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stages of opioid withdrawal

Stages of Opioid Withdrawal

The opioid epidemic is a nationwide health crisis affecting people from all backgrounds and areas of the country. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 130 Americans die from opioid overdose every day.

If you are concerned about opioid misuse, you may have tried to cut back on the amount of drugs you use, or even to quit cold turkey, only to encounter a series of uncomfortable physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms. Why are opioids so addictive, and how can a qualified drug detoxification program help you manage the stages of opioid withdrawal safely and comfortably?

How Opioids Work in the Brain

Chemical opioids attach to neurotransmitters in your brain, flooding users with powerful feelings of euphoria. However, over time, these chemicals prevent your body from releasing its own natural feel-good chemicals. Opioid withdrawal symptoms result from a lack of dopamine and related chemicals in the brain as the body adjusts to the absence of opioids.

Once someone becomes physically dependent on opioids, overcoming addiction and opioid withdrawal without the help of a professional drug detox and rehab program can be extremely challenging, not to mention dangerous.

The Opioid Withdrawal Timeline

Many people avoid undergoing drug detoxification because they are afraid the withdrawal symptoms will be too uncomfortable. However, the long-term social, emotional and financial consequences of continuing to misuse opioids will be much more severe than any withdrawal symptoms you can expect to undergo.

Though withdrawal is difficult for many people to endure, it’s important to remember that it is temporary; the most unpleasant symptoms will only last a few days. Knowing this can help put your mind at greater ease if you are facing the need for drug detoxification and recovery.

During the earliest stages of opioid withdrawal, common symptoms include:

  • Drug cravings
  • Agitation or anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Sweats and fever
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Sleep disruption
  • Restlessness and mood swings

The later stages of opioid withdrawal can include the following symptoms:

  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Shivering
  • Stomach cramps and pain
  • Depression

These physical symptoms will generally peak within 72 hours and resolve within three to five days. However, psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression and insomnia can last longer, and drug cravings may ebb and flow in the weeks and months that follow. Having a plan to address these issues is essential in early recovery, which is another reason professional drug rehabilitation is vital to success.

Managing Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms at Inland Detox

Because the symptoms of opioid withdrawal can be so intense, it’s crucial for people who have developed an opioid dependency to seek detoxification in a medically supervised environment, where detox professionals will monitor their symptoms and help them free their bodies and minds of harmful chemicals safely, comfortably and effectively.

As Southern California’s premier medical detox facility, Inland Detox prioritizes client care with customized detoxification and recovery planning that put clients’ needs first. Our goal is not only to treat physical symptoms of drug detoxification, but also to address the underlying causes of the substance dependency by taking a unique dual-diagnosis approach.

If you are ready to seek help for your opioid addiction, Inland Detox is here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Take the first step toward achieving independence from your substance dependency, and contact us anytime.