When going through a withdrawal period, craving is a psychological urge for the substance that is being withheld. This substance can be alcohol or a form of drug but is not limited to these.


The duration that cravings last after discontinuation varies substantially between different addictive drugs. For instance, in smoking cessation, a substantial relief is achieved after approximately 6–12 months, but feelings of craving may temporarily appear even after many years following cessation.

Cravings may be triggered by seeing objects or experiencing moments that are associated with the drug or usage of it, and this phenomenon, termed post acute withdrawal syndrome, may linger the rest of the life for some drugs.[1] For the alcohol withdrawal syndrome, the condition gradually improves over a period of months or in severe cases years.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Page 84 in: Pathways of addiction: opportunities in drug abuse research By Committee on Opportunities in Drug Abuse Research, Committee On Oppo Institute Of Medicine Published by National Academies Press, 1996 ISBN 0-309-05533-4, 978-0-309-05533-8 310 pages
  2. ^ Roberts AJ; Heyser CJ; Cole M; Griffin P; Koob GF (June 2000). "Excessive ethanol drinking following a history of dependence: animal model of allostasis" (PDF). Neuropsychopharmacology. 22 (6): 581–594. doi:10.1016/S0893-133X(99)00167-0. PMID 10788758. S2CID 24384085.
  3. ^ De Soto CB; O'Donnell WE; De Soto JL (October 1989). "Long-term recovery in alcoholics". Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 13 (5): 693–697. doi:10.1111/j.1530-0277.1989.tb00406.x. PMID 2688470.