Detoxing from opioids isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s not impossible, and with the right support it also doesn’t have to be miserable. Because a person’s body and brain are so adapted to the presence of opioids, they will experience opioid detox symptoms when they stop taking them.
Opioid detox symptoms can vary because people respond differently to withdrawal. Some people may have taken a large amount of opioids or a larger amount of opioids for a longer time period. As a general rule, the more opioids a person takes and the more time a person has taken them, the more significant their symptoms are likely to be.
Common Opioid Detox Symptoms
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioid detox symptoms are comparable to those of a severe flu. These symptoms can include:
- Muscle aches and pains
In addition to these symptoms, people will also experience strong cravings for opioids that may weaken their resolve to stay sober.
The symptoms of opioid withdrawal can start anywhere from 12 to 30 hours after a person last uses. A person can experience these symptoms for anywhere from 3 to 7 days. Their symptoms will usually be very strong for a few days, then start to ease up.
Some people still experience opioid detox symptoms for a few weeks to months after they stop using opioids. This is known as post-acute withdrawal. A person’s symptoms aren’t as bad as they once were when they first stopped using opioids, but they may still experience fatigue and cravings for several months after they detox from opioids.
Help for Those Dependent on Opioids
While opioid detox symptoms can range in severity, they are not deadly or life-threatening. There are medications available to treat opioid dependence as well as reduce the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms whenever possible. These medications include buprenorphine and methadone. These medications can reduce cravings for opioids as well as help a person reduce the amount of opioids they use on a regular basis.
Some people choose to go “cold turkey” by suddenly stopping taking opioids entirely. Whether a person chooses to take medication for a time or stop completely, they can navigate past opioid detox symptoms and live a healthier life.
For more information on what it’s like to detox from opioids, please call Everlast Recovery Center at 866-DETOX-25.