Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal

a man lies down holding his head as he experiences symptoms of opiate withdrawal while quitting opiates

Opiates, also known as opioids, are some of America’s most commonly abused prescription medications. The same category of substances also includes heroin and other illegal street drugs. Withdrawal is a likelihood for any addicted person who stops using opiates. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through this process alone. Instead, you can safely withdraw from these drugs in an opiate detox program. You can then continue to an opiate addiction treatment program. Knowledge of what to expect during withdrawal will help prepare you for what’s to come.

Typical Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal

When you first quit taking opiates, you enter a phase known as early-stage withdrawal. This part of the process is marked by a variety of potential symptoms. You may experience muscle aches, repeated yawning, and high sweat, mucus, and tear production. You may also feel notably anxious, agitated, or irritable. In addition, you can expect to experience cravings for more opiates.

As opiates continue to leave your system, you will enter late-stage withdrawal. You may experience similar or more intense versions of your early-stage symptoms during this stage. In addition, you can expect other symptoms to appear, including things such as:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Sleeplessness or disturbed sleep
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid mood changes
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • A depressed mental state
  • Nausea or vomiting

You may also feel like your body is abnormally cold or hot.

Quitting Opiates in a Detox Program

Quitting opiates on your own is not ideal. Most experts advise against this, in large part, because of the level of discomfort created by withdrawal. Even relatively minor symptoms can decrease your willingness to complete the process. As a result, you may return to your previous pattern of opiate uncontrolled opiate abuse.

A supervised detox program helps you avoid this kind of undesirable outcome. It does so by relieving the worst effects of the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Two medications may be used to achieve this goal –buprenorphine and methadone.

Both of these medications are temporary opiate substitutes. As you proceed through withdrawal, you take either of them in smaller and smaller doses until you no longer need them. In addition, you will receive help in the form of supportive care. This care incorporates ongoing monitoring of your vital signs to ensure your safety. It may also include other measures such as help for dehydration or any nutritional issues.

Continuing on to Your Addiction Treatment Program

Opiate detox is not meant to be a standalone procedure. Instead, it marks the start of a longer recovery process. The second part of that process is active addiction treatment. During treatment, you take the steps needed to nurture and protect your newfound sobriety. This is crucial. Why?

By itself, detox is not enough to help you cope with the lingering effects of addiction. You learn these coping skills during active treatment. You also receive other forms of support that prepare you for long-term sobriety. Both medication and psychotherapy may play a part in helping you reach your sobriety goals.

Get More Information on the Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal at Northpoint Colorado

Want to learn more about the possible symptoms of opiate withdrawal? The experts at Northpoint are standing by to assist you. We’ll explain the full range of potential withdrawal effects. In addition, we’ll explain how supervised detox supports your journey to initial sobriety.

Northpoint is also your source for high-quality detox services. We specialize in inpatient detox, which provides you with 24/7 care and monitoring. Once detox is complete, you can continue your recovery in our customized opiate addiction treatment program. Ready to get started? Just call us today at 888.231.1281 or contact us through our online message form.