Opiate withdrawal occurs when the drugs, which are usually taken for pain, are no longer taken in the quantities expected by the body. This may be due to long-term use of the medications for legitimate medical purposes or because of prescription drug abuse. Withdrawal symptoms usually start within a few hours of the last dosage and may continue for several days or weeks depending on how long the individual used those opiates. Fortunately, these symptoms can be managed at an addiction treatment program like Sunflower Wellness Retreat.
What Are the Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal?
Opiate withdrawal varies from person to person; they may be “early symptoms,” which happen shortly after the last dose and the start of withdrawal, or they may be “late symptoms,” which happen many hours or days later.
Early Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal
The early symptoms of opiate withdrawal may include:
- Increased tearing
- Runny nose
- Muscle aches
These symptoms are usually not dangerous, though they can be uncomfortable.
Late Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal
Late symptoms of opiate withdrawal may include:
- Abdominal cramping
- Dilated pupils
In most cases, these symptoms will be extremely uncomfortable, but they’re not likely to put a person’s life in danger.
How Soon After My Last Use Do Withdrawal Symptoms Begin?
Withdrawal symptoms will start at different times, depending on the kinds of opioids that were used. For example, someone who takes heroin may notice symptoms that begin within 12 hours of the last dose. Someone who takes methadone, which is a longer-acting opioid, will notice symptoms within 30 hours of their last dose. This is all the more reason to undergo withdrawal in the presence of medical professionals like the ones at Sunflower Wellness Retreat.
How Is Opiate Withdrawal Treated?
Opioid withdrawal is usually treated with the use of medications through a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program. Medications that are commonly used include buprenorphine, clonidine, methadone, and naltrexone.
People who are going through withdrawal symptoms may benefit from using buprenorphine, which is known to shorten the length of detoxification. It is a long-term maintenance drug for those struggling with an opioid use disorder. It is sometimes combined with naloxone to prevent misuse or dependence.
Clonidine is a medication used to treat symptoms such as cramping, sweating, runny noses, muscle aches, agitation, and anxiety. It doesn’t reduce cravings, but it does help patients manage some of the less comfortable symptoms of withdrawal.
Methadone is an opioid and is used as a long-term maintenance medication for those with a dependency. It’s safer than other types of opioids, such as fentanyl or heroin, and it is used on a taper. With a taper, the client begins to decrease their intake of the medication over time, which minimizes the risk of relapse, withdrawal symptoms, or other issues.
Naltrexone is a drug used to prevent relapse. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, which means that it reverses the effects of opioids almost immediately. It can bring on intense, sudden, and severe withdrawal symptoms when taken, so it must be administered carefully.
What Is the Outlook for Someone with Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms?
The good news is that withdrawal symptoms can be managed, which means that those who go through a detoxification program are more likely to rid their systems of the opioids and to be able to move through recovery more comfortably. Withdrawal from opiates has the potential to be painful, but it’s not usually life-threatening. However, there are some possible complications that could occur, such as aspiration from vomiting. Hence, it’s a good idea to go through withdrawal and detoxification at a professional detoxification clinic like Sunflower Wellness Retreat.
Get Help with Opiate Withdrawal at Sunflower Wellness Retreat
At Sunflower Wellness Retreat, we want you to know that there is a team of people here waiting to help you overcome any challenges in your life. If you’re struggling with a substance use disorder, there are options like residential treatment and medication-assisted treatment available that can help. Contact our team today at 855.730.8825 to learn more about the programs available to you.