Every person in recovery goes through two stages of withdrawal. The Acute Stage begins as soon as the person stops using the substance and continues for several weeks thereafter. During this stage, physical cravings will be intense and persistent because the body has not yet adjusted to the absence of the substance.
After the acute stage of withdrawal ends, the Post-Acute Stage begins. As brain chemistry begins to return to normal, the person will experience a variety of emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms lasting up to 20 months.