Opiate withdrawal symptoms are severe. So severe, in fact, that each day millions of addicted users turn down another opportunity for recovery simply to avoid the withdrawal and detox process. Some of the hardest substances to overcome, opiates put up a great fight when leaving the system. Sound Recovery Center is prepared to help you fight back and overcome your addiction to opiates.
Is all Opiate withdrawal the same?
The opiate family includes any substances made with a concentrated amount of morphine, or, heroin. Morphine is what is naturally produced in the body when heroin enters the system. Popular prescription narcotic painkillers such as Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Zohydro, and Percocet are primarily morphine and acetaminophen, the pain relieving agent found in Tylenol. Morphine as a hospital grade drug can also be addiction forming. Many people turn from expensive prescription substances to street level heroin. Pure heroin is made from opium from the poppy plant. Most heroin on the street is cut with other substances. Because these substances are all related, their symptoms of withdrawal are similar, which is why many addicted users hop from one kind to the next.
What are the symptoms of opiate withdrawal?
Opiate withdrawal can be characterized by these key symptoms:
- Restlessness, irritability, and discontent
- Itchiness or Formication
- Running or itchy nose
- Blackened mucus
- Persistent Cough
- Flu like symptoms of sickness, weakness, aches, fever, and exhaustion
- Obsessive cravings
- Nausea and vomiting
- “Kicking” or agitated and spasming limbs
- Mood swings
Symptoms of withdrawal can show up as quickly as within the first 24 hours after the last use of the drug. When chemical dependency has taken over, the brain has a difficult time coping with the absence of opiates in the system. Dependent upon how the drug produces dopamine in the brain and helps the body to function, when the drug is no longer detectable, the brain goes into panic mode. Cravings and withdrawal symptoms alike are part of the brain’s cry for help in obtaining more substances.
Severity of use, chronicity of use, and exposure to use can be influential factors in determining whether or not professional detox is required. Detox is always best done with medical or professional supervision. Quitting ‘cold turkey’ can have adverse effects on overall health. Usually lasting 10 days, opiate withdrawal can be managed with proper care.