Are you or is someone you love suffering from an opiate addiction?
Opioids are common for the treatment of chronic pain. Unfortunately, there is little regulation in place when it comes to prescribing these drugs.
This has led to a major abuse of the drug nationwide. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 2.1 million Americans abuse opioids.
Recovering from an opiate addiction is extremely difficult. In fact, chances of a relapse with opiate addiction are higher than those for any other drug addiction, with one study finding that 91 percent of those in recovery will relapse at some point.
If you or someone you love is beginning the recovery process, it’s best to understand what you’re up against before you get started.
In this article, we’ll go over the opiate withdrawal timeline so you have a better understanding of what lies ahead on your road to recovery.
What is Opiate Withdrawal?
Opiates alter the way in which the brain responds to pain and stimuli. Also, they disrupt the pleasure centers and the reward centers of the brain.
These drugs bond to the opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Once the drugs are received, a wide variety of emotional and physical effects are produced.
In fact, repeated and long-term use can permanently alter one’s brain chemistry, both physically and also psychologically. This results in a dependency.
Then, when the drug is removed, the body isn’t quite sure how to function normally because it’s become so dependant on the opioids. The only way it knows how to respond is through withdrawal.
Withdrawal symptoms range from person to person and also depend on how dependent the individual was on the drug. Dependency levels can be tied to the dosage amount, the length of time in which the drug was taken, the type of opioid taken, and whether or not the person was experiencing any co-occurring health issues.
The first couple days of withdrawal are usually the worst. It is during this beginning stage that most relapses happen.
For the most part, withdrawal symptoms begin 6-12 hours after the last dose if the opiates are short-acting and 30 hours if they’re long-acting. However, it is not uncommon to start experiencing them within a few hours of the last dose.
Early withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle aches
- Sleep disturbances
- Loss of appetite
- Runny nose
After the first 48 hours, the worst of it is over.
Typically, late withdrawal symptoms peak within 72 hours and last about a week. However, psychological symptoms, such as cravings, can last longer than a week. And technically, addictions last a lifetime but can be treated with the correct program.
Symptoms of late withdrawal include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Drug cravings
Opiate Withdrawal Timeline: Wrap Up
We hope this article helps you better understand the opiate withdrawal timeline.
]You and your loved ones certainly have a big battle ahead in your recovery process. But, the sooner you begin, the sooner you can restart your life. For help getting started on the recovery process, contact us today.