The New York Times reports that opiates are responsible for more deaths than any other medicine or drug.
What Makes Opioids Addictive?
No matter what the substance is, ongoing use can lead to the development of a physical dependency. When this occurs, the body has become so used to a substance that it often requires it to function. Psychological cravings usually follow shortly thereafter, resulting in what is known as full-blown addiction.
In the case of opioids, the risk of developing an addiction is significantly higher due to parts of the brain that are stimulated with opioid use. Opioids activate our mu-receptors, which influence the sensations of both pain and pleasure. Feelings of pleasure are closely related to reward pathways in the brain, and once triggered, creates a strong association that can quickly lead to the development of compulsive behaviors. Opioids are able to do this on a powerful level that can be up to 10x stronger than the feelings of pleasure our bodies would normally produce. Opioid highs have been described as a “wave of euphoria” and can be so powerful as to rewire the brain, leaving it wanting more, after a single use.
Types of Opioids
There is a wide array of opioids present in America. Some are prescription drugs used in a medical setting to manage severe pain, whereas others are illicitly-made and abused. Learn more about some of the most common and dangerous opioid addictions:
What To Expect During Opioid Withdrawal
- Sweats and chills
- Soreness and aching in muscles and bones
- Sinus issues
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Agitation and restlessness
- Vomiting and diarrhea
Withdrawal Symptoms Depend On
As mentioned previously, not every individual will experience the same withdrawal symptoms. In fact, there are various factors that can affect how severe the withdrawal symptoms may be and how long the detox process will take. Depending on the answers to the following items, withdrawal may be longer and more severe, or shorter and less severe. Factors to consider include:
- How long a person has been dependent on opiates
- The type of opiate the person is dependent on
- The frequency and severity of opiate abuse
- Underlying medical conditions
- The co-occurring existence of a psychological health issue
- Highly stressful and unsupportive surroundings
The Withdrawal Timeline
Opioid drug withdrawal mostly adheres to a specific timeline, although the factors listed above may cause some variation. In general, the withdrawal symptoms typically peak within 48-72 hours and subside within a period of 5 to 10 days. The onset, duration, and intensity of withdrawal symptoms will be different for each person, but the general opiate withdrawal timeline includes the following:
- 8-12 hours – Anxiety, agitation, watery eyes, runny nose, and increased sweating.
- 12-24 hours – Nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, goosebumps, and dilated pupils.
- 36-72 hours – Symptoms peak and then gradually subside over the next few days.
How Long Does Opioids Withdrawal Last?
The period and extent of withdrawal symptoms also depend on whether the opioid is long-acting or short-acting. Heroin is relatively short-acting compared to other opiates, therefore, heroin withdrawal symptoms appear just hours after the last dose and may last for a shorter time period. Longer-acting opioid painkillers may not provoke withdrawal symptoms till some days after the final dose, and some symptoms may last for weeks.
What to Expect from a Opioid Detox Center
Our opioid addiction treatment center is here to help individuals successfully complete the opioid detox process and to address psychological, physical, and spiritual issues connected to drug abuse. Qualified doctors, nurses, therapists, and addiction cases managers will be with you throughout the recovery process to ensure you have the support you need.
This Is Hope
If you or a loved one is dealing with dependence or addiction to opioids, contact our treatment support at Level Up Lake Worth to find the best treatment option for you.