When you stop taking opiates, you may experience a wide range of mild to severe withdrawal symptoms that include psychological stress and physical discomfort or pain. Withdrawal symptoms can last for several days, typically peaking from the fourth to the seventh day. An opiate withdrawal timeline varies depending on the nature of the addiction, the length of use, and the individual’s current health.
Withdrawal is the body’s natural reaction to ceased opiate use. The body cleans out the drug’s toxins, as well as starts the healing process. This is necessary for a person to recover from addiction. Yet, withdrawal can be a very painful process. Many who attempt to work through it alone find themselves unable to and end up relapsing. This is why finding professional support starting with detox is vital to recovery. At Northern Illinois Recovery Center, we can guide people through the opiate withdrawal timeline so that they can know what to expect. Doing so will help individuals learn what kinds of treatment programs are available to them.
Opiate Withdrawal Timeline During Detox
Numerous factors determine what an individual’s withdrawal experience will be like. While general symptoms affect nearly every person struggling with withdrawal, the intensity and duration of symptoms will vary. Based on the specific opiate used, duration of drug abuse, and each person’s own unique physiology, timelines may differ. Therefore, the opiate withdrawal timeline is different for each person. However, broadly speaking, those experiencing withdrawal will have a similar timeline.
Stage 1: Mild Symptoms Emerge
Once you get settled into detox, you should start feeling the first wave of opiate withdrawal symptoms within the first twelve hours. Early symptoms include:
- Agitation or anxiety
- Muscle aches or hypertension
- Insomnia or hypersomnia depending on the drug
- High fever and sweating
- Increased heart rate
- Runny nose and watery eyes
Since the withdrawal symptoms are first starting, some of them will get worse. Others are short-lived and will go away quickly. The first few hours should not present any severe symptoms that require medical attention.
Stage Two: Severe Symptoms Occur
This is usually the period when your withdrawal symptoms start to peak. Signs of withdrawal may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps or diarrhea
- Severe depression
- Severe cravings
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
If you have a long-term addiction to opiates, you may experience health issues that require medical attention. A treatment specialist can provide medical assistance as needed.
Stage Three: Most Symptoms Fade
During this period, you should start to feel better as the withdrawal symptoms begin to fade. Some symptoms may linger. For instance, you can expect to have cravings for several days or weeks after detox. Also, you may still feel anxious or depressed. It is normal to feel this way, so do not be alarmed.
Professional Treatment During Detox
During Detox, you will have everything you need to get through this first stage of recovery. A fully trained staff will monitor your withdrawal symptoms 24/7 and respond immediately if you have a medical emergency. You may also have access to medication to ease the symptoms and cravings.
Detox centers provide facilities and amenities that provide comfort as you are going through this difficult time. In addition, holistic treatment, such as massage therapy, may also be available to help you relax. When you receive the care and support you need, you are more likely to detox successfully.
Once you complete your detox, you will be ready to enter a rehab center and start your next phase of treatment.
Start Your Treatment Today at Northern Illinois Recovery Center
At Northern Illinois Recovery Center, we are committed to helping you get through your withdrawal symptoms. We provide care throughout your opiate withdrawal timeline to ensure you complete detox safely. We offer several addiction treatment programs designed to address each client’s specific needs. Some of our programs include:
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Telehealth intensive outpatient program
- Structured sober living