Northeast Opioid Detox Center
The opioid epidemic has clearly illustrated the implicit threat posed to individuals that abuse these substances. The easy formation of dependence or an addiction, plus the possibility of overdose, presents users with a slew of threats to multiple aspects of their health. Another indicator of this danger is the occurrence of withdrawal, which occurs when a person attempts to stop their drug use. Luckily, Clearbrook’s Massachusetts and Pennsylvania rehab facilities offer patients the chance to pursue treatment at a fully equipped opioid detox center……
How Do Opioids Affect the Brain?
Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors in the body and the brain. Mu-Opioid receptors, which control pain, pleasure, and reward pathways, are where opioids largely exert their effects on the brain. The transmission of pain signals is stopped when opioids bind to these receptors, resulting in analgesia (pain alleviation). A sense of happiness and well-being can also be produced by opioids via activating reward pathways in the brain. This is one of the main reasons that these drugs are so intensely addictive.
Depending on the substance, dosage, and individual response, opioids can cause a variety of emotions. They can also cause euphoria, drowsiness, sedative, and a decrease in anxiety in addition to reducing pain. These outcomes may induce a mood of extreme pleasure and increase the user’s motivation to keep using opioids. Opioid use, however, can develop into physical and psychological dependence, which can cause withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped or when its effects fade off. Because the body and brain have adjusted to the presence of opioids and have grown reliant on them to function normally, when one stops taking them or slows down their usage, withdrawal develops.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline
After using opioids for a long time or in excess, a person may experience a variety of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when they rapidly cut back on or stop using them. The specific opioid used, dosage, length of usage, and individual variances can all affect the withdrawal symptoms and timetable in different ways.
The opioid withdrawal timeline and associated symptoms include:
Early Symptoms (within the first 24 hours):
- Anxiety: Restlessness, agitation, and a sense of unease.
- Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Yawning: Frequent yawning, often unrelated to tiredness.
- Muscle aches: Generalized muscle pain, cramps, and discomfort.
- Runny nose and teary eyes: Excessive tearing and nasal congestion.
- Sweating: Profuse sweating, particularly at night.
- Increased heart rate: A rapid or pounding heartbeat.
Peak Symptoms (24 to 72 hours):
- Gastrointestinal distress: Nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.
- Dilated pupils: Enlarged pupils that react slowly to light.
- Goosebumps: Cold chills and piloerection (gooseflesh).
- Body temperature dysregulation: Sweating alternating with chills.
- Increased blood pressure: Hypertension and elevated heart rate.
- Depression and dysphoria: Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and general discomfort.
- Drug cravings: Intense desire to use opioids to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
Later Symptoms (72 hours to 1 week):
- Insomnia: Persistent difficulty sleeping or maintaining sleep.
- Anxiety and irritability: Heightened restlessness and irritability.
- Muscle and joint pain: Lingering muscle aches and discomfort.
- Fatigue: Persistent tiredness and lack of energy.
- Difficulty concentrating: Poor focus and cognitive impairment.
While the general timeline of opioid withdrawal spans approximately one week, it is important to note that individual experiences can vary. Some individuals may experience more prolonged or severe symptoms, while others may have a milder and shorter withdrawal period. Additionally, psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and drug cravings may persist beyond the acute withdrawal phase, requiring ongoing support and treatment.
Can Opioid Withdrawal Kill You?
Opioid withdrawal is not typically seen to be life-threatening in and of itself. However, withdrawal-related consequences can be dangerous, especially for people with pre-existing diseases or those who go through withdrawal without support or medical care.
If left untreated, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances brought on by the severe vomiting and diarrhea that come along with opioid withdrawal can have harmful effects on one’s health. Additionally, the physical and mental suffering brought on by withdrawal may make pre-existing illnesses or mental health concerns worse, thereby complicating matters. Additionally, there is a larger chance of relapse during withdrawal, which could lead to a dose that is too high for the body to handle, resulting in overdose and potentially deadly respiratory depression.
Recover Safely at an Opioid Detox Center
For those ready to take the first steps toward recovery, a medical detox is an excellent option. Once this portion of recovery is complete, patients can move on to pursue addiction treatment in Pennsylvania or Massachusetts. This is where they will have the chance to confront the mindsets and thought processes that played a role in the substance abuse in question.
Don’t face the challenges of withdrawal and addiction alone. Contact the professionals at Clearbrook Treatment Centers to learn how we can help you or a loved one.