The opioid epidemic in the US seems to be getting worse every year. The CDC estimates that in 2017, nearly 49,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose. Fortunately, awareness of the problem is growing and there are more treatment options than ever for opioid addiction. However, recovery from opioid addiction must begin with detox. Here’s what you can expect from opioid withdrawal. When you start experiencing symptoms depends on what kinds of opioids you’ve taken, since every drug has a different half-life. For shorter-acting opioids, withdrawal can begin in as little as six to 12 hours, whereas for longer-acting opioids, it might take as long as 30 hours to start experiencing withdrawal. How you take the drugs matters too. You feel the effects more quickly when you smoke, snort, or inject a drug, and it also wears off more quickly. So you can expect earlier withdrawal symptoms from injecting heroin than from taking a Vicodin pill. The first withdrawal symptoms you can expect include agitation, muscle aches, insomnia, tearing up, runny nose, yawning, anxiety, sweating, racing heart, high blood pressure, and fever. After a couple of days, you may start to experience more severe symptoms such as stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, goosebumps, cravings, and depression. These are usually at their worst after two or three days but they may last a week or longer. How severe these symptoms depend on a number of factors, including how long you have been using, how high a dose you were taking, underlying physical or mental health issues, and whether you’ve been through withdrawal before. Some people say it gets harder the more you do it. There are a number of ways to detox from opioids. Whichever way you choose, it’s a good idea to do it under medical supervision. Some people will be able to do a taper or detox at home. It’s a good idea to make sure you have someone looking after you so you can get help in an emergency. It’s extremely important to stay hydrated, especially if you experience diarrhea or vomiting. If you are a heavy user or you have tried unsuccessfully to detox on your own, you might consider entering residential treatment or doing a medical detox. Many people describe opioid detox as the worst flu they’ve ever had, and it’s understandable that many people give up halfway through. In a medical detox facility, they can give you IV fluids and medications to make it a little easier. If you are starting medication-assisted treatment such as methadone or buprenorphine, you don’t have to detox completely. After several days you can usually start medication. When you have finished detoxing, and if you aren’t already in a residential treatment program, you can decide the best way to proceed with treatment and recovery.
If you’re struggling with substance use, Recovery Ways can help. We offer intensive outpatient treatment as well as residential treatment. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.