What An Opioid Detox Looks Like

Opioids are the most addictive prescription drugs on the market today. They are designed to interact with the Opioid receptors in the brain, which not only blocks the pain but also creates a feeling of euphoria and relaxation. In a very short time, Opioids will rewire your brain so that your body can adapt to their presence. Soon, a person cannot function normally without Opioids, which results in detox symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, using Opioids for just five days can result in an addiction.

How Long Does it Take For Withdrawal To Begin?

If a person is addicted to Opioids, it can take between 6 and 12 hours after their last dose for the withdrawal symptoms to begin. This is one of the reasons that so many people have trouble quitting. Many addicts would rather take another dose than go through the detox symptoms. They know that if they have another fix, they will have the euphoric feeling that they crave, and the withdrawal symptoms will end.

What Are the Symptoms Of Withdrawal?

The symptoms of Opioid withdrawal are incredibly uncomfortable, and they can be dangerous. The severity of the symptoms would depend on how chemically addicted a person is. The longer a person is using Opioids, the worse their symptoms will be. They include:

  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures

How Long Does It Take To Detox?

The detox process varies from person to person. There length of time that the detox symptoms last would depend on a few factors, including:

  • The period of time a person has been abusing Opioids
  • The level of chemical dependency
  • The amount they have been taking regularly
  • The type of Opioid they were using
  • A person’s age
  • Their genetics
  • Their overall health
  • Being addicted to alcohol or other drugs

Overall, the longer a person has been using and the more they have been taking, the longer it will take for them to detox completely.

What Are the Stages of Detox?

The stages of detox come in stages, depending on how long it has been since you last used it.

  • 6 to 24-hours since the last use: During this time, a person will start to have cravings for the drug. This is the point where many people take another dose because the cravings are so intense. Anxiety and depression will also set in. After that comes nausea and vomiting. When a person has nothing left in their stomach, dry heaves can begin.
  • 36 to 48-hours since the last use: During this time, abdominal cramps are common. The person will also start sweating, and they will develop a runny nose. Finally, nausea and vomiting will continue. During this stage, people often get desperate for another dose just to make the symptoms dissipate.
  • 48-72 hours since the last use: During this time, diarrhea is common. Insomnia will also set in along with muscle pain. In severe cases, hallucinations can begin at this point, and possibly seizures. This is one of the most critical points of the detox process, mainly if hallucinations and seizures occur.

How Can I Detox Safely?

Trying to detox cold turkey is usually not effective. When the detox symptoms become too severe, the addict will want to take more Opioids just to make the pain and discomfort stop. It can also be harmful to a person’s health to detox without the necessary monitoring and medication. The safest way to detox is at a treatment center. There, a person can be monitored by a professional medical staff, and they can begin Anesthesia-Assisted Rapid Detox medications. These medications won’t make the detox process painless, but they will make a person more comfortable while they are detoxing. Also, IV fluids are necessary to prevent dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea. If a person becomes severely dehydrated, it can cause several serious health problems.

If you have an Opioid addiction, your best chance of detoxing safely and getting clean is to check into Grace Recovery in Hollywood, CA. When you first check in, you will begin safe detoxification. When the drugs are out of your system, you will move onto our state-of-the-art inpatient rehabilitation program where you will get the individual, group, and family counseling that you need to continue with your sobriety. We will also give you the tools necessary to remain clean after leaving the program. We can help set you up in a sober living house, continue your one-on-one and group therapy, and help you find local Narcotics Anonymous meetings. According to The American Addiction Center, addicts who quit cold turkey are 40 to 60 percent more likely to have a relapse. The best way to get clean and stick to your sobriety is to check into Grace Recovery addiction treatment in Hollywood.

How to Overcome Opioid Addiction

One of the biggest reasons people are often hesitant to start an opioid addiction recovery program is fear or worry about the withdrawal process. These feelings are perfectly normal, however, and the good news is that they can be overcome. It all starts with learning more about what the opioid detox process entails and finding a treatment program that will support you from start to finish.

If you or a loved one is looking to beat an opioid dependency, you’re far from alone. While the modern opioid epidemic is an issue that has only gained widespread discussion in recent times, it has been growing for years. In 2010 there were an estimated 21,000 deaths from opiate overdose, and this number has steadily grown to be over double that today, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The APA also estimates that nearly one in three people now know someone who is addicted to opioids, and there are at least two million people nationwide currently struggling an opioid abuse problem.

So, there’s no better time than the present to start tackling a dependency to opioids head-on. While the detox process can be challenging, it is far from impossible to overcome. Here’s what you need to know:

What is Withdrawal?

“Addiction” is often used interchangeably with the word “dependency” because when it comes to substances, they are one and the same. When a person is struggling with an opiate addiction, their body has become dependent on the substance. Both their mind and their physical organs have grown accustomed to receiving opioids in certain minimum amounts, and when they are deprived of opioids in those minimum amounts, negative reactions occur. These negative reactions are withdrawal symptoms.

These natural negative reactions can be so unpleasant that, if the person is not in the right environment, they can try to cope with things by introducing more opiates into their body. This is how many people become increasingly heavy users of substances like opioids despite attempts to “quit”. Fortunately, the right recovery environment and treatment services can support them through the withdrawal process and prevent increased dependency.

Detox Symptoms or ‘Side Effects’

It’s really the symptoms or “side effects” of opioid withdrawal that intimidate people. But while they can certainly be unpleasant, it is important to understand that all of them are temporary. For many people, detox symptoms begin right after their last opiate dose, while for others it can take hours or even days.

Here is a list of the more common symptoms that can be expected once detox or “withdrawal” begins:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Anger or agitation
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased (more intense) opioid cravings

It may also help to know that many people do not experience every withdrawal symptom and instead only experience one to a few of them.

How Long Does Detox Last?

The detox period can vary from person to person. Just like the exact start time of withdrawal can vary, the time period during which it lasts will vary depending on a number of factors (including, but not limited to, substance use amount and frequency, weight, general health, etc.) In most cases, the most severe symptoms of withdrawal can last hours to about a day. Symptoms as a whole can last days to about a week.

Why Medical Detox Should Be Considered

The withdrawal process can also be a lot easier to deal with when medical detox is involved. While this course of treatment may not be right for everyone, for many it can ease them out of opiate dependency more smoothly and greatly reduce the likelihood of a relapse. In most cases, medical detox is an inpatient-only treatment program, although it may be achieved in rarer cases through partial-day programs.

In a medical detox setting, the patient is supported by a professional medical staff (nurses and doctors) who may use the assistance of certain medicines to help ease their withdrawal symptoms. The patient is closely monitored the entire time and supported both medically and emotionally.

Now, it is true that successful detox and addiction recovery may be achieved without this medical intervention. However, the emotional and physical pull of substances like opioids shows that medical assistance can greatly increase the likelihood of success. It is important to explore this option before making a final decision.

Getting Started

To learn more about the opioid withdrawal process and recovery, do not be afraid to reach out to experienced treatment professionals. After all, the first steps toward beating a dependency on opioids involve not just admitting there is a problem, but starting to look at recovery options. Don’t be afraid to ask detailed questions about the withdrawal process— real treatment professionals are there to help!

Last but not least, always remember that you are not alone. Thousands of people across the country enter treatment programs every year and get through the detox process to success. With determination, the right support, and plenty of knowledge under your belt, you too can beat opioid addiction and take back your life.