If You’re Addicted to Opiates and Stop Using Them, You Will Experience Drug Withdrawal Symptoms. Learn More.
Opiates are potent analgesic medications. While it’s a fact that they are enormously beneficial in pain management, their abuse potential has given way to a national addiction disaster. The National Institute on Drug Abuse published statistics claiming that in 2015 alone, over 30,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose. A further 2,000,000 Americans suffered from substance abuse resulting from prescribed opioids. When government agencies and major news outlets are calling the situation we’re currently facing an opioid crisis, they are correct. The statistics speak for themselves, and they are alarming. If you or someone close to you suffer from an opioid use disorder, there is a great chance drug withdrawal symptoms will occur when the drug use is discontinued.
Reach out to the friendly professionals at the WhiteSands Tampa Addiction Treatment Center to find out what options are available to help you or your loved one achieve long-term sobriety.
What Causes Drug Withdrawal Symptoms?
Reward pathways in the brain play a large part in how addiction happens. When you do something that the brain perceives as beneficial to you, like exercising or eating, it activates the reward center of the brain. You feel pleasure and associate that good feeling with the activity you just performed. This induces you to do it again and again.
Opiates bind to opioid receptors in the brain, causing the way your body experiences pain and thereby providing relief. The brain’s reward pathway responds to the relief you feel and activates the reward center of the brain. After some time, your brain develops a dependence on the medication. If you expose your already drug-dependent brain to more opioid stimulation, it’ll quickly become hardwired to think opioids are necessary for survival.
The entire process of becoming addicted to opioids changes your brain chemistry in a major way. When you cease using opiates, your brain has to go into overdrive to adjust. That’s when drug withdrawal symptoms happen.
How Do Drug Withdrawal Symptoms Manifest?
Depending on what opioid you were using, drug withdrawals can start as early as 6 hours after the last dose. Drug withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. Generally speaking, early symptoms include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Drug cravings
These symptoms peak after 72 hours. Later withdrawal symptoms you can expect are:
How Long Does Drug Withdrawal Last?
The painful physical symptoms typically persist for up to a week or two. Psychological symptoms persist for much longer. It’s during this period that the risk of relapse is greatest. For that reason, it’s important to have a strong support system to help you through the detox. The approach that yields the best results is going to a specialized facility where you can undergo medical detox, using drug withdrawal remedies to ease uncomfortable symptoms.
Using Medical Detox as a Tool for a Well-Rounded Treatment Plan
When you go to an inpatient facility for medical detox, you’re under round-the-clock supervision from trained professionals who know what you’re going through and how to help you overcome your addiction. You might wonder, “How long does drug withdrawal last during medical detox?” Typically, medical detox lasts 5-7 days. The advantage is having access to drug withdrawal remedies, a safe environment to go through withdrawal, and medical attention.
Many people can’t resist the drug cravings during drug withdrawal and end up relapsing. This is especially dangerous, not only to your recovery but also poses a threat to your life. During withdrawal, your body’s tolerance levels might change, which makes an overdose more likely to happen.
Medical detox is only the first step in any comprehensive treatment plan. Counseling, exercising, psychiatric assistance, and lifestyle changes are also crucial for lasting sobriety.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.