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How Long Does Opioid/Opiate Detox and Withdrawal Take?

How long does opiate or opioid detox and withdrawal take? That is the question that many opiate addicts ask when they're considering opiate addiction recovery. You may be wondering the answer to this question as well.

In order to give you the best answer, it's helpful to look at each part separately.

What is Opiate Detox?

Opiate detox is a type of drug detoxification that helps to clear opioids from your system. When someone is addicted to opiates, quitting them abruptly can cause the body to experience a shock. The result is opioid withdrawal symptoms that are very difficult to get through. Some symptoms can even be dangerous, and potentially lead to medical complications. There are different types of opiate detox that are used to rid the body of toxins.

Medical detox is one method that is frequently used. Patients may be tapered off their opiate drugs slowly. Sometimes, alternate drugs are given, such as Suboxone or Methadone. These help with cravings, and other withdrawal symptoms.

Holistic detox is another method that is becoming more popular. This type of detox may involve a slow taper of opioids as well. However, there are no additional medications given to patients. Instead, diet and exercise are used to rid the body of toxins quickly.

Regardless of which method is right for you, supervised detox from opiates is so important. It will help you stop using safely.

What are the Typical Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms?

Opioid withdrawal symptoms can become quite severe for many people. They are most severe for those who choose to quit using opioids on their own.

When you go through opiate withdrawal, you're likely to experience two phases. The first phase includes symptoms such as:

  • Very low energy
  • Muscle aches throughout the body
  • Feelings of agitation
  • Mild to moderate anxiety
  • A runny nose and teary eyes
  • Feeling very fatigued and sleepy

The second phase may include all of the above symptoms, plus additional ones. During the second phase, you may experience:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Digestive issues, such as diarrhea
  • Goosebumps all over the body

These symptoms can lead to medical complications that require immediate attention. Dehydration is a possibility. Also vomiting can lead to aspiration, which can lead to infections in the lungs.

This is why it is much better to recover from an opiate addiction in a professional environment. That way, medical staff members are on hand to assist with any complications.

Additional Opioid Questions:

It's really not easy to predict how long you will be in opioid detox. Every individual's situation is different. Usually, the length of time spent in opiate detox depends on a few different factors. These might include:

  • How long you have had an opiate addiction.
  • The type(s) of opiate drugs you have been using.
  • How often you use opiates.
  • The rate that your body metabolizes the drug.
  • Whether or not other addictions are present, such as alcoholism.

Most people can expect to be in opioid detox between a week and ten days. Of course, there may be some who need less time, and some who need more time.

In the grand scheme of your opioid treatment, detox will be a very small part of it. Even so, it is an important step that you should not skip.

Once opiate withdrawal begins, most people are the most concerned with when it will end. This might be a concern of yours as well. The length of time that opiate withdrawal lasts is very personal. It's based on several factors, most of which are listed above.

Your personal addiction history plays a key role in how long opioid withdrawal is going to last for you. If you are someone who has been through withdrawal before, it may last longer. Also, your body might not be the best health when you stop taking opiates. If that is the case, it can take much longer for you to process them out of your system.

It's hard to say how long opioid withdrawal will take to subside. However, it can be helpful to know what the typical opioid withdrawal timeline looks like.

The Opioid Withdrawal Timeline

When you stop taking opiates, you will probably start experiencing mild withdrawal symptoms. This can happen fairly quickly.

Short-acting opioid drugs may yield mild withdrawal within 6 to 12 hours.

Longer acting opioid drugs may take as long as 30 hours for withdrawal to start. This is the first phase of opiate withdrawal. These symptoms tend to get much worse before they get better.

Within the first 72 hours, more severe symptoms may start. This is known as the second phase of withdrawal. These symptoms will increase in severity, and should peak at around the third day. After that, withdrawal symptoms will still be present. However, they will start to decrease in severity.

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Watch Out for Recurring Withdrawal Symptoms from Opiates

Recurring opiate withdrawal symptoms are a normal part of the recovery process. You may find that you have some days when you feel really good. The following day, it may seem as though withdrawal has returned with a vengeance. This is typical, and this pattern may follow you for up to several months after you stop using opiates.

In general, you will find that the longer you keep from using opiates, the better you'll feel.

Opiate withdrawal is difficult to go through; there's no question about that. The temptation to use will continue to be there for quite some time.

You can resist that temptation. Getting the right opiate treatment can help you with that. Drug rehab can improve your chances of being successful with your recovery.