You might be reading this post because you want to get sober, but you’re afraid of your body’s reaction when you stop using it. You must have heard that opiate withdrawal is severe and you are afraid of what will happen to your body.
You may know opiates by many names. Vicodin, oxycontin, morphine, fentanyl, and heroin are just a few of the opiates that you may know of, which you or your loved ones may have struggled with. Opiate addiction gets very dangerous, very fast. After only a few weeks of regular use, opiates will already negatively affect your body and brain. They chemically alter and rewire your brain’s processes related to decision-making, self-control, memory, and emotion.
Even if you want to stop using, your brain’s altered processes will make you crave for the drug. Your brain and other affected parts of your body, such as the central nervous system, need to adjust to the drug’s absence. This adjustment period is called the withdrawal stage.
Opiate withdrawal includes many unpleasant symptoms, such as nausea, cold sweats, shaking, anxiety, and body pains. Your specific symptoms will vary depending on what drug you have been using, how long you have been using it, and what dosage you have been taking.
These factors will also determine the length of the withdrawal period. For instance, methadone withdrawal may start up to two days after stopping drug use. Heroin withdrawal, on the other hand, usually starts within 12 hours. There is, however, a typical timeline for how the symptoms progress.
Generally, withdrawal usually starts within 6 to 12 hours after stopping drug use. These early symptoms include:
Depending on the severity of your addiction, opiate withdrawal may last anywhere between 72 hours to several weeks. However, even months after stopping drug use, you may not feel fully recovered physically.
At addiction treatment facilities like Detox of South Florida, we know how hard it is to fight opiate addiction and what a toll it brings on the body. They understand why withdrawal can be a huge obstacle to getting sober.
If you’re afraid of the entire withdrawal ordeal, you are not alone. Treatment facilities are well aware that many people want to stop using, but feel like they can’t handle withdrawal. If you’re struggling with this fear, please weigh the risks of opiate withdrawal versus the risks of opiate addiction.
Professional treatment for your opiate addiction and opiate withdrawal will improve your physical and mental health, as well as improve your chances of keeping healthy and sobering up in the future by reducing your chances of relapse, overdose, or complications. No matter how unpleasant and uncomfortable opiate withdrawal is, these improvements in your quality of life are worth it.
Withdrawal can be painful, but addiction is definitely fatal. Realizing this can give you the courage to take the steps towards sobriety.
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Dr. Vikram Tarugu, M.D, is the CEO of Detox of South Florida, Inc and medical professional focused on addiction. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers. Patients travel from allover the US to seek his help with addiction and Hepatitis C treatment.
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