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What Are the Signs of Opioid Withdrawal?

man holds his hands on the side of his head experiencing signs of opioid withdrawal

Opioids are powerful prescription painkillers that can have a high potential for addiction due to their powerful impact on the brain’s reward system. They can relieve pain and produce feelings of intense pleasure, which can lead to repeated use and, over time, dependency.

Recognizing the signs of opioid withdrawal is a critical step in addiction recovery. At MD M.A.T.T., we understand the cycle of addiction and the importance of finding the right treatment program for each individual. Our opioid addiction treatment program addresses addiction through medication-assisted treatment and support services to help patients safely manage withdrawal symptoms and address the underlying causes of their addiction.

We can help you with your recovery progress and provide a compassionate, supportive environment to help you overcome opioid addiction. Call us at 410.505.7434 for help finding a suitable treatment for yourself or a loved one.

The Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal

Opioid withdrawal can manifest through a variety of physical and psychological signs, and the severity and duration of these symptoms can vary from person to person based on factors such as the type of opioid used, the duration of use, and individual health factors.

Physical Signs of Opioid Withdrawal

This may include flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, sweating, and aches. Additional signs may involve gastrointestinal discomfort, such as nausea or diarrhea.

Psychological Signs of Opioid Withdrawal

At a psychological level, individuals may encounter a range of distressing symptoms during withdrawal, including anxiety, irritability, depression, and insomnia. They might have intense drug cravings, further exacerbating the psychological challenges of the withdrawal process.

Recognizing the Opioid Withdrawal Timeline

Recognizing the opioid withdrawal timeline is a crucial part of understanding and managing the recovery journey. Early withdrawal symptoms typically start within 6 to 12 hours for short-acting opioids and within 30 hours for longer-acting ones. This phase is often marked by:

  • Agitated and anxious behaviors
  • Excessive yawning
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating

Peak withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 72 hours and can last a week or more. During this phase, individuals may experience severe symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and intense drug cravings.

The late stage of withdrawal, occurring several weeks after the last dose, is characterized by mood swings and less intense cravings, though these can still be psychologically challenging. Awareness of this timeline can enable individuals to be prepared and seek necessary medical and emotional support throughout each phase.

Types of Opioid Withdrawal Medications

Several types of medications are available to help manage the signs of opioid withdrawal, making it safer and more comfortable for individuals to reduce or stop their opioid use. These medications are most successful when used as part of a comprehensive treatment program:

  • Methadone – An opioid medication that reduces withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to heroin or other narcotics. Methadone is carefully regulated and must be taken as directed under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
  • Buprenorphine – This medication works by binding to the same opioid receptors in the brain as other opioids, but it does so in a way that limits feelings of euphoria and physical dependency. It can lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.
  • Naltrexone – Unlike methadone and buprenorphine, naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids at their receptor sites in the brain and is used primarily in preventing relapse once a patient is detoxified.
  • Clonidine – While not specifically an opioid withdrawal medication, clonidine can be used to help manage some of the physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal, such as high blood pressure, agitation, anxiety, and sweating.

Each person’s experience with opioid withdrawal and recovery is unique. It’s essential to have a personalized treatment plan that addresses individual needs and sets achievable goals. recovery

Call MD M.A.T.T. to Start Your Recovery with Our Opioid Addiction Treatment Program

Opioid addiction can be a complex and challenging journey, but you don’t have to go through it alone. At MD M.A.T.T., we offer a comprehensive opioid addiction treatment program that addresses all aspects of addiction recovery. Our team of compassionate professionals is dedicated to helping patients overcome opioid use disorder and achieve long-term recovery. Call us at 410.505.7434 or contact us online to learn how to start healing from opioid addiction with our support.