With opiate abuse (heroin, morphine, OxyContin, Vicodin), withdrawal symptoms usually start within a matter of hours and last for several days. With stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamine, withdrawal may be more extensive, with cravings, depression, and anxiety lasting for several months. Withdrawal from prescription medications, such as sedatives in the benzodiazepine family (Valium, Xanax, Ativan) may require a drug taper lasting a number of weeks to clear the chemical safely from your system.
Drug addiction is a condition that is characterised by repeatedly taking or administering drugs - whether these are illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or MDMA/ecstasy, or legal prescription drugs - to the extent that you become both physically and psychologically dependent on these substances. Regardless of the type of drug addiction that you have developed, continued drug use can soon become a serious problem and can lead to a range of serious long-term consequences, and may even be fatal.
This is an ongoing debate in the medical community, but it is generally agreed that there is no one cause for the development of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction. Heroin Withdrawal | First Week In