Author: Charles Frank

Opiate Withdrawal: Signs, Symptoms, Timeline, & Detox Medications

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Be cautious of recipes and anecdotal stories described in online forums. None of them have gone through rigorous testing for safety or efficacy. But breaking your dependence is a vital first step in living a healthier life.

This is sometimes referred to as “protracted abstinence.” It’s important to discuss ongoing symptoms with a healthcare professional. Opioids attach themselves to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract. Whenever opioids attach to these receptors, they exert their effects. Opioid withdrawal can be categorized as mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe. Your doctor can determine this by evaluating your opioid use history and symptoms and by using diagnostic tools like the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale.

Finding support

Finding support groups like Narcotics Anonymous can help you to get and stay sober. Many people who were once addicted to opiates struggle to not start abusing them again in the future. In the case of acupuncture, several studies demonstrated reduced withdrawal symptoms when combined with certain medicines. The report of studies on Chinese herbal medications found that the herbs were actually more effective at managing withdrawal symptoms than clonidine was. If you have a couple weeks’ worth of medications, you can avoid the need to go out for more.

The withdrawal timeline and experience is different for everyone. However, most cases are similar enough that a basic outline of how long opioid withdrawal symptoms will last can be established. You may be eager to reach your goal, but your body needs time to adjust to lower levels of opioids, and then to none at all. A step-by-step plan to lower how much opioid medicine you take will help this process go smoothly.

all opiates detox

This slow tapering also helps ease the discomfort you may feel as you stop taking opioids. During this time, you can practice new skills to manage pain and other long-term symptoms too. Opioid withdrawal can be dangerous, and symptoms can be severe. When it’s time for you to stop taking opioids, ask for your healthcare professional’s help.

Hospitalization for Severe Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database. Medication is the main way to stop using opioids, but there are also a few things you can do at home to help yourself feel better. Methadone and Buprenex are also used long-term as maintenance therapy.

  1. Your healthcare professional may recommend combining your taper with counseling from an alcohol and drug counselor.
  2. To do it safely, you need to take less of the drugs slowly over time as a medical team keeps a close watch over you.
  3. When it’s time for you to stop taking opioids, ask for your healthcare professional’s help.
  4. There’s some evidence that this method decreases symptoms, but it doesn’t necessarily impact the amount of time spent in withdrawal.
  5. According to NCBI, withdrawal tends to last a total of four to 10 days, but each person’s timeline may vary.

Once you have finished your supervised program, you may be prescribed an opioid antagonist drug like naltrexone (Revia, Vivitrol) or naloxone (Evzio, Narcan). These drugs block the effects of opioids in your brain, so you won’t get a euphoric feeling if you take them. The main treatment is to replace the short-acting drug with a longer-acting opioid, such as methadone or buprenorphine (Buprenex). Your doctor will gradually lower the dose of the drug over one or two weeks to give your body time to adjust. Opioid overdose is a possibility for people who misuse prescription or illicit opioids. Because opiates trigger receptors in the part of the brain that regulates breathing, high doses of opiates can interrupt, and even stop, a person’s breathing.

Alternative support

Because of this, most doctors hesitate to use this method, as the risks outweigh the potential benefits. Suboxone is a combination of a milder opioid (buprenorphine) and an opioid blocker (naloxone) that doesn’t produce many of the addictive effects of other opioids. The opioid blocker works mostly in the stomach to prevent constipation. You may be asked questions about past drug use and your medical history. Answer openly and honestly to get the best treatment and support. The symptoms you experience will depend on the level of withdrawal you are experiencing.

Also, multiple factors dictate how long a person will experience the symptoms of withdrawal. Many systems in your body are altered when you take large amounts of opioids for a long time. Withdrawal effects occur because it takes time for your body to adjust to no longer having opioids in your system. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 1.6 million people in the United States misuse opioids.

But be careful not to use these medications in amounts greater than the recommended dose. If the regular dose isn’t helping, make sure to discuss the issue with your doctor. When you’re dependent on opiates, your body is used to having them in your system. Your body might also build up a tolerance to many of the drug’s side effects, like skin dryness and constipation. Suddenly cutting yourself off from opiates may cause a strong reaction. If you use opiates for an extended period of time, your body becomes desensitized to the drug.

They can also run tests like blood work to evaluate any damage to your system caused by the opiates. Detox facilities can monitor your health and make the process safe and more effective. Medical professionals provide important monitoring and can treat you if you have extreme side effects or if you experience dangerous complications. Though opiate withdrawal is not normally life threatening, the process can lead to symptoms that are difficult to manage.

Painless, Rapid, Opiate Detox ( 458-8130

It’s important that your family members know how to use naloxone. Our opiate detox treatments are performed under sedation by two Medical Doctors. During the rapid detoxification process, Naltrexone therapy is initiated. Naltrexone is an opiate blocker used to reduce cravings and to prevent any opiates from getting back into the brain receptors. The under the skin implant is the preferred route with our rapid opiate detox treatment.

The sudden removal of opiates can shock the system and result in dangerous symptoms like convulsions, hallucinations, and seizures. Safe, painless and confidential sedation opiate detox at our state-of-the-art medical facility created exclusively for our patients. But if you have other health conditions, the effects can lead to serious problems. For example, a higher pulse or blood pressure can cause issues if you have a heart condition.