Opiates are a class of drugs that includes heroin and prescription pain pills such as codeine, fentanyl and hydrocodone. The Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality reports that more than 2 million Americans age 12 and older had an opiate use disorder in 2015. Opiate withdrawal symptoms are very likely to arise when those who become addicted try to stop using. Learn more about withdrawal, its symptoms and how long they last so that you know what to expect during detox.
What Is Opiate Withdrawal?
Doctors generally use prescription opiates to treat pain. However, the effects that these pain pills have on the brain can cause addiction, which could lead to heroin use and addiction as well. This is because opiates affect the reward center of the brain. The longer that people take opiates, the more they need to achieve the same effects and the harder it is to stop using.
Over time, the brain adjusts to the chemical changes that opiates cause. When users stop taking them, the brain has to adjust again. Then the body responds with opiate withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can be mild to severe depending on the dosage and how long individuals were taking opiates. This is why it’s so important for people who want to quit opiates to seek accredited addiction detox programs.
What Are Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms?
As mentioned, the symptoms of opiate withdrawal are the result of the body responding to detox. The symptoms occur whether or not users stop taking drugs alone or under medical supervision. The following symptoms usually start within six to 30 hours after the last dose of opiates:
- excessive sweating
- frequent yawning
- muscle aches and pains
- runny nose
- tearing of the eyes
The peak of withdrawal starts within 24 to 72 hours of the last dose. The symptoms that occur are more intense and include:
- blurry vision
- dilated pupils
- goose bumps
- high blood pressure
- rapid heartbeat
- stomach cramps
Some of these symptoms can be very painful and debilitating. Withdrawal may also cause psychological symptoms and other complications for people with health problems. This is why the majority of those who want to stop taking opiates prefer medical detox. Using medicines and special techniques, rehab staff can ease the symptoms and make patients more comfortable.
How Long Do Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms Last?
There’s no standard length of time that withdrawal from opiates lasts. Some people’s symptoms start to improve within 72 hours. However, others experience the symptoms for longer if they were taking higher doses and using for longer.
Most people are back to normal in about one week. However, the psychological symptoms and cravings could continue for months. This is why specialists recommend that people who want to fully recover get at least six months of therapy after detox.
Get Help for Opiate Withdrawal at Serenity House Detox
If you or a loved one need help getting through opiate withdrawal, Serenity House Detox has addiction detox services that can help. Located in Houston, Texas, we offer a safe and secure place to detox for those in the surrounding area and beyond. Our programs are designed for men and women. Before we start your treatment, we’ll create a plan based on the substances that you’ve been taking and your emotional well-being, personal addiction history and state of health.
Medical detox and rehab are the best way to learn how to overcome addiction and develop strategies to remain sober. Take your first step toward a better future. Call Serenity House Detox at 866.516.8356 to start opiate detox.