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What You Can Expect from Opioid Withdrawal

woman wondering what she should expect from opioid withdrawal

The opioid crisis in the US keeps getting worse every year. In 2017, nearly 50,000 people died of opioid-related overdoses. One reason so many people continue using opioids despite the danger is that withdrawal is a high barrier to quitting. Opioid withdrawal is often quite intense and people who try to quit on their own tend to give up after a few rough days. Unfortunately, if you want to quit opioids, there’s no way to avoid detox. If you’re preparing to quit opioids, here’s what you can expect from detox. To learn more about our opioid addiction treatment options, contact The Arbor Behavioral Health today at 844.413.2690.

What to Expect from Opioid Withdrawal First

The initial onset of withdrawal symptoms depends on what opioids you’ve taken and how you took them. Withdrawal from short-acting opioids like heroin may begin in as little as six to 12 hours after your last use, whereas long-acting opioids like OxyContin stay in your system longer and you may not begin withdrawing for as long as 30 hours. It also matters how you take them. When you smoke, snort, or inject a drug, you feel the effects more quickly and they also wear off more quickly. So if you’ve been injecting heroin, expect the withdrawal symptoms to start sooner than if you’ve been taking Vicodin orally.

The first symptoms you will probably experience include:

  • Agitation and irritability
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Teary eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Yawning
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Racing heart and high blood pressure
  • Fever

You may start to experience more severe symptoms after a couple of days. These symptoms include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, goosebumps, cravings, and depression. It’s typically during this phase that many people give up and start using again. These symptoms typically peak after two or three days but they may linger for a week or more.

How Severe Will the Symptoms Be?

The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on how long you’ve been using, how much you’ve been using, and other physical or mental health issues. It also depends on whether you’ve been through detox before and how bad it was then. Difficulty in the past often indicates difficulty in the future and some people find that detox gets harder the more times you go through it. Age is a factor too, as younger people, especially teenagers, typically have a much easier time. However, everyone is different and it’s impossible to predict how hard detox will be for you.

The Importance of Medical Care When Dealing with Opioid Withdrawal

Whether you detox in a treatment center or at home, it’s best to do it under medical supervision. Talk it over with your doctor before starting. Someone tapering off opioid painkillers may be able to detox effectively at home, assuming adequate support and guidance. Someone with a long-standing addiction should probably detox in a facility where medical staff can keep an eye on any medical conditions and offer support. This also reduces the risk that you’ll give up during the difficult early days.

What Are the Next Steps? 

The process of dealing with opioid withdrawal is a grueling one. It is very difficult to deal with the different side effects of withdrawal, and dealing with these symptoms can make someone feel even worse about their addiction.

The biggest reason why people choose to go through opioid detox is to seek opioid addiction treatment. And this is no surprise; the next step after dealing with opioid withdrawals should be just that — seeking out an addiction treatment center or perhaps an inpatient rehab facility.

The fact that an individual is able to get clean and sober from opioids is something they should be proud of; dealing with opioid withdrawal may seem like the worst thing ever, but in reality, it means so much for someone to deal with this part of recovery. The team at The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is here to help you through the signs of opioid withdrawal and after. We offer a range of treatment options to help our clients overcome addiction.

Contact The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare Today

The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare offers an integrative and holistic approach to treating substance abuse. We offer treatment for a wide variety of addictions, as well as underlying mental health and psychological issues. All of the addiction recovery programs offered by The Arbor are designed to heal the mind, body, and spirit leading to a lifetime of sobriety, health, and wellness. If you’re ready to find healing and restoration in a peaceful, loving environment, please call us today at 844.413.2690