Understanding the Stages of Opiate Withdrawal
By: Lakeview Health Staff
Published: September 12, 2016

A person experiencing withdrawal from opiates can suddenly panic and wind up using again just to avoid the symptoms. Unfortunately, the vicious circle of taking more and more uncontrolled amounts of opiates does not end, unless you can reach out for help from an opioid detox center.

Why Opiate Withdrawal Occurs

Certain pain medications can contain opiates that work to diminish pain. Opioid receptors attach to proteins found in the brain, spinal cord and various organs of the body and change how the brain perceives pain. Symptoms occur when the drug is abruptly ceased and the body is thrown into trauma.

Stages of Withdrawing from Opiates

Several different stages are experienced when opiates are suddenly denied. Many people can’t tolerate the time table that follows and they return to the drug simply for relief. It’s a cycle that’s difficult to cope with physically and mentally. Here’s an example of one person’s experience in stopping opiate use cold-turkey:

  • Day 1 – anxiety, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, insomnia, runny nose, sweating and nausea
  • Day 2 – amplified anxiety, sweating, diarrhea, fatigue
  • Days 3 and 4 – all of the above with no sign of letting up

After day 5, symptoms generally subside, but can continue for many days, weeks or months.

How to Address Opiate Withdrawal

There’s no easy way to lessen the effects of withdrawing from opiates. However, there are therapeutic programs available to provide the best of care on an individual basis. Not all withdrawal symptoms are exactly alike, depending on age, physical condition and mental capacity. Attempting to go through withdrawal alone can lead to repeated relapses and a ball-and-chain future. Opiates can begin as a prescribed pain medication or a recreational drug. Average dosage and the use duration can determine the process’ severity. Physical condition and mental state often play an important role in withdrawing from this addictive drug. Lakeview Health, located in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier drug and alcohol detox center that can help ease the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Medical and social specialists work with each person to lessen the severity of the withdrawal process and provide guidance in coping and staying clean. While experiencing withdrawal, our experienced staff will guide you. While there is no magic pill to soften the pain of drug withdrawal, we can provide a soothing atmosphere and compassionate care for men and women. You shouldn’t allow opiate addiction to rule your life. If you would like more information on withdrawing from opiates, call Lakeview Health today at (866) 704-7692.