Opioid drugs, including heroin and prescription opioid painkillers, can produce withdrawal symptoms within just a few hours of the last dose. Symptoms of opioid withdrawal can last for a week or more. While unassisted withdrawal may not be life-threatening, it can lead to relapse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 26.4 and 36 million people worldwide abuse opiate drugs, including heroin and prescription painkillers.
Read on to discover what to expect during opioid withdrawal, as well as causes and treatments.
What Causes Opioid Withdrawal?
When you take opioid medication over an extended period, your body becomes desensitized to the effects of the drug and you will need more opioids to achieve the same effect.
Prolonged use of opioids alters the way nerve receptors function in the brain, and these receptors become dependant on the drug to carry out their normal functions. Symptoms of opioid withdrawal are the body’s physical response to the absence of the drug.
What to Expect During Opioid Withdrawal
Every individual will experience opioid withdrawal differently, and the symptoms depend on the level of opioid dependency. Also, the amount of time you experience the symptoms of withdrawal will depend on several factors.
In general, early symptoms of opioid withdrawal begin in the first 24 hours after discontinuing the drug. They may include:
- Constant yawning
- Runny nose
- Opiate cravings
- Lacrimation (eyes tearing up)
- Profuse sweating
- Inability to sleep
After the first day or so after you stop using opioids, withdrawal symptoms can become more intense. They may include:
- High blood pressure
- Body aches
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dilated pupils and sometimes blurry vision
- Abdominal cramping
- Goosebumps on the skin
- Nausea and vomiting
Symptoms of opioid withdrawal typically begin to improve within 72 hours and significantly decrease within a week depending on their severity.
How to Deal With Opioid Withdrawal
If you’ve stopped taking opioids and are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, get help immediately. You must discuss the common withdrawal signs with your doctor or medical professional to learn the best treatment options for you.
Seeking help for opioid addiction will reduce your risk of relapse and improve your overall health.
Treatments of Opioid Withdrawal
While opioid withdrawal symptoms are not usually life-threatening, they can still cause psychological and physical distress. Because of the discomfort involved when an individual stops using opioids, he or she may resort to using again to avoid the withdrawal process. However, the cycle of stopping the use of opioids only to resume them again can be a perpetual one and make it more challenging for an individual to quit for good later on. They can also increase the risk of overdose.
That’s where treatment for opioid withdrawal comes in. At MedMark Treatment Centers, we offer outpatient medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder using buprenorphine and methadone. We operate across the U.S., providing supportive counseling services alongside medication-assisted treatment in select states. Our goal is to help individuals progress on their road to recovery with a combination of medication-assisted treatment and counseling.
Our evidence-based treatment is supported by case management, community resource referrals, substance abuse counseling and other supportive services to help patients reclaim their lives.
What to Expect During Opioid Withdrawal Treatment at MedMark Treatment Centers
When you enroll in one of our 34 programs nationwide, you can expect to receive treatment for opioid withdrawal symptoms and opioid addiction that aims to address every aspect of recovery. We understand that finding relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms only marks the beginning of the journey.
Our staff has extensive experience providing methadone maintenance treatment, or MMT. You may also request treatment with buprenorphine or one of its compounds. Once the medicine significantly reduces your opioid cravings, we encourage you to focus on addressing the effects of addiction in other areas of your life.
Our services include:
- Medical screenings and supervision
- Methadone maintenance
- Buprenorphine maintenance
- Addiction education
- Case management
- Discharge planning and support
- Individual counseling for opioid addiction
- Group substance abuse counseling
- Relapse prevention
- Guest medication services
- Coordinated pregnancy treatment
- Referral to community resources
Contact Us If You’re Experiencing Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal
Understanding opioid withdrawal can help you take the next step. At MedMark Treatment Centers, we are committed to providing medication-assisted treatment with counseling to effectively treat persistent opioid addiction and help individuals on their road to recovery.
For over 50 years, we’ve helped individuals experiencing opioid withdrawal symptoms and their loved ones across the United States. For more information about what to expect during opioid withdrawal, contact us online today.
Or, search for our closest center near you to begin treatment today.