Opiate Withdrawal: What to Expect and What to Do

Opiate is narcotic painkiller that is created from opium. Opium is found naturally in the poppy plant. These types of painkiller can be extremely addictive and hard to get away from. The common types of opiate include codine, hyfricidone, morphine, heroin, oxycodonem, dilaudid and fentanyl.

As painkillers for chronic pain, these narcotics work very well at first, helping patients continue
normal daily life. Unfortunately, people ultimately develop tolerant to these drugs. So some patients may overdose themselves for the continuance of lessoned pain or for the continuance of their new-found euphoria. This mistaken overdose should be reversed with immediate medical help because overdose canand frequently does,cause cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest, which could lead to death. So if you are on opiate, be sure to take the right dosage as instructed.

What Are Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms?

Opiate addiction is possible and highly likely because our body often develops drug tolerance. When a person’s prescription is not enough, finding more can become an obsession. Once you become addictive, it's really hard to get rid of it because many people can't stand opiate withdrawal symptoms as displayed below:

  • Cold-type or allergy-type symptoms such as a runny nose and watery eyes.
  • Depression-type symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, lack of energy, agitation and feelings of anxiety.
  • Flu-type symptoms such as hot sweats and cold sweats, muscle aches and pains, nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Variation of hot and cold sweats can cause many episodes of goose bumps.
  • Uncontrollable yawning.

The Timeline of Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

The physical side effects of opiate withdrawal can seem to take forever but actually the worst suffering only lasts about one week and then the symptoms begin to abate. But mental and emotional side effects can take much longer, even decades. Counseling is recommended for those who continue to suffer emotional side effects or extreme cravings.

Although many factors, such as type of opiate addiction and length of use, can determine how long a person will suffer from opiate withdrawal and which symptoms they may encounter,the general timeline of opiate withdrawal symptoms are as follows:

Days 1 and Day 2: Absolute Hardest

Symptoms usually begin within 12 hours of non-use.

  • Initial withdrawal symptoms at this point are muscle aches and pains for which these drugs are usually prescribed. Addicts' muscles usually don’t remember how bad the pain was before, so any type of ache or pain may feel like the worst pain they’ve ever felt.
  • Most people develop hot and cold sweats at this time along with diarrhea, appetite loss and insomnia.
  • Anxiety and panic attacks are very normal at this time.
  • Cold-type symptoms may also present but do not bother the patient as much as the other initial symptoms.

Days 3 to Day 5:Better.

  • The pain will be reduced and eating may still be miserable, but you can and must force yourself to eat some solid food to get the needed nutrition.
  • Diarrhea may stop for there is nothing to pass out of you.
  • Hot and cold sweats will most likely continue and at this time you may notice abdominal cramping and vomiting.

Day 6: Victory Is Around the Corner

On day 6, most sufferers of opiate withdrawal can finally begin to see an end to the opiate withdrawal symptoms. Most symptoms will still remain for a while but will begin to lessen from now on. Eating may still be difficult; nausea and anxiety are normal experience.

At this timeif a craving happens, it is wise to remember why you decided to quit and keep your mind on positive thoughts. Besides, you should distract yourself by spending time with friends or doing light exercise like walking or doing some house works so as to make the situation tolerable and prevent you from getting back to opiate.

Fight Against Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

With opiate addiction, illegal activity usually ensues, in order to fill this need, like buying from other people who are not using their prescription or even double doctoring. The result of this addiction can be death and the symptoms of withdrawal are hard to put up with. But we do have some medication to help you get through it easier.

1. Suboxone

It is two medications in one, containing buprenorphine and naloxone.Buprenorphine is a milder opiate that the body does not build a tolerance to. Besides, this drug creates only a mild high. Naloxone is added to this drug to prevent intravenous usage. If Suboxone is altered to use intravenously, the naloxone will reverse the buprenorphine’s effects.

This drug for opiate withdrawal can be prescribed by a patient’s physician without requiring clinic care. Suboxone is usually used to help addicts recover from heroin addiction and help dramatically with harder-to-deal-with opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Unfortunate,common side effects may include cough, dizziness, lightheaded, fever, flushing, headache, pain or difficult urination.

2. Methadone

Methadone began as a painkiller in the 1930’s. In the 1960’s, methadone became a treatment for those addicted to heroin and morphine because it eases heroin or morphine withdrawal, thus reducing the chances of relapse.

Methadone also, with correct dosage, creates such a filling in brain receptors that can't feel the effects heroin or morphine would normally give. Physical cravings are virtually ceased. When it comes to opiate, the methadone works alike. Unfortunately, emotional cravings to enjoy the “high” that these drugs provide do not stop while on methadone.

3. Naltrexone

Thisdrug actually reverses the effects of opiates and also helps the user stop opiate addictive behavior. Naltrexone is prescribed after the patient has gone through opiate detoxification and all extremewithdrawal symptoms but still under a physician controlled atmosphere.

4. Get Help

With opiate withdrawal symptoms, one should not fight alone. Seek help from family and friends can help you get through this tough period easier. Enjoy a good time with them, like talking, watching movies, exercising or shopping and let them take care of you, like making light meals, keeping you stay strong, reminding you take medications and monitoring your symptoms.

Besides,there are many support groups available for opiate addiction, which not only provide support but also tell you precious suggestions to fight against these withdrawal symptoms. Some of the support groups are All Addictions Anonymous, Narcotics AnonymousNar-Anon for an addict’s family. There are also online self-help forums such asAddiction Recovery Guide, Addiction Survivors and 12 Step Forums

For more symptoms of opiate withdrawal and how to fight against them, watch the video below: