Opiate Rehab

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Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

A wide range of symptoms can occur after an individual stops using opiates or if they dramatically reduce the amount of opiates that are used following heavy or prolonged use of the drugs. The symptoms the present when opiates are no longer used are called opiate withdrawal symptoms and they can be mild, moderate or, in some cases severe enough to warrant the need for medical treatment. Opiate withdrawal symptoms do not usually persist for more than about 10 days with their peak being around the 5-7 day point. During this time, the recovering addict may feel uncomfortable, agitated, anxious and ill.

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Causes of Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Not only does abusing opiates lead to the potential to suffer from various withdrawal symptoms, using opiates as prescribed can also lead to an addiction which may too have symptoms of withdrawal when the opiates are no longer being used. It is estimated that as many as almost ten percent of the population has abused opiates such as heroin, Dilaudid, or morphine at some time in their life. Opiate abuse leads to addiction and addiction leads to withdrawal when the drug is no longer used.

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Early Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal

During the first days following the addict’s decision to stop using opiates various withdrawal symptoms will begin to set in. These symptoms will most often include anxiety and agitation along with allergy-like symptoms such as runny nose, watery eyes and sweating. Muscle aches and pains are common and these discomforts are likely to be the most difficult to deal with for the recovering addict. Fortunately, ibuprofen or another over the counter pain reliever can reduce the pain that is felt in the muscles and bones when withdrawal sets in and rest can help the recovering addict to recuperate from these symptoms rather quickly.

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Later Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal

As time progresses, the opiate withdrawal symptoms will also progress. For most recovering addicts, the later symptoms of opiate withdrawal are more like flu-symptoms. Stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting are all likely to occur during the second half of opiate withdrawal which typically takes place around the 4th or 5th day following the last use of the drug of choice. These symptoms can be severe enough in some cases to require medical attention but they will usually go away within a couple of days or so. If diarrhea or vomiting occur, it’s important to keep the recovering addict hydrated to ensure their safety as they progress through this difficult process of opiate withdrawal.

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