Research shows there’s an opioid epidemic in America, with millions of Americans addicted to opioids. The truth is that many people in this category have tried to quit opioid abuse but failed. This is because a person already addicted to opioids will experience withdrawal effects when they don’t use the drug. But, how long does opioid withdrawal last?
Our opioid detox program at Atlanta Detox Center is dedicated to helping our patients in their journey towards recovery as they overcome withdrawal symptoms safely. We are committed to comprehensive treatment for opioid addiction, especially through the withdrawal stage.
When someone regularly uses opioids, the drug will flood the brain with serotonin and dopamine. Over time, the person’s brain chemistry will change, and dependency will develop. At this point, such a person’s brain will only operate normally when opioids are in their system, which is why so many people struggling with opioid addiction will keep taking it to feel normal. So, when someone suddenly stops using opioids, the brain and the body, which are now used to operating under the influence of opioids, will no longer function normally. The result is an array of withdrawal symptoms that can range from immensely unpleasant symptoms to potentially life-threatening ones.
Symptoms Experienced During Opioid Withdrawal
Unpleasant physical and mental symptoms usually accompany the opioid withdrawal process. The symptoms that each person experiences typically vary depending on several factors, including the type of opioid, period of exposure, the severity of addiction, and others.
However, there are some common general symptoms of opioid withdrawal, such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dilated pupils
- Extreme craving for the next fix
- Muscle aches and pain
The Opioid Withdrawal Timeline
For those wondering how long is opioid withdrawal, it tends to vary from person to person. However, most people will generally start experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal anytime between twelve hours to three days after their last use. Typically, the withdrawal timeline includes:
- 6 to 12 hours after the last dose – This is when the initial withdrawal symptoms usually start kicking in. Patients experience mild symptoms like yawning, runny nose, and tiredness, which mostly only cause moderate discomfort.
- 12 hours to 3 days after the last dose – This period is when people struggling with opioid addiction experience the most intense and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. This is the point where most people trying to quit opioids cold turkey fail because at this point, the cravings are extreme, and the symptoms are at their peak.
- 3 days to 1 week after the last dose – Withdrawal symptoms in this stage tend to taper off in intensity, and the worst of the pain should be over, though not entirely gone.
- One month and beyond after the last dose – At this point, most physical withdrawal symptoms would have ceased or significantly reduced. However, some patients may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) during this time.
How Long Does Opioid Withdrawal Last?
So, how long does opioid withdrawal last? The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how long opioid withdrawal lasts. Opioid withdrawal timelines do not last the same amount of time for everybody. The duration of opioid abuse, the type of opioid, and the general personal health status of an individual will influence how long opioid withdrawal symptoms will last. However, you should never forget that recovery from opioid abuse is a lifelong journey and a never-ending battle.
Explore the Opioid Addiction Treatment Program at Atlanta Detox Center
If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, it’s best not to go cold turkey and try to handle it alone. The withdrawal symptoms can be very challenging to cope with, so medical oversight is necessary. The good news is that Atlanta Detox Center is always available to help.
Our opioid detox center features state-of-the-art facilities that are available to help you flush toxins from your body while making the withdrawal process more manageable.
Don’t hesitate to begin your recovery journey. Reach out to us today through our convenient online form or contact us at 470.450.2355.