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opioid detox timeline

The Opioid Detox Timeline

Though there are legitimate medical reasons for doctors to prescribe opioids, including managing pain after a surgical procedure and treating coughs, the unfortunate reality is that many people accidentally become addicted to these medications because of the artificial endorphins they create in the user’s brain. Over time, opioid use slows and stops the body’s natural production of these feel-good chemicals, and when this happens, continued use of the drugs is the only way people can experience positive feelings.

If you feel ill and depressed when you stop using opioids, it means you have developed a dependence on these drugs. When you are taking drugs exclusively to avoid the negative effects that emerge when you don’t, it is a sign of addiction.

Opioid Misuse Is a Severe Issue

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids misuse them, and between 8 and 12 percent go on to develop a substance abuse disorder. Opioid addiction has claimed the lives of millions of Americans – so much so that the government has declared the problem a national epidemic. If you have an opioid habit, you don’t have to become part of this tragedy.

You may have already tried to quit using opioids on your own, only to have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms stop you in your tracks and force you to return to drug misuse. Opioid withdrawal can be severely uncomfortable because the symptoms affect various aspects of physical and mental health, including:

  • Flu-like fever, body aches and pains
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia

Because of the discomfort level and health risks associated with at-home detox, if you would like to quit using opioids safely, medical detox in a qualified facility is your best treatment option to regain your health.

How Long Does Opioid Detox Take?

Detoxification refers to the process of freeing the body and mind from the chemicals that contributed to your addiction. Many different factors influence the opioid detox timeline:

  • The specific opioid of abuse
  • The dose, frequency and method of administration
  • How long you used the drug
  • If you used opioids alongside other drugs or alcohol
  • Your unique physiology, as well as your overall physical and mental health status

Shorter-acting opioids, such as heroin, have a correspondingly briefer withdrawal and detox period, whereas a longer-acting opioid like methadone may take up to three weeks to completely leave your system. Additionally, some people in opioid detox experience what is known as post-acute withdrawal, which may cause intermittent symptoms that last as long as six months.

Withdrawal Treatment Options

Detox programs are short-term, and they are only the first phase of a complete recovery facility. Before you enter a detox facility, you should make sure you have a plan for your next stages of treatment to pursue after you get clean from opioid use.   

Attempting to detox from opioids alone can be dangerous. At Inland Detox, we specialize in providing the highest levels of safety and comfort while keeping your withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings under control. At our private residential facility, our compassionate staff tailors treatment options to your specific needs, then helps you smoothly transition into your next level of care. Contact us to learn more about admissions to our Temecula, California, drug detox facility.