history and genetic makeup
  • Medical and mental health factors

Reference: American Addition Center, https://americanaddictioncenters.org/withdrawal-timelines-treatments , Septemver 11, 2019

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