Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Get a Better Understanding of the Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline

Opiate withdrawal is known to be an involved process, which is why many opiate abusers avoid seeking help initially. Symptoms of withdrawal can occur as little as 8-12 hours after the last dose. Many times, opiate abusers actually want to treat their opiate addictions, but they fear the opiate withdrawal duration and symptoms. Fortunately, there are other ways and opiate withdrawal remedies that will allow the addict to taper off these harmful substances and make the opiate withdrawal symptoms timeline more tolerable.

The Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline

One of the first concerns about opiate withdrawal is the opiate withdrawal duration. While there is a general duration and typical symptoms associated with this process, it’s still important to remember that this process affects everyone differently. The length of time that a recovering addict spends physically and mentally withdrawing depends on the type of use, amount of time the abuse occurred, and the addict’s overall individual health.

Depending on what substance and amount the body is used to absorbing, the opiate withdrawal symptoms timeline can begin as early as a few hours. The opiate withdrawal duration of controlled substances, such as prescription pain medications, can be generalized more accurately than street drugs with various chemical components, like heroin. This is because the effects from opiate substances has been proven and understood, whereas the ingredients to compound street drugs are somewhat unpredictable and inconsistent.

Tapering off of opiates is recommended, rather than stopping cold turkey to avoid severe side effects and health risks. Withdrawal from street drugs can come on more quickly than controlled substances. In some opiate-blocking medications, like Methadone, the withdrawal can come on as soon as 30 hours after taking the last dose. Typically, the first stage of opiate withdrawal presents milder symptoms that can intensify within days, such as:

  • Muscle and body aches
  • Sweating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Restlessness
  • Flu-like symptoms (runny nose)
  • Stomach pain

When the symptoms start to peak within 48-72 hours, these symptoms may intensify. This is known as the acute phase of opiate withdrawal. This phase can last from 3-5 days or up to a little over week. Additionally, emotional withdrawal symptoms may start intensifying. These symptoms include:

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Severe cravings
  • High blood pressure
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Aggression
  • Depression

Physical opiate withdrawal symptoms can last up to a few weeks, while emotional withdrawal symptoms can remain with the recovering addict for many years, especially with individuals who have other behavioral or mental disorders.

Opiate Withdrawal Remedies

Although these side effects may seem painful, exhausting, and uncontrollable, there are opiate withdrawal remedies that many drug addiction rehabilitation facilities offer. The safest way to go about opiate addiction recovery is to seek professional help at a rehab facility. Depending on your particular situation, many drug rehabs offer residency programs so that addicts have a safe place to go through detox while surrounded by trained medical professionals and drug addiction specialists 24/7.

In some instances, doctors at these facilities prescribe opiate-blocking medications to alleviate the intense cravings and make the withdrawal symptoms less tolerable. This is known as medication-assisted detox. Two of the most popular opiate-blocking medications are Methadone and Suboxone. Although these medications are known to be successful, they can be habit-forming. Supervision by a doctor is necessary during this form of therapy.

For those who choose to undergo withdrawal with an outpatient program have some options for opiate withdrawal remedies. However, these remedies may not be successful for everyone, which is why addicts are encouraged not to go through detox alone.

After the acute phase of the opiate withdrawal timeline is over, the post acute period of withdrawal begins. To alleviate some of the most common lingering symptoms of opiate withdrawal, over-the-counter medications, such as Advil, Tylenol, and Imodium can help slightly. Natural supplements can be considered as well. Taking hot showers or baths not only helps with muscle pain, but can be relaxing as well. This phase requires follow-through with counseling, various forms of therapy, exercise, and rebuilding physical and mental strength to ensure the success of recovery.

For more information on the opiate withdrawal symptoms timeline and for help with your search for rehab facilities, call Better Addiction Care to discuss your options. 1-800-429-7690.