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What Do Opiate Withdrawals Feel Like?

Mark Halsey
Chief Editor of - Cleanbreak Recovery

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands...Read more

Opiate withdrawal can be one of the most uncomfortable and challenging experiences someone can go through. From the physical symptoms to the psychological effects, opiate withdrawals can make an individual feel like they are in an entirely different world. In this article, we will take a look at what opiate withdrawals feel like, including the various physical and emotional symptoms that can arise. We will also look at treatments and strategies to make the withdrawal process smoother and more bearable.

What Do Opiate Withdrawals Feel Like?

What Are Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms?

Opiate withdrawal is the physical and psychological symptoms experienced when an individual suddenly stops the use of opiates after a period of regular use. Opiates are drugs derived from the opium poppy plant, and include drugs such as heroin, codeine, morphine, and oxycodone. Opiate withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual and the severity of the addiction.

The most common opiate withdrawal symptoms include physical symptoms such as body aches, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, sweating, chills, and insomnia. Psychological symptoms include anxiety, irritability, depression, and restlessness. Other symptoms may include cravings for the drug, changes in appetite, and difficulty with concentration and thinking.

The severity of the symptoms can vary from person to person, and can range from mild to severe. The duration of the withdrawal symptoms can also vary, and can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

What Causes Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms?

When an individual stops using opiates, their body has to adjust to the sudden lack of the drug. This can cause the body to experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms in response. The severity of the symptoms varies depending on the individual, the drug used, and the length of time they were using it.

The body becomes dependent on the drug, and when it is suddenly removed, the body goes into a state of shock. This can cause the body to experience physical and psychological symptoms as it adjusts to functioning without the drug.

The body also produces neurotransmitters that respond to the drug. When the drug is removed, the neurotransmitters become unbalanced, which can lead to the physical and psychological symptoms of opiate withdrawal.

What are Some Treatment Options for Opiate Withdrawal?

The best way to treat opiate withdrawal is to seek professional help from a medical or psychological health professional. This will help to ensure the individual receives the best possible treatment for their individual situation.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is one of the most common forms of treatment for opiate withdrawal. MAT involves taking a combination of medications to reduce the severity of the withdrawal symptoms and make the process more manageable.

Behavioral therapy is another form of treatment for opiate withdrawal. This type of therapy helps individuals develop coping strategies and learn how to manage their cravings and other symptoms.

What Are the Long-term Effects of Opiate Withdrawal?

The long-term effects of opiate withdrawal can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the addiction. In some cases, the withdrawal symptoms may linger for months or even years after the individual has stopped using the drug.

Opiate withdrawal can also lead to long-term psychological effects. These effects can include depression, anxiety, irritability, and difficulty sleeping or concentrating. It is important to seek professional help if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

What Are the Benefits of Seeking Professional Help During Opiate Withdrawal?

Seeking professional help during opiate withdrawal can be beneficial in a number of ways. Professional help can provide the individual with personalized treatment and support to help them through the process.

Professional help can also help to reduce the risk of relapse, as the individual will be monitored and supported throughout the process. Professional help can also provide the individual with the tools and resources needed to manage their cravings and other symptoms.

How Can I Find Professional Help for Opiate Withdrawal?

The best way to find professional help for opiate withdrawal is to contact your local addiction treatment center. They will be able to provide you with the necessary resources and support to help you through the withdrawal process.

You can also contact your primary care physician or mental health professional to discuss the options available to you. They can provide you with referrals to a professional addiction treatment center or other resources that can help you through the process.

Top 6 Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Opiate Withdrawals?

Opiate withdrawals refer to the physical and psychological symptoms that occur when a person who has become dependent on opioids, such as heroin or prescription painkillers, stops taking them. Symptoms of opiate withdrawal typically begin within 6-12 hours after the last dose, and can last for several days or weeks, depending on the type and amount of the drug taken, and the length of time it was used.

What Are the Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal?

The severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms can vary greatly depending on the individual, but some of the most common symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, anxiety, agitation, sweating, muscle aches and pains, chills, hot flashes, and cravings for the drug. It can also cause depression, restlessness, and irritability. In some cases, the withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even life-threatening.

How Long Does Opiate Withdrawal Last?

The duration of opiate withdrawal can vary depending on the type and amount of the drug taken, and the length of time it was used. Most people will experience the worst of the symptoms within the first few days, with the symptoms gradually diminishing in intensity over the course of a week or two. However, some people may experience symptoms for several weeks or months.

What Are Some Ways to Treat Opiate Withdrawal?

The most effective way to treat opiate withdrawal is to seek professional help from a medical or mental health provider. Medications, such as buprenorphine and methadone, can help reduce the intensity of the symptoms and make it easier to manage the withdrawal process. Additionally, therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy, can help a person gain insight into their addiction and develop healthier coping strategies.

Are There Any Home Remedies for Opiate Withdrawal?

There are some home remedies that may help to lessen the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. These include drinking plenty of fluids, eating healthy and balanced meals, getting adequate rest and sleep, engaging in mild exercise, and taking over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, to help with the muscle aches and pains. Additionally, distraction techniques, such as meditation, yoga, listening to music, or talking to a friend or family member can also help to alleviate some of the symptoms.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Opiate Withdrawal?

The long-term effects of opiate withdrawal can vary depending on the individual, but some of the most common effects include fatigue, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Additionally, the cravings for the drug can persist for months or even years, making it difficult for a person to stay sober. It is important to seek professional help in order to address the underlying causes of addiction and to prevent relapse.

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The physical and psychological effects of opiate withdrawals can be overwhelming and unpleasant. Withdrawals can range from mild to severe and can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It is important to remember that while opiate withdrawals may be uncomfortable and difficult to manage, they can be successfully managed with proper medical help and other forms of support. With the right resources in place, you can manage the symptoms of opiate withdrawals and come out on the other side feeling better than ever.

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands the complex needs of those struggling with addiction and utilizes a comprehensive and holistic approach to address them. He is well-versed in traditional and innovative therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based interventions.

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