The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that there is no hard, fast rule on how long it takes for an individual to become dependent on drugs or develop a drug addiction. The length of time can depend on the type of drug you’re using, the amount of the drug you take, and whether you abuse a combination of drugs (including alcohol). Other factors, like your physical and psychological health, can also influence drug dependence. Certain drugs, like cocaine, meth, heroin, and prescription drugs in the benzodiazepine family, are known to cause physical and psychological dependence very quickly. For some users, the signs of drug tolerance and physical dependence can develop after only a few uses, while others may take weeks or months to become addicted.
Getting alcohol out of the addicted person’s system is the first part of recovery. People with a severe alcohol addiction can experience intense withdrawal symptoms. A supervised alcohol detox is usually necessary for people addicted to alcohol to prevent potentially fatal complications. Shaking, sweating, seizures, and hallucinations are possible alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Woman Turns to Rehab After Struggling With Drugs, Alcohol: Part 1