Opiate Withdrawal Challenges and Symptoms

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The challenges associated with opiate withdrawal are nothing to ignore. When a person stops taking this drug after heavy and prolonged use, typically over the period of several weeks or longer, the result can be a variety of symptoms that are difficult to overcome.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, approximately nine percent of the population has misused opiates at some point in their life. This includes a variety of drugs, such as heroin and Oxycontin.

When a physical dependence sets in, you will crave more of the drug in order to achieve the desired effect.

If you stop taking the drug, the recovery phase is anything but simple. Even though you are making the right decision, withdrawal symptoms can lead to a difficult situation.

Most Common Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal

Opiate Withdrawal Challenges

Yawning is an early symptom of opiate withdrawal.

Opiate withdrawal symptoms come in two phases: early and late.

During the early days of withdrawal, you can expect some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Yawning
  • Increased tearing

As the days does by, late symptoms will come into play. These can be accompanied by the above, and often include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Goose bumps

Despite the fact that all of these withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and painful, they are not severe enough to be life threatening.

When will you begin to experience opiate withdrawal symptoms? While this depends largely on your personal case, these typically set in within 12 hours of last usage.

With symptoms setting in so quickly, some people aren’t ready for what’s to come. Unfortunately, this leads them to start taking the drug again, hoping to curb the symptoms and feel better. This is the cycle that can be a challenge to break.

Should I Seek Professional Treatment for Opiate Withdrawal?

Cold Turkey or Professional Rehab?

There are people who have overcome an opiate addiction cold turkey, meaning they did not seek any outside help. However, this can be an uphill battle. Most people learn that checking into a professional rehab facility would be in their best interest, as they can lean on a medical team that has experience with this type of problem.

It’s important to understand the many challenges and symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal. This way, if you or a loved one is facing this, you will know what to expect and how to deal with anything that comes up. As difficult as this may be, always remember that withdrawal is part of the treatment process. To learn more about opiate withdrawal or for help finding treatment, call 800-584-3274.


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