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The 3 Stages of Opiate Withdrawal

Understanding the 3 Stages of Opiate Withdrawal: How to Deal with Opiate Withdrawals

While Opiates can be extremely beneficial for patients suffering from extreme aches and pains, they can also be detrimental to patients who develop an addiction to the substance. All throughout the US currently, we are starting to see a rise in opiate abuse, generally starting with prescription medications, and developing more and more until heroin starts becoming abused instead.

While this problem is pervasive in the country’s current culture, there are also numerous people struggling with addiction who are turning to treatment for some help. However, this means going through the withdrawal symptoms associated with opiates. This can be extremely scary for struggling addicts who have never gone through treatment before, but with an understanding of the stages of opiate withdrawal, the process becomes far less intimidating.

In this article, we’re going to look at questions like: “how long does it take to withdraw from opiates”, “what is the opiate withdrawal duration” and “how to deal with opiate withdrawals” in order to give you a better chance at understanding stages of opiate withdrawal.

Understanding the 3 Stages of Opiate Withdrawal: Stage One

The first stage patients will need to learn when learning how to deal with opiate withdrawals, is the acute withdrawal stage. Generally speaking, acute withdrawal symptoms begin after twelve hours without use of an opiate, and these symptoms peak after three days without opiate abuse. Acute withdrawal symptoms include: vomiting and nausea, diarrhea, muscle aches and abdominal cramps, mood swings like depression, and trouble sleeping or insomnia. A great way to describe acute withdrawal symptoms, and the first stage of opiate withdrawal, is flu-like, due to its heavy resemblance to a strong flue or similar illness.

When we talk about how to deal with opiate withdrawals, acute withdrawal symptoms are what most drug addicts think of. This is largely due to the relatively small amount of clean time that opiate addicts have, and their experience with acute withdrawal symptoms when drugs are running low, or when they cannot afford more. For many, continued opiate abuse is done to stave of acute withdrawal symptoms more-so than to actually get high. Getting help for opiate withdrawals through a medically supervised detox is the best way we can advise patients when considering how to deal with opiate withdrawals.

Understanding the 3 Stages of Opiate Withdrawal: Stage Two

As we move on from acute withdrawals, we start moving toward the second stage of opiate withdrawal: rebalancing. This is when the body begins to rebalance endorphin levels in order to move back to a normal, or healthy, state. Generally speaking, this stage can last up to two weeks long and is punctuated by leg cramps, dilated pupils, and irregular body temperatures. This stage is when most recovering addicts report feeling chills and goosebumps, and while it is not the most intense stage of withdrawal, it is one that many addicts are trying to deal with on a regular basis. Getting help for opiate withdrawals can be as easy as contacting a detox center in your area, and there are outpatient and inpatient options to help patients with jobs and prior obligations. We highly suggest that recovering addicts look into how to deal with opiate withdrawals by speaking with a well-regarded detox or treatment center.

Understanding the 3 Stages of Opiate Withdrawal: Stage Three

The third, last, and longest stage of opiate withdrawal can last anywhere between one week and two month. It is the least severe stage and is the body’s final purging of the chemical dependency it’s struggled with for so long. This stage’s symptoms include: anxiety or nervousness, excess energy or restlessness, and insomnia or trouble sleeping. This stage is usually experienced after detox is already complete, and while this stage is one of the least severe when it comes to withdrawal symptoms, in many cases it is also enough to send seemingly recovered addicts back to using.

During this final stage of withdrawals, it is important that recovering addicts maintain a healthy recovery plan by going to outpatient groups, twelve step programs, or by simply living a life focused on sobriety. As long as recovering addicts go into recovery with a desire to learn and implement new coping skills, than learning how to deal with opiate withdrawals will come almost naturally.

If you are getting help for opiate withdrawal, or if you are in need of help, please get in touch with some of our fantastic representatives by calling 1 (800) 429-7690 to discuss treatment options, get help finding rehab centers, and common questions like “how long does it take to withdraw from opiates” and “what is the opiate withdrawal duration.

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