Medically supervised withdrawal or “detoxification” (detox) is the process of weaning a person off opioids or other drugs. Detox is designed to help a person physically dependent on a drug avoid uncomfortable, painful, and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms by gradually reducing their doses.
The medical detox process can be slow or rapid and vary in supervision depending on the severity of the person’s condition. However, at our opioid detox center in Pennsylvania, we believe that every client deserves the highest level of care possible, and we strive to create a safe, clean, and comfortable environment where patients can recover.
Opiate Withdrawal Timeline & Symptoms
Opioid addiction is different from opioid dependence, although the latter is often a sign of developing an addiction. More broadly, addiction to opioids is a mental health disorder marked by an inability to control one’s use of opioids.
While addiction is the result of long-term opioid misuse, physical dependence can occur in anyone who uses opioids for a certain length of time. Physical dependence means that the body has adapted to opioids, which could lead to withdrawal symptoms if the person suddenly stops using these drugs or suddenly reduces their doses.
It can take as little as a few weeks of regular opiate use to become physically dependent. Additionally, while physical dependence does not necessarily equate to addiction, it can serve as a gateway to dangerous drug use.
Therefore, opiate detox centers are necessary for ensuring that individuals who have become dependent on either their prescribed opiates or illegally obtained opiates do not go down a spiral of drug use and can get sober before their drug use becomes more severe. But the question is: how do you know you’re physically dependent on opioids?
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
People who have a dependence on opioids will display certain physical and behavioral symptoms when they’re not using these drugs. Common opioid withdrawal symptoms include:
- Aching muscles/bones
- Depressed mood
- Dilated pupils
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Restlessness and irritability
- Runny nose
- Strong cravings to use opioids
- Teary eyes
The intensity and longevity of symptoms depend on various factors, such as the types of opioid(s) used, how long these opioid(s) have been used, the typical dose of use, and whether the person has any underlying medical conditions.
Opioid Withdrawal Timeline
For relatively short-acting opioids like heroin, acute or severe opioid withdrawal symptoms can begin within 6 to 12 hours after the person’s last dose, peak around day 1 to 3, and dissipate within 5 to 7 days.
For longer-acting opioids like methadone, the withdrawal timeline is longer. Symptoms may not begin until about 2 to 4 days after use, peak around day 3, and last as long as 3 weeks.
If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, our opioid detox center can help you safely recover under the care of the medical team at our Pennsylvania rehab.
Our Pennsylvania Opiate Detox Center
Before clients jump into their opiate detox programs, our specialists conduct a thorough clinical assessment. This may include a drug test, reviewing any history of drug use and mental illness, reviewing any underlying health conditions, and reviewing any past attempts at treatment.
Our specialists may also ask clients about any family history of addiction and mental illness, any medications they might be taking at the time, and their current living situation. All of these factors can impact which treatment plan will suit the individual best.
During detox, clients will receive 24-hour care and medical support as they’re weaned off opioids. Medically assisted detox also includes medication-assisted treatment to reduce the discomfort caused by withdrawals and ensure client safety and health.
Detox alone is not the solution to recovering from addiction and is usually only the first step of our opioid addiction treatment. Following detox, clients may then transition to individual and group therapy so they can work out the mental and behavioral contributing factors of their addictions.
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