opioid withdrawal

Most people don’t set out to become addicted to opioids. It starts innocently and with good intention, with a prescription from a doctor. While not everyone who takes prescription drugs ends up trying and becoming addicted to other drugs – like heroin – the risk is there. In fact, heroin and prescription opioids both affect the same parts of brain function, so there are definitely similar health risks for using either substance or both. Making a commitment to stop using any drug is hard, especially when it comes to managing withdrawal symptoms. An opioid rehab program like the one at Solution Based Treatment can help with an individualized treatment and recovery plan, including how to manage the withdrawal symptoms that are part of detox.

What Does Opioid Withdrawal Look Like?

When your body gets used to having opioids in your system, it makes it harder to stop using the drugs without major side effects. In addition, the longer the drug use, the more severe the withdrawal will be. While the timeframe can vary for each person, the stages of opioid withdrawal can last up to a year. Here’s how it breaks down:

Stage 1

This is the stage when someone runs out of the drug and has no other choice. The symptoms are a combination of physical and psychological, and they set in within the first 72 hours after the last opioid use. 

  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite

Stage 2

After the first 72 hours and up to 2 weeks following a person’s last opioid use, the body is starting to rebalance after being rid of opioids. After that, symptoms become stronger, and the cravings to use again are hard to keep at bay. Many say this is the hardest stage. Symptoms include:

  • Chills and goosebumps 
  • Fever 
  • A rise in blood pressure, breathing rate, and pulse
  • Increased agitation and nausea
  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Heightened insomnia

Stage 3

This is the longest stage, as it can last from 2 weeks after your last time using opioids up to 1 year after. During this time, many of the more severe physical symptoms have most likely become less severe. However, strong cravings continue because of the long-term effect opioids have on the brain. 

Symptoms in stage 3 include: 

  • Intense cravings
  • Memory loss 
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

Treatment for Opioid Use

Opioids affect critical receptors in the brain, which is why they can become highly addictive. Over time, your body becomes more and more tolerant of them, and so you keep needing more of the drug to feel the same effect. Opioid withdrawal can be a shock to your body and is best treated in medically supervised detox

There is no way to avoid it; detox and withdrawal can be uncomfortable. It is a hard but necessary part of the recovery process. When you are finally drug-free, your road to recovery truly begins. Your treatment should include a plan for understanding and managing addiction to maintain your recovery. 

Treatment for opioid addiction involves:

Contact SBT to Learn More

Opioid addiction can affect the entire family when someone is struggling with addiction. Family members can carry a lot of guilt, thinking they should have been able to stop a loved one from getting to the point of addiction. Substance use treatment programs, like the ones at SBT, involve the entire family in the process. The reality is that millions of Americans battle opioid addiction, and it takes a village to achieve lifelong recovery.

Reach out to our caring and professional treatment team for more information at any time. We’re here at 833.999.1941 to answer your questions.

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