Josh Chandler | March 31, 2021

How Long Does Opioid Withdrawal Last?

What to Expect When Detoxing From Opioids

When beginning a detox from opioids, it is important to brace for the withdrawal process. This process features symptoms with a wide range of severity but are easiest to handle with the guidance, support, and medicine provided by a medical detox program.

With proper professional assistance, this process is possible to endure and overcome, but it’s essential to know how long does opioid withdrawal last, so you’re prepared for the intense symptoms. To fully overcome opioid dependency with positive results that will last, enrolling in a medical detox program is critical to address addiction’s physical and psychological implications.

What Is Opioid Withdrawal?

Opioid withdrawal is the body’s reaction to the drug’s absence that it has become accustomed to. The duration and symptoms of the detoxification process depend on several factors, including:

  • Type of opioid
  • How long the patient has been using the opioid
  • The severity of the withdrawal symptoms
  • Method of abuse (injection, swallowing, snorting, and smoking)
  • The amount of drug consumed at one time
  • Medical history and current health condition
  • Family history
  • Genetics
  • Underlying mental health conditions

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Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Opioid withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person, but some common experiences include:

  • Early signs: (within 24 hours after last use):
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle and bone pains
  • Restless legs
  • Watery eyes
  • Excessive sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent yawning
  • Later symptoms:
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure

Opioid Withdrawal Timeline

The opioid withdrawal timeline differs from case to case and depends on whether it is a short-acting opioid or a long-lasting opioid. The timeline features:

  • 6 to 12 hours after final dose: withdrawal symptoms start (short-acting opioids)
  • 30 hours after the last dose: withdrawal symptoms begin (long-acting opioids)
  • 72 hours after the final dose: withdrawal symptoms peak
  • Up to 10 days after final dose: withdrawal symptoms gradually lessen

Short-Acting Opioids

Short-acting opioids are prescribed for fast pain relief that lasts only a few hours and can be retaken after a certain number of hours if pain persists.

Common short-acting opioids include:

  • codeine/acetaminophen (Tylenol with codeine)
  • hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Vicodin / Lortab)
  • morphine oxycodone (Oxyfast)
  • oxycodone/acetaminophen (Percocet / Endocet / Tylox)
  • oxymorphone (Opana)

Long-Acting Opioids

Long-acting opioids are prescribed to relieve more severe pains. It takes longer to feel the effects of long-acting opioids, but the relief also lasts longer. These opioids are commonly taken around the clock rather than “as needed.”

Common long-acting opioids include:

  • fentanyl-transdermal patch (Duragesic)
  • methadone (Dolophine)
  • morphine (Oramorph SR, MS Contin)
  • oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • oxymorphone (Opana)

How to Detox From Opioids Safely

The safest way to detox from opioids is under the guidance of a medical detox program. Each person’s withdrawal process is unique, and the recovery process is never cookie-cutter. There are also mental health factors that contribute to substance abuse. A complete diagnosis and approach can be made through a medical detox program, ultimately allowing for a more promising and lasting recovery.

Opioid Detox at Muse

Muse Treatment offers Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs to ease the detox and recovery process after prolonged opioid use. Because painful withdrawal symptoms are the primary cause of relapse, medical assistance to handle the worst of the withdrawal process dramatically increases the probability of a successful rehab.

The MAT programs leverage a drug called buprenorphine to lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms and make them more manageable. Combining supervised medicinal support and traditional rehab therapy allows those who participate in the program to experience a more comfortable and confident detox process.

If you or a loved one struggles with opioid addiction, reach out to the Muse Treatment and Recovery Center today. We can guide you back to a life free of drug dependency through our comprehensive medical detox and rehab treatment. Call (800) 426-1818 24/7 to learn more and start your recovery journey today.

Opiate Addiction,Opiate Rehab,
Josh Chandler
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