Young woman in pink shirt pondering how to being an opiate detox.

Opiates are among the most devastating and addictive drugs on the planet. If you want to overcome an opiate addiction, you first need to complete an opiate detox. While the detox and withdrawal can be tough, the support and resources at Serenity House Detox can make it easier. Take a closer look at what to expect from an opiate detox.

The Need For an Opiate Detox

Repeated use of an opiate drug can drastically change the way the central nervous system works. Everything from circulation to heart rate can be impacted by the prolonged use of opiates. Taking those opiates away suddenly can cause the body and the brain to react strongly. This, in a nutshell, is the process of an opiate detox.

While it might seem like shocking the system through detox is a bad idea, it is the only truly effective way of breaking the chemical dependence on opiate drugs. Once that dependency is broken, individuals will be able to think freely and function without the influence of dangerous drugs. If you want to live a life free from addiction, drug use and dependence, then a detox is a critical component in the recovery process.

Detox Timeline

Many prospective patients, as well as their loved ones, have a rough idea of what to expect from an opiate detox. However, people usually want to know exactly how long the process will take. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. On average, most people tend to complete withdrawal from opiates in about one week.

The timeline for an opiate detox starts the minute a person stops consuming the drug. Roughly eight or nine hours after that, the first mild withdrawal symptoms will begin. The exception to this rule is for patients that use certain prescription long-acting opiates. In these cases, withdrawal may only begin 24 or 30 hours into the detox.

Symptoms will tend to gradually increase in intensity until about 72 hours into detox. That is typically the peak of symptoms, making it the most challenging part of the detox process. Fortunately, symptoms lessen in intensity and taper away completely after that.

Throughout the detox process, patients at Serenity House Detox in Houston will have access to a range of detox center services that can aid in recovery and serve as a distraction. These include the following:

Common Symptoms of Withdrawal

During an opiate detox, it is normal and expected that you’ll deal with a variety of symptoms. These symptoms indicate that you have entered withdrawal from opiate drugs. Many people compare these detox symptoms to having the flu. Most of the common symptoms of withdrawal are unpleasant but not life threatening.

An opiate detox will likely lead to symptoms such as a fever, sweating, a runny nose and difficulty sleeping. Since opiates are naturally constipating, most patients also struggle with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea during a detox. An increase in heart rate and blood pressure are also commonly reported during a detox.

Severe Symptoms of Withdrawal

Unfortunately, some detox symptoms can be more serious. For anyone with cardiac concerns, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure could potentially lead to a stroke or a heart attack. Some patients may experience psychological symptoms of withdrawal. Symptoms like suicidal thoughts or paranoia have to be monitored for the safety of the patient as well as their peers.

Fortunately, medical professionals are always available to monitor and treat any severe symptoms. This is one major reason why it is always better to detox from opiates in a medically supervised program rather than at home or on your own.

What Comes Next–Taking Steps After Detox

At Serenity House Detox, you can complete your opiate detox and be free from the chemical bonds of addiction. However, there may be a few more steps on your journey to recovery. The right detox can set the tone and lay the foundation for any future therapy, rehab or opiate addiction treatment you have planned.

Overcoming addiction is a serious challenge, but completing an opiate detox means you’re well on your way to sobriety. At Serenity House Detox in Houston, Texas, you’ll be able to access help, support, and resources as you work toward recovery. Call 866-516-8356 to learn more about our drug addiction and detox programs and how to get started with your new life.