Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal

Get to know the signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal

Opioids and opioid associated fatalities are all over the news. It is unlikely to turn on the television or open up any social media platform without hearing of widespread opioid related tragedies across the nation. Many rural communities have been devastated by the catastrophic series of events. The opioid epidemic is fierce, but it is not the first opioid crisis. Unfortunately, it is a very real issue the nation is facing and it has become a public health disaster. With that said, it is important to familiarize yourself with the signs of opioid addiction and the signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal. This information could save a life

What are opioids?

The opioid class of drug is broad. It is a class of drugs that help to relieve pain, acting directly toward the central nervous system. Substances included in this class are:

Derived from the opium poppy plant:

  • Morphine
  • Heroin

Synthetic versions of opioids:

  • Fentanyl
  • Oxycodone

Derived from a combination of synthetic and natural sources, the synthetic versions of opioids pose equally disturbing side effects. This opioid epidemic began in the 90s with the abuse and use of legal pain pills. Since then, it has metastasized into a more widespread epidemic. Heroin plays an outsized role in this crisis.

Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal and Addiction

When a person becomes addicted to opioids they will, at first, try to do their best at hiding any signs of use. Over time, they become sloppy and less aware, so signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal will become more obvious. A person becomes so dependent on the drugs they begin to form a high tolerance toward the substance. Because of this tolerance, the user will begin to feel signs of withdrawal if they minimize use. A few signs of opioid addiction to look out for include:

  • Feeling no pain physically (and emotionally)
  • Sedation
  • Euphoric high
  • Shallow breathing (respiratory depression)
  • Tiny pupils
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Itching of the skin (causing scabs)

A person will become distant and secretive. They may begin to wear long sleeve shirts or hoodies to cover track marks on their arms left by needles from shooting up heroin. If you notice signs are present, say something. Or, at the very least, reach out for help.

How Long does Opiate Withdrawal last?

The length of opiate withdrawal depends on quite a few factors. Some factors include the age of the addict, the half life of the opiate, severity of drug use, and the length of time the person has been using and abusing their opiate of choice. Typically, a person who has been using longer in larger amounts, will have a longer more symptomatic withdrawal process. More long term users can expect to go through about 5 days or so of withdrawal before they even begin to subside.

Underlying mental health or medical issues in an individual will also play a role in answering the question, how long does opiate withdrawal last? It is all dependent on the person's medical and drug use history. Regardless, a person should certainly not try to go through detox alone, as this can lead to death.

Opiate Withdrawal Remedies

Like there is no such thing as curing addiction, there is no such thing as a perfectly pain-free, and fun withdrawal. Nonetheless, there are ways a person can safeguard their withdrawal. The first thing to jot down, is do NOT do this alone. DO NOT. A professional detox at a rehab facility will be the best route for any addict going through withdrawals. This is one of the best opiate withdrawal remedies.

With an assisted detox, you will have 24-hour supervisions. This will ensure your safety throughout the process. If something does arise, someone will be there to make sure you're safe. You can recover from addiction. It is worth the process because at the end of the tunnel there IS light.

For more information on opiates and opiate withdrawal, contact Omaha Drug Treatment centers at 402.216.0155. A friendly representative will be waiting to take your call and help you find rehab centers near you that fit your needs.





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