Tuesday, May 28, 2024

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Opiate Addiction

Common Opiate Addictions We Treat

What causes opioid addiction, and why is it so tough to combat? – Mike Davis

Whether youre addicted to prescription painkillers or you use opioids recreationally, our detox and rehab programme is a powerful catalyst for change. We treat all opiate addictions at Sanctuary Lodge, including to codeine, tramadol, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl and methadone.

Many of our opiate clients use other substances too including prescription medications, illegal drugs and alcohol. We tailor your detoxification programme according to your needs, helping you to stop taking all non-essential addictive substances. Our rehab programme is also highly effective in treating co-existing process addictions such as gambling or gaming disorder, food disorders or internet addiction.

Stages Of Opiate Withdrawal: A Timeline

Drug withdrawal presents a set of physical and emotional symptoms that can be extremely difficult to endure. However, its important to remember that withdrawal is temporary.

If you or a loved one is facing detoxification and rehab, know that the worst of the symptoms will last just a few days. Knowing what to expect and having a timeline of events in mind can help to ease some of the psychological pressure when facing withdrawal and recovery.

Withdrawal symptoms for short-acting opiates will begin within 12 hours of the last dose. For long-acting opiates, symptoms may start within 30 hours. Over the next two days, symptoms will continue to worsen, peaking around the 72-hour mark. By the end of the third day, most physical symptoms will have resolved. Psychological symptoms and cravings may continue for a week or more.

Continued after image

Early withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Sleep disruption

These initial symptoms may cause restlessness and mood swings.

The later stage of withdrawal produces flu-like symptoms:

  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Goosebumps and shivering
  • Stomach cramps and pain

Recovering From An Opiate Addiction

How long does opiate withdrawal last? This is a common question that many individuals ask themselves, but the answer isnt a simple one. Research shows that the results can vary based on the particular opiate at hand. Additionally, the method of ingestion, frequency of use, the dose taken, and other factors can alter the time it takes to withdraw from opiates.

The better question may be this: What is the best way to withdraw from opiates? The answer to this question is simplethrough medical detox. Under the care of our knowledgeable and dedicated team of addiction specialists and medical professionals, your safety is assured when ceasing to use opiates.

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The Top Tools Being Utilized For Research On The Brain In Recovery

Functional brain measurement techniques:

Methods that provide dynamic physiological information about brain function/activity. Functional imaging techniques allow scientists to measure the contributions of various structures to specific psychological processes . Commonly obtained while participants complete tasks, functional images offer insight to the brain regions that are activated, or recruited, to perform a given task. Atypical brain function in patient populations can include reduced neural activation or a different pattern of brain activation as compared to healthy control populations.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Also known as a functional MRI , this imaging technique measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow and oxygenation.

  • Numerous studies utilizing functional magnetic resonance imaging have shown that drug cues elicit increased regional blood flow in reward-related brain areas among addicted participants that is not found among normal controls

See the fMRI in action:

Structural brain measurement techniques:

Imaging techniques that allow one to examine the brains anatomical structure. Structural imaging provides static information, and is analogous to taking a photograph of the brain. These images permit evaluation of gross anatomical abnormalities, including tissue atrophy and reduced white matter integrity .

Whats The Opioid Recovery Timeline

opiate detox and withdrawal

A patients opioid recovery timeline is greatly affected by how long they need to deal with their withdrawal. Long-time users may need more time to fully detox and get over their withdrawal symptoms. Some physical symptoms may pop up from time to time throughout opioid addiction treatment, and some psychological symptoms could linger for months after initial detox. However, it usually takes no more than a week to go through acute withdrawal. Heres a typical opioid recovery timeline of that week:

  • 624 hours: Detox can take several days, but withdrawal symptoms will begin as soon as six hours after the last opioid dose. These symptoms include bouts of anxiety, diarrhea, drug cravings, insomnia, muscle aches, pain, poor concentration, and tremors.
  • 13 days: The intensity of opioid withdrawal symptoms typically peak within the first three days after detox. Symptoms that arose during the first 24 hours will often grow in severity. New symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, nausea, stomach aches, and vomiting could develop.
  • 47 days: After peaking, withdrawal symptoms will begin waning until they naturally subside. By the seventh day, the acute phase of a patients withdrawal period will be mostly over.

Read Also: How To Deal With Alcohol Addiction

Get Help For An Opiate Addiction

Detox alone cannot help you gain freedom from an opiate addiction. After successfully completing a medical detox program, it is highly recommended to pursue further treatment at an inpatient rehab center.

Featured Centers Offering Detox from Opiates

Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional: February 14, 2019

Theresa Parisi

  • Theresa Parisi received her bachelors degree in Addiction Science and Psychology from Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota in 2010. She is currently working towards her masters degree in Mental Health Counseling at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is a Certified Addiction Professional , Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager , and International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor by the Florida Certification Board. Theresa is passionate about recovery having gone through addiction herself.

  • U.S. National Library of Medicine. . Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal. Retrieved on March 14th, 2017 from:
  • Walter Ling, MD and Donald R. Wesson, MD. . Drugs of Abuse — Opiates. Retrieved on March 14th, 2017 from:

Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle After Recovery

Recovering from an opiate addiction takes a lot more than overcoming the withdrawal symptoms. Once the patient is out of the rehab center, its time to rebuild his whole life. Perhaps hes lost friends and family due to addiction. Or maybe he lost his job or career.

Learning to deal and make peace with what the recovered addict lost and being OK starting over with life is a very difficult yet vital step in recovery to avoid a relapse and start to live a healthy lifestyle.

In order to avoid a relapse, the recovered addict needs to recognize when he starts to feel anxiety, anger, isolation, or other emotional signs that may set him up for relapse. At that moment, he needs to change his behavior and avoid isolation. Relaxation techniques may also be very helpful, as well as, keeping a healthy diet and a consistent exercise routine.

Read Also: Cox North Center For Addictions

What Is A Relapse

Relapse occurs when a person returns to drug use after a period of abstinence3. Addiction to any substance or activity is considered by many a chronic illness that inherently holds the potential for relapse 3.

It is not uncommon for those on the road to recovery to relapse at least once. Many view relapse as a significant, yet not insurmountable, stumbling block. Its all part of the recovery process, and should relapse occur, it need not fuel the idea that the person in recovery is a failure, or that treatment efforts have been unsuccessful. A relapse can help you identify triggers that you didnt know existed and be the impetus to learn helpful techniques you didnt previously know. In fact, the steps that you take to address a relapse can help you become stronger in your sobriety than you were before.

Why Is Opiate Withdrawal Difficult

Fighting opioid addiction: As long as it takes | Julia Picetti | TEDxUniversityofNevada

Opiate withdrawal is a difficult and often painful ordeal for most recovering drug users. Its a necessary yet challenging step on the road to recovery from an unhealthy addiction. There are physical and mental struggles that you might have to cope with during a period of withdrawal, but knowing what they are puts you one step ahead to fight off those uncomfortable feelings. These symptoms are your bodys way of coping with adjustment to a drug-free life. You just need to stick in there. Youre strong enough to do it!

The opiate withdrawal timeline can vary depending on the type of drug or drugs used. Withdrawal can also be affected by the length of the preceding addiction. If you start a withdrawal after a month of heavy opiate use, the hurdle could be longer and harder.

Read Also: How To Stop Food Addiction And Emotional Eating

The Messy Path To Getting Clean

Finally, I couldnt take it anymore and asked for help. I had a great, nonjudgmental primary care physician who helped me find a treatment program. I stayed there for a month and truly enjoyed being sober. Once I got past the acute withdrawals, things really started to look positive. I thought after 30 days in treatment, I would be cured and back on the right path. But getting sober is not that easy. I relapsed multiple times and was kicked out of the halfway house where I had been living.

My parents let me live with them as long as I didnt use. That lasted about a week. After several months, I found myself at a crossroads give treatment another shot, or get out. I had no money, no job and nowhere to go. So I begrudgingly went back to inpatient care for another 30 days. From there I was sent to an extended care facility out of state for two months, then to a halfway house for another two months. I then went to a sober living house for nine months. All said and done, I was in supervised care for 13 months. I had over a year of sobriety before I was on my own again, and I dont think I would have made it if not for that intensive treatment.

Study Shows Brains Reward System Might Heal After Opiate Detoxification

According to a new study, the bodys natural reward systems may normalize within just a few months after opiate detoxification. The research suggests the brain and hormonal responses to pleasurable stimuli, disrupted by opiate abuse, begin returning to a normal state shortly after treatment.

Opiate drugs stimulate the opioid system, which controls pain, reward, and addictive behaviors. In small doses, short courses of opiate drugs reduce pain and cause euphoria in very pleasurable ways. Large doses of opiates or continual opiate use cause overstimulation of the opioid system, especially in the brains reward centers.

With continued use, opiates lose their ability to stimulate reward. In fact, the reward centers of the brain become less sensitive to any pleasurable stimuli. In time, the individual stops feeling fulfilled from the things that used to please him. Some of these things include food, hobbies, interpersonal relationships, and friendships. Eventually, the reward center ignores all pleasurable stimuli except for opiates.

Read Also: How Do You Stop Being Addicted To Something

Stages Of Opiate Withdrawals

Generally, opiate withdrawals occur in two phases. The first phase is brief, usually only lasting a day or two after you stop taking the opiates. However, you are not out of the clear just yet. Stage two of opiate withdrawals typically lasts from three days to one week. This length of time is one reason why quitting cold turkey has proven ineffective for many people.

With persistent withdrawal symptoms, drug cravings, and temptations at home, it can be challenging to commit to a full week of withdrawing. Furthermore, one of the earliest opiate withdrawal symptoms is insomnia. When you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, your brain struggles to function how it is supposed to. Subsequently, a lack of sleep can make it harder to resist your drug cravings.

If youre looking to end the cycle of abuse and addiction, our medical detox program makes the withdrawal process significantly easier. Choose a better way to get sober than quitting opiates cold-turkey. Choose to make this commitment to sobriety stick. Withdrawing in a safe and comfortable facility under medical care will expedite the withdrawal process and ensure the longevity of your sobriety.

How Long Does Rehab Take

Breaking Addiction
  • Hospital residential treatment: 16 days
  • Long-term residential treatment: 90 days
  • Outpatient treatment: 130 days

The length of rehab varies on a case-by-case basis. Brief treatment involving detox, therapy and supportive care may be effective for some people, but treating substance use disorders is a complex process that could last years. While it may seem desirable to get through rehab as quickly as possible, research shows that longer stays in rehab lead to lower relapse rates.

Rehab is unique to each person, and length of stay depends on factors such as the severity of addiction and the rate at which progress is being made. For people with severe drug or alcohol dependencies, such as those that co-occur with mental illness, extended treatment may be needed. A quality treatment center will offer clients a personalized plan that caters to their needs.

Success is not guaranteed, but some treatment is always better than none. However, a majority of people with a substance use disorder do not get help. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 21.7 million people aged 12 or older needed addiction treatment in 2015, yet just 2.3 million went to rehab.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Non Addictive Sleep Aid

Opiate Detoxification Allows The Reward System To Heal Itself

Researchers from Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, sought to find evidence of physiological re-regulation of the disrupted brain and hormonal responses to pleasurable drug- and nondrug-related stimuli.

Scott C. Bunce, Ph.D., and colleagues published their findings in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the American Society of Addiction Medicines official journal. The study examined two groups of seven patients in a residential treatment facility for opiate dependence. One group underwent medically assisted detoxification within the previous one to two weeks. Participants in the second group were in an extended care facility and were drug-free for two to three months. The scientist also created a control group to use as a comparison.

The scientists performed various tests that could assess the brains reward system changes at different stages of recovery. The researchers examined several areas of the brains opioid system. This included the prefrontal cortex that is involved in attention and self-control.

The researchers found several significant differences in the reward system between the groups. The patients with recent opiate withdrawal had reduced pleasurable responses to natural reward stimuli, such as pictures of appetizing food or people having a good time. These individuals did show heightened pleasure responses associated with drug-related stimuli, such as photographs of pills.

Why Opiate Withdrawal Happens

An opiate detox should be the first to on you or your loved ones path to addiction recovery. Once individuals stop consuming opiates, the body will begin to go into withdrawal.

While the severity of withdrawal symptoms will vary, at a minimum theyll be uncomfortable. However, theyre a necessary part of the recovery process. During withdrawal, the body and the brain will naturally get rid of all opiates in the system.

There are two important things to note about the necessity of withdrawal. First, the withdrawal itself has to happen. You cant overcome addiction until your system is detoxified. Second, going through withdrawal under professional medical supervision is key. Medical staff will be able to monitor your condition and act accordingly if complications arise.

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Physical Dependence And Detox

Opioid addiction leads to changes in certain areas of your brain. Prescription drug addiction alters the circuits that handle mood and reward behavior.

In addition, long-term prescription drug abuse affects almost all of your bodyâs systems. When you cut off the opioid supply, youâre likely to get withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Craving for drugs
  • Agitation and severe bad moods

If you have an opioid addiction, you know that a list of these symptoms doesn’t capture the agony of going through them. Itâs very unpleasant, and youâll do almost anything to avoid it.

Opioid withdrawal lasts hours to days — and sometimes weeks. It depends on which drug you were taking, how long you were taking it, and how much. After the intense initial symptoms subside, some physical and mental discomfort may linger for weeks.

Factors Affecting The Opiate Withdrawal Timeline

Beating Opioid Addiction | Joy’s Story

The opiate withdrawal timeline is affected by factors such as:

  • The amount of opiates in your system at the time of detox.
  • The length and severity of the dependence.
  • The general state of physical and mental health.
  • Genetics and biology.
  • Whether you opt for medical detox or withdraw on your own.

The opiate withdrawal timeline can vary based upon the type of opiate from which a person is withdrawing. Withdrawal from heroin, which is a short-acting opiate, tends to begin within eight to 12 hours of the last dose of the drug. Withdrawal symptoms reach their peak within 36 to 72 hours and then decline significantly after about five days. 1

Withdrawal from a short-acting opiate, such as oxycodone, begins later, within 24 to 36 hours following the last dose. Symptoms peak in about 4 to 6 days and can persist for several weeks.

More mild withdrawal symptoms, such as fatigue, a depressed or irritable mood, and sleep disturbances can continue for months after opiate use ceases. Reducing the opiate withdrawal symptoms can therefore play a critical role in maintaining lasting sobriety.

Youre not alone in this, we are here to help. To learn how we can help, contact Silvermist Recovery Center at 724-268-2858 or fill out an online contact form.

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