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woman standing happily on ledge
World Gratitude Day 2023
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woman standing happily on ledge
World Gratitude Day 2023
August 28, 2023

How Long Does Opiate Withdrawal Last?

When someone finds themselves trapped in the dark world of opiate addiction, the journey to recovery can be both difficult and transformative. For most individuals seeking to get sober, one of the most significant challenges of recovery is opiate withdrawal. As a beacon of hope and healing, Christian-based rehab understands the physical and emotional toll that opiate detox can take on those seeking freedom from addiction. In this article, our addiction treatment experts answer the frequently asked question, “How long does opiate withdrawal last?” and shed light on the effects of opiate withdrawal and the compassionate support our facility provides to patients throughout this crucial phase of recovery.

How Long Opiate Withdrawal Lasts

Opiates are a drug class that includes prescription painkillers and illicit drugs like heroin. These drugs bind to opioid receptors in the brain, providing a sense of relief from pain and inducing feelings of euphoria.

However, long-term opiate abuse can result in physical and psychological dependence, and abruptly stopping or reducing the dosage of these substances results in withdrawal symptoms. Opiate withdrawal is a challenging and uncomfortable process the body goes through as it attempts to readjust to functioning without the presence of opioids.

The severity and duration of opiate withdrawal can vary depending on factors such as the type of opioid used, the duration of use, the dosage, and individual differences like age. Common symptoms and side effects of opiate withdrawal include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Intense cravings
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Tearing eyes

Generally speaking, opiate withdrawal lasts for about one to two weeks. However, some individuals may have lingering effects, such as cravings and emotional issues, for several weeks or even months after the acute withdrawal period.

The opiate withdrawal timeline may differ for each individual, but it generally follows the same pattern. It’s important to note that while acute withdrawals subside after a few days, the opiate addiction recovery process is ongoing and requires long-term support.

Below is a more detailed opiate withdrawal timeline:

  • Day 1 to 3: During the first 24 to 72 hours after the last opioid use, early-stage symptoms of opiate withdrawal like anxiety, restlessness, sweating, runny nose, and tearing eyes may occur.
  • Day 4 to 7: This is the stage of opiate withdrawal in which peak symptoms like intense cravings, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, and abdominal cramps occur. Due to the intensity of these symptoms, it’s crucial to have a supportive and safe environment to avoid relapse.
  • Week 2 to 4: As physical symptoms gradually subside, the psychological effects of opiate withdrawal may intensify. These may include feelings of anxiety, depression, and irritability may persist. Engaging in counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy can be highly beneficial during this stage of recovery.
  • After week 4: The effects of opiate withdrawal may persist for several weeks, but the intensity gradually decreases. Even so, those in recovery may still experience occasional cravings and emotional challenges. Continuing with a comprehensive opiate rehab program that incorporates counseling and support groups is crucial for long-term recovery.

Using Opiate Withdrawal Scale in Treatment

The opiate withdrawal scale, formally known as the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS), is an 11-item scale that can be used by clinicians in both inpatient and outpatient settings to rate and monitor common signs and symptoms of opiate withdrawal over time. The summed score for the complete scale can help clinicians determine the stage or severity of opiate withdrawal and assess patients’ level of physical dependence.

The medical team at our Christian drug rehab performs a clinical assessment on all patients before they begin treatment to create an effective and appropriate treatment plan. This allows us to determine important factors, such as the level of their opiate dependence, and properly address said factors in treatment.

Finding Opiate Detox Near Me

At Faith in Recovery, we understand that recovery from opiate addiction is filled with many challenges. Our compassionate and experienced team is dedicated to walking alongside you during opiate detox, providing individualized care every step of the way. Through evidence-based treatment methods, counseling, and psychotherapies, we address the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of addiction recovery.

If you or someone you care about is battling opiate addiction, know that we’re here for you. Our faith-based recovery programs incorporate professional expertise to create an environment that fosters everlasting healing and sobriety.

Take the first step towards a brighter future and call Faith in Recovery today at 888-280-4763 or contact us online.

Related Reading:

How to Manage Opioid Withdrawal

Withdrawal From Hydrocodone