How Long Does It Take To Withdraw From Opiates?
Opioids are a group of drugs that are used for treating pain. They are derived from opium which comes from the poppy plant. Opioids go by a variety of names including opiates, opioids, and narcotics. The term opiates is sometimes used for close relatives of opium such as codeine, morphine and heroin, while the term opioids is used for the entire class of drugs including synthetic opiates such as Oxycontin.
Opiates change the way the brain responds to pain stimuli and can also produce a “high” feeling by disrupting the reward and pleasure centers in the brain.
The central nervous system, which includes the brain, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, has opioid receptors that receive opiate drugs, and these drugs bring a variety of physical and emotional effects. Heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and body temperature are lowered while pleasant feelings are increased.
Long-term use of any opiate — illegal or prescription — can lead to tolerance. This means you need to take more of the drug to get the same effects. And as you continue to use the drug; your body can become dependent on it. This means you will have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking the drug. There is also psychological dependence, also known as addiction. With addiction, you have cravings for opiates and can’t control your use, even when it causes harm to you or others. All of these factors can mean you take more of the drug than recommended, which can lead to overdose. Addiction can also mean that you take illegal steps to get more of the drug.
The only way to stop opiate addiction is to stop taking the drug
. This means going through the withdrawal process. To get through withdrawal successfully, it helps to know what to expect, such as symptoms and side effects.
Opioids produce a sense of wellbeing or euphoria that can be addictive to some people. Opioids are legitimately used for treating pain. When used for pain relief, many people develop tolerance, meaning they need more and more to get the same effect. Some people go on to develop an addiction to opioids. They begin to obsessively think about getting more opiates and in some cases engage in illegal activities such as double doctoring.
A high dose of opioids can cause death from cardiac or respiratory arrest. Tolerance to the euphoric effect of opioids develops faster than tolerance to the dangerous effects. Therefore people often overdose by mistake because they are trying to get a higher high and take too much.
Opioid overdose can be reversed in hospital with intravenous naltrexone. Please contact emergency services if you feel you are in danger of an overdose.
Opiate withdrawal symptoms may range from mild to severe; depending on how dependent the individual is on an opioid drug. Dependency can be directly tied to the length of time taking a particular drug, dosage amount, which drug was taken, how the drug was taken, underlying medical conditions, the co-occurring presence of a mental health issue, and certain biological and environmental factors, such as family history of addiction, previous trauma, or highly stressful and unsupportive surroundings. Withdrawal from an opioid drug may roughly adhere to the following timeline, although it can vary from person to person.
Early Withdrawal Symptoms
These usually start within 6-12 hours for short-acting opiates, and they start within 30 hours for longer-acting ones: tearing up, muscle aches, agitation, trouble falling and staying asleep, excessive yawning, anxiety, nose running, and sweats, racing heart, hypertension and fever
Late Withdrawal Symptoms
These peak within 72 hours and usually last a week or so: nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, Goosebumps, stomach cramps, depression and drug cravings. The first week of withdrawal is typically the worst, but be prepared for some symptoms to last longer. Symptoms typically last up to one month, but can linger for several months. Symptoms that can last longer than one week include tiredness, depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.