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Opiate Withdrawals Program

Opiate Withdrawals Program

Opiate withdrawal can carry with it several uncomfortable symptoms as the body readjusts back to their previous state. The person may experience nausea, body aches, fatigue, and pain. After some time, these symptoms will ease up. It’s best to work with a healthcare professional to help manage these symptoms. Here’s what you need to know if you or a loved one plan on an opiate withdrawal program.


 What is Opiate Withdrawal?

Opiates come from the opium poppy plant and have been used for decades to help bind to pain receptors in the brain. It’s also used to produce a high, which can be highly addictive if used repeatedly. Doctors may prescribe opiates for pain relief, such as morphine, codeine, fentanyl. For recreational use, people use heroin, oxymorphone, and opium.

The physical dependence on a drug means over time, the person’s brain structure and brain chemicals have changed to accommodate the drug. Once someone goes through the withdrawal process, the body has to adjust itself and thus creating symptoms. Opiates can be useful–for a short time–but when used over a long time, it can cause problems.


Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal

As stated above, withdrawal symptoms can be mild or severe, depending on how long someone’s taken the drug, their overall health, including any medical conditions, environment, or family history.

  • Anxiety of agitation
  • Depression
  • Tremors
  • Aching muscles
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fever and chills
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

A person may experience all of these or a few and can begin as soon as several hours after the last dose. Short-acting opiates such as heroin tend to produce more intense symptoms in a shorter time, whereas with long-acting ones, such as methadone, withdrawal can start around thirty hours after the last dose.

Timeline of Withdrawal

Here is a breakdown of what to expect regarding a withdrawal from opiates. 


6-12 hours or 30 hours after the last dose – According to the American Addiction Centers, symptoms can widely vary, depending on whether a person is taking a short or long-acting opiate; these initial symptoms may include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • A runny nose
  • Excessive yawning
  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Hypertension
  • Increased heart rate

Seventy-two hours after the last dose – These following symptoms will be at their most intense and can last a week or more. Under medical supervision, these symptoms usually take about five-seven days.

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Cravings for opiate drugs


Coping Methods for Withdrawal

The critical thing to remember is that addicts need coping methods for going through withdrawal since it can take a toll on someone’s physical and mental health and state. Keeping addicts hydrated, eating healthy, and distracted is vital to their success. Hot baths and exercise also help to relax and stay fit. 

People may also find a support group helpful by being around other people going through the same experiences.

Possible Complications

Even though generally not life-threatening, opiate withdrawal can be severe in some cases. If severe vomiting or diarrhea occurs, dehydration can cause increased sodium levels in the blood; this can result in heart failure. Also, suicidal tendencies can increase if the person already has depression.


Ardu Treatment Center Can Help

Opiate withdrawal can be a challenging process but with the right treatment and support team, successful. If you or a loved one is struggling and needs a professional treatment center, we hope you will contact us. Our trained and experienced staff knows what you need to make a full recovery. Please call us today to learn more