- Title: Opioid Withdrawal
- Authored by Philippa Gold
- Edited by Hugh Soames
- Reviewed by Michael Por
- Detox and Withdrawal from Opioid: At Worlds Best Rehab, we strive to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on the web so our readers can make informed decisions. Our subject matter experts specialize in addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare. We follow strict guidelines when fact-checking information and only use credible sources when citing statistics and medical information. Look for the badge on our articles for the most up-to-date and accurate information. If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate or out-of-date, please let us know via our Contact Page
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What is Opioid
Opioid is one of the most widely abused drugs in North America and Worldwide. Addiction is nothing now, but what is new is the super worrying trend of increasing deaths due to Opioid overdose. In part, this can be said to be due to a number of factors such as:
- Lack of education around Opioid
- Increase in Pharmaceutical Prescriptions generally
- A failure of Governments worldwide to do enough to stop Opioid addiction and related deaths
- Societal thinking regarding addicts and Opioid addiction
- Lack of Harm Reduction methods around Opioid usage
- Lack of addiction related education in the medical professional
Further reading about Opioid from around the web
Opioids are substances that act on opioid receptors to produce morphine-like effects. Medically they are primarily used for pain relief, including anesthesia. Other medical uses include suppression of diarrhea, replacement therapy for opioid use disorder, reversing opioid overdose, and suppressing cough. Extremely potent opioids such as carfentanil are approved only for veterinary use. Opioids are also frequently used non-medically for their euphoric effects or to prevent withdrawal. Opioids can cause death and have been used for executions in the United States.
Side effects of opioids may include itchiness, sedation, nausea, respiratory depression, constipation, and euphoria. Long-term use can cause tolerance, meaning that increased doses are required to achieve the same effect, and physical dependence, meaning that abruptly discontinuing the drug leads to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The euphoria attracts recreational use, and frequent, escalating recreational use of opioids typically results in addiction. An overdose or concurrent use with other depressant drugs like benzodiazepines commonly results in death from respiratory depression.
What Are Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms?
Withdrawal from Opioid is a serious matter. The effects on the body from Opioid use is extreme, and because of these effects Opioid withdrawal can very quickly become an acute medical emergency. Withdrawal from Opioid can cause a hypertensive crisis or myocardial infraction. In other words, a stroke or heart attack caused by sudden stoppage in taking Opioid or respiratory distress syndrome whereby your body shuts down from the lungs and respiratory system outwards. Opioid withdrawal can also lead to serious anxiety and mental health related issues.
Never in any circumstances underestimate the seriousness of Opioid withdrawal1https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2891684/. If you are withdrawing from Opioid it is advisable to seek medical attention and in the case of medical emergency from Opioid withdrawal do not hesitate to head to the nearest Emergency Room.
Opioid withdrawal will vary for everyone and will be affected by several factors. The length and severity of Opioid use with be one of the main predictors of withdrawal symptoms and intensity. With Opioid withdrawal, it’s impossible to accurately predict how an individual will react to withdrawal.
Opioid Withdrawal Timeline
Full Opioid withdrawal often takes seven to fourteen days but sometimes longer, and the Opioid withdrawal symptoms are categorized according to their severity.
There are no minor symptoms of Opioid withdrawal. The first symptoms to exhibit themselves, usually 3-12 hours after Opioid withdrawal starts proper are headaches, tremors, sweating, itching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and total confusion with anxiety or depression.
These are followed relatively quickly by the next stage in Opioid withdrawal timeline by:
- Digestive discomfort
- Heart palpitations
- Panic attacks
- Muscle pain
- Delirium tremens
Worryingly, every time an individual attempts Opioid withdrawal the severity of symptoms tends to increase.
Opioid withdrawal has a mortality rate of between three and 19 per cent, depending on seriousness of Opioid usage.
Withdrawal from Opioid is a physically demanding process, in which the body will utilize every means possible to remove toxins, while creating psychological challenges because of the changes to the individuals brain chemistry.
Opioid Detox Process
The severity of Opioid detox makes it a process that should be approached carefully. Opioid Detox, especially for those with a heavy or long-lasting Opioid dependency, produces a range of symptoms and in extreme cases withdrawal can be fatal. However much they may want to end their addiction to Opioid, it’s vital to seek medical advice and enlist the support of their loved ones.
Opioid Withdrawal at a Rehab
Detoxing from Opioid within a treatment facility ensures medical help if it’s needed during the treatment process. Because Opioid rebound is a significant danger during withdrawal, having medical personnel present 24-hours a day can mean an instant response to any hypertensive or life-threatening crisis that may occur as a professional tapering process lowers the chances of patients experiencing fatal episodes.
Opioid withdrawal and detox begins with an initial medical exam to determine the patient’s physical condition upon entry into the rehab. This pre-detox Opioid withdrawal period can last up to 24 hours, as medical personnel determines both the patient’s general medical condition and drug history.
Detoxification of the patient’s body from Opioid begins after the pre-detox period ends. Medically assisted or tapered withdrawal from Opioid can take up to a few weeks to complete.
Rapid Detox from Opioid
Rapid detox from Opioid is a controversial topic and one that is unlikely to be accepted by everyone for its positive uses. It is a concept that has helped individuals addicted to Opioid and other drugs kick the habit and gain the help they need to live a healthier lifestyle.
A patient undergoing a rapid detox from Opioid is put under anesthesia for up to six hours. During this time, an opioid antagonist drug such as naltrexone is used to remove the Opioid from the patient’s body. Rapid detox can alleviate some of the more distressing symptoms of Opioid withdrawal.
The Opioid rapid detox method is used to stop a patient from feeling the devastating effects of Opioid withdrawal. Sedating the patient and putting them under anaesthesia allows them to “sleep” through the initial heavy Opioid withdrawal and detox process. The hope is that after the rapid detox process, the patient will wake up with their body completely clean of Opioid. The remainder of the withdrawal process will be minimal enabling the person to get on with the rehab process. Throughout rapid detox, the patient is monitored to ensure safety.
Does Opioid Rapid Detox Help Withdrawal Symptoms?
Experts claim that rapid detox from Opioid is a safe way to cleanse the body. It is also more pleasant as individuals who go through Opioid withdrawal can experience shakes, sweats, nausea, and other issues for long periods.
Opioid withdrawal can take weeks to fully complete. However, rapid detox from Opioid can take only a few days to a week at most. While the process of undergoing anaesthesia is just a few hours, Opioid detox patients can be kept in a medical clinic for monitoring afterwards. The process enables a patient to get – for many – the most difficult and frightening part of rehab out of the way. Once completed, patients can focus on the mental and emotional side of recovery.
For most Opioid addicts, the biggest barrier of attending rehab is withdrawal. The pain and distress Opioid withdrawal can have on a person can drive them back to using. Therefore, limiting or stopping a person’s physical Opioid withdrawal symptoms allows them to focus on making a full recovery.
By completing a residential rehab program following rapid detox, individuals can fully recover from their Opioid addiction.
Opioid combinations with other drugs and alcohol
Opioid and other drugs and alcohol
If you are going through withdrawal of Opioid and are also taking any of these as well, you can find out more information.