Opiate Rehab

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About Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Overcoming an addiction to opiates takes time. Early symptoms can begin as an unpleasant agitation and craving to use within 12 hours from last use. Opiate withdrawal symptoms arise from physical and neurological dependency that causes shock responses in the body. These symptoms are often flu-like and the impact can be so severe the addict returns to use in an effort to avoid them. The effects of opioids are different for everyone and the so are the withdrawal symptoms which vary according to the level of abuse, method of use, and duration of addiction. Other factors can be relevant such as age, sex, stress factors, environments, co addictions, or dual diagnosis. The main focus is to get through the acute withdrawal phase without returning to use of the drug for relief. Time matters. The chances of recovery increase with abstinence and the withdrawal symptoms will typically subside gradually with acute symptoms lasting 3-5 days. It is advisable to seek professional help for opiate addictions as these symptoms may become severe or life-threatening in some cases. Post acute withdrawal symptoms usually dissipate after about a month but may last as long as six months, with an indefinite timeline for severe effects such as psychosis and mental health disorders.

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Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline

Early symptoms of opiate withdrawals begin within 12 hours and usually start with a strong craving for the opioid drug, agitation, anxiety, mood changes, or insomnia. The addict begins to feel physical symptoms such as aches and pains in joints, muscle cramps, sweats and chills, runny nose, nausea, and vomiting. Acute effects may last 3-5 days and include intensified symptoms as well as others such as abdominal cramps, diarrhea, pupil dilation, uncontrollable yawning, blurred or distorted vision, shakes, and confusion. Just as fast as they begin,they also become more intense for the next few days. Medications such as sedatives and anti-diarrheas can alleviate some of the unpleasantness of this phase. In cases of long term or extreme abuse, other dangerous situations such as coma, seizures, or psychosis may occur and could become life threatening or fatal. Post acute withdrawal effects differ for each opiate addict but, some can last an undetermined amount of time. Depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis, mental health disorders, suicidal tendencies, insomnia, and lethargy are usually known to last up to 6 months.

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