When you first begin the detoxification process from drugs, alcohol, or even something like caffeine, withdrawal symptoms are something that you have to deal with. The process looks different for everyone, with unique factors affecting what types of side effects you may experience and for how long.
Going to a drug and alcohol detox center can help you get through the worst of it with a guiding hand, but many people do wonder — how long does a headache from detoxing last?
The Most Common Side Effects From Detoxing
For people going through detox from drugs or alcohol, one of the most common side effects they experience relates to headaches. Your body responds to the lack of the substance it has grown accustomed to operating under, and it reacts with these physical sensations. While detox from different substances has unique side effects, headaches are common across all of them.
During your detox, the withdrawal symptoms can begin to present themselves anywhere between two and eight hours after you last used drugs or alcohol. Depending on the severity, your symptoms can last anywhere from 24-72 hours or even up to two weeks.
What Causes the Headaches?
While the exact triggers of headaches, in general, remain unknown, some possible causes are also linked to the detox process. Dehydration can cause your body to lose fluids too fast and potentially cause massive headaches. Additionally, headaches can be caused by inflammation within your nervous system due to your histamine levels being out of sync following unhealthy alcohol habits.
So — How Long Does a Headache from Detoxing Last?
We’ve discussed how withdrawal symptoms can vary based on your addiction. For most people dealing with a mild-to-moderate case, a headache can begin to form four to six hours after you last used and last for up to three days. More severe cases can prove trickier, can last longer, and have more debilitating effects. Having a professional watch over you during your detox can help mitigate some of these effects and help in the case of an emergency.
Are There Factors That Influence How Long They Last?
Yes, a range of factors influences the duration of your headaches. Such factors include:
- Duration of Heavy Drinking
- How Much Alcohol You Consumed
- If You Developed Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome
- And More
How to Identify Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)
PAWS happens when your brain attempts to recalibrate to life after your substance abuse. In some cases, people may continue withdrawal symptoms for weeks to possibly months after they initially went through detox. The continued headaches and physical and emotional stress caused by these recurring detox symptoms can lead to deteriorating mental health and potential relapse.
How to Get the Level of Care and Help You Need
Whether you’re wondering how long a headache lasts after detoxing or dealing with a severe case of PAWS, the right addiction treatment program can make a significant difference in your recovery journey.
Turning to a proven alcohol detox program like Silver Pines Treatment Center will help you deal with your current symptoms and help you focus on the long-term goals you have with your treatment plan. We help our patients by focusing on their unique needs and helping them work through the physical and emotional toll that can happen when you start to get clean.
If you or someone you love is beginning their recovery from addiction, reach out to our alcohol rehabilitation center at 866-345-2147 to speak with one of our staff members.