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Opioid Withdrawal

Opioid addiction is an epidemic across the nation. Opioid withdrawal is the main reason many people continue using these dangerous drugs. Opioids are a deadly drug leading to many overdose deaths across the country each year, and those who are struggling can attest to the desire to stop using but fear enduring withdrawal symptoms from opioid drugs. How can someone tell if they or a loved one are going through opioid withdrawal? How long does it last? Is it safe to do cold turkey? These are all valid questions for anyone who struggles with opioid addiction or has a loved one who does. 

Signs of Opioid Withdrawal

Opioids are a class of drugs both prescription and illicit that are used in the treatment of mild to moderate pain. Usually after surgery or for those who suffer from chronic pain conditions. These drugs can include oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl and heroin. when the body becomes dependent upon these dangerous drugs, it can lead to needing more and more, resulting in an addiction to opioids. Eventually, when a person tries to stop using them they experience opioid withdrawal symptoms. 

There are both physical and emotional signs that can be seen when it comes to opioid withdrawal. Someone who is going through it may show physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking, experiencing nausea and vomiting, or diarrhea. They may also experience other physical symptoms that can include:

  •  Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Stomach cramps

Along with the physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal there may be some psychological and emotional symptoms that can be witnessed. This can include angry outbursts, depression, and anxiety. 

How Long Does Opioid Withdrawal Last?

Everyone will experience opioid withdrawal differently but the symptoms listed are a general overview of what could be expected. Every person’s body heals differently at different paces so there is no set timeline to give on how long opioid withdrawal will last for everyone. However, there is a general timeline of what can be expected.

Symptoms of opioid withdrawal usually begin to present themselves within the first 24 hours of the last use of opioids. These are the mild symptoms like itching and runny nose, muscle aches and pains, and irritability. After a day or so, the symptoms tend to peak, and then, by 72 hours, the symptoms begin to dissipate. Within a week, the opioid withdrawal symptoms should be near gone and an individual can begin to feel better. However, sometimes these symptoms can last for a prolonged period of time and cravings can become intense. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome can occur and lead to added complications. This is why it is suggested to receive professional help before going through opioid withdrawal.

Is Opioid Withdrawal Fatal?

It is a common misconception that while opioid withdrawal is severely uncomfortable and unpleasant, it is relatively safe. On the contrary, people can and often do die from it. Due to withdrawal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, many people end up experiencing dehydration and elevated sodium levels in the blood which then, in turn, results in heart failure. These fatal and tragic situations are preventable. Receiving proper medical care when going through opioid withdrawal is the only way to ensure safety and proper physical recovery from opioid addiction.

How Detox Helps Opioid Withdrawal

Anyone who has undergone withdrawal from opioids can express how uncomfortable it was. Often, they feel as though it is completely unbearable. Many times, the symptoms alone lead a person back to using the drugs that led them to such a predicament to begin with. Detox helps to alleviate these symptoms and make the process a lot smoother, and easier to endure. This helps to ensure that the person has the best start to recovery not only by making withdrawal easier but during the process, they can learn different coping skills to combating addiction once the process is over. Having minimal discomfort, while learning new skills can ensure a person has the best start to recovery they could have. 

Detox also helps by providing a person with proper medical supervision while they are going through it. As previously stated, opioid withdrawal can and often is fatal. Being monitored both psychologically and medically helps to prevent complications from things like depression and anxiety as well as diarrhea and vomiting. Proper medical care is vital to making it through withdrawal from opioids with little to no long-lasting health complications, or fatality,

If someone is considering ending opioid abuse and addiction, help is available and it is highly suggested that a proper detox regimen is implemented to ensure their safety and success for a life in recovery. 

Detox Safely from Opioids

Someone who struggles with addiction to opioids is running a major risk. Addiction to opioids is dangerous and often leads to death, jail, and many other consequences. Getting proper help is necessary to achieve recovery. Lexington Addiction Center can help. We offer comprehensive care that is personalized to an individual’s needs. If you or a loved one are struggling, reach out and call us today. Begin a life of recovery from opioid addiction.