Stages of Drug Withdrawal

What to expect at each stage of drug withdrawal

If the thought of quitting opiates scares you, knowing what to expect during the stages of drug withdrawal can make the experience more endurable. One of the scariest things about entering rehab is the thought of going through withdrawal. Anyone who is addicted to drugs has experienced the first twinges of withdrawal as their medication wears off. The intense desire to avoid that feeling is one of the driving factors that lead drug abusers into outright addiction. The first step to overcoming opiate addiction is finding out what happens during each of the stages of drug withdrawal. Once you know what to expect, rehab seems more manageable and long-term recovery becomes a much more achievable goal.

One of the most common questions among those considering rehab is “How long do opiate withdrawal symptoms last?” Opiate withdrawal is a three-stage process. During each stage, addicted individuals experience some form of withdrawal symptoms. Here is how each stage works:

The stages of drug withdrawal

When you use opiates or other drugs for a prolonged period of time, your body becomes accustomed to the influx of drugs. It adjusts production of certain substances, such as dopamine or endorphins, so you system actually needs an infusion of drugs in order to function properly. When you stop taking drugs, your body goes through three main stages of withdrawal: the early or onset stage, the peak stage, and the post-acute stage. Timetables for withdrawal symptoms vary according to the class of drugs used.

The timetable for opiate withdrawal is as follows:

How to deal with withdrawals

If you’re wondering how to deal with withdrawals without having to live through uncomfortable and even agonizing symptoms, the most effective solution involves the use of medication administered during a medically assisted detox. When you enter an addiction rehab treatment center, addiction specialists can administer medications that relive some of the worst symptoms of opiate withdrawal. The particular medication used depends on the particular drug you are stopping, the length of time you have been addicted, and the severity of your addiction, among other factors.

Some of the medications used to manage the withdrawal symptoms of opiate addiction include:

Once you reach the post-acute stage of drug withdrawal, you will progress to addiction rehab and treatment. There you will engage in cognitive behavioral therapy to learn strategies and techniques for preventing relapses in the future.

If you would like some assistance finding an opiate addiction treatment program that offers the best chance for a lasting recovery for you or a loved one, BetterAddictionCare can help. Call 1-888-429-7690 today.