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Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms and Treatment

Table of Contents

Man holding his face while suffering from opioid withdrawal

Opioid withdrawal is a combination of uncomfortable symptoms that develops after a dependent person reduces or stops taking their drug of choice. Inpatient medical detox allows physicians to manage and mitigate possible distressful withdrawal symptoms.


What are the Common Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms are directly tied to the extent of use, dosage amount, type of opioid, and method of use; they widely range in length and severity.  Additionally, underlying health conditions, including mental health, can also be an essential factor. Opioid drugs, including painkillers and heroin, can produce intense withdrawal symptoms that make detoxing very challenging. Withdrawal is usually not immediately life-threatening, but it can lead to a fatal relapse. Short-acting opioid withdrawal typically starts within 5-12 hours, and longer-acting ones within 30 hours. Some emotional symptoms may continue for weeks and, in some cases, even months. Therapy and emotional support can decrease the signs and the possibility of a relapse.


Signs of an Opioid Withdrawal

Opioid drugs change the way the brain responds to pain, stimuli, and pleasure. The opiate receptors, which are spread out through your central nervous system, promotes a combination of physical and emotional effects. Furthermore, the continuous use or abuse of an opioid drug changes how the brain chemistry works, leading to physical dependence. Consequently, the body may not feel stable without frequent opioid interaction. Withdrawal symptoms may start in between doses or when the individual stops taking the drug altogether.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Mood changes
  • Agitation
  • Tremors
  • A runny nose
  • Chills
  • Sneezing
  • Yawning
  • Sleeplessness
  • Anxiousness
  • Restlessness
  • Weakness
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Depression
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Confusion
  • Extreme irritability
  • Muscle spasms.

We strongly discourage patients from trying to detox on their own. Not the mention that a “cold turkey” method can be dangerous, leading to seizures, spikes in blood pressure, and convulsions. Furthermore, opioid withdrawal symptoms can be more intense among those who’ve taken opioids long term, and those who’ve abused other drugs. Above all, Waismann Method’s medical management of withdrawal helps patients recover quickly and comfortably, giving them the chance to focus on long-term abstinence.


Medical Withdrawal Treatment for Opioid Drugs

Since opioid use disorder is a medical condition, treatment should be provided by physicians. One example of an effective medical detox is Anesthesia Assisted Rapid Detox. This form of opioid detoxification is relatively short-lasting and still can give the best chance to achieve full detoxification, unlike traditional rehabs. Relapse is prevalent for individuals struggling to get through withdrawal, as a return to the drug may offer relief. Also, a relapse after detox can be very dangerous because it does increase the risk for a fatal overdose. In fact, drug overdose is currently the leading cause of death in the United States. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) estimates that 100 people die a day in a drug overdose. Having access to an effective medical detox may help overcome the withdrawal phase by reducing the problematic side effects, preventing serious health complications, and blocking the physical cravings.


Waismann Method® medically assisted opioid detox provides patients with the best right foot forward towards opioid-free life.
Call us today to discuss your unique history and available opioid withdrawal treatment options.

Don’t wait. By next week opioid use disorder can be part of your past. We are here for you!




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