Opiate Rehab

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Opiate Withdrawal Timeline

If you’re trying to quit using opiates or you know someone who is ready to embark on this mission of not using opiates anymore despite the physical dependence that they currently suffer from, then you probably already know that quitting will likely be one of the most difficult experiences of a lifetime. Fortunately, opiate withdrawal does not last forever and if you can cope with the symptoms of withdrawal for a matter of a couple of weeks or possibly a month, then the chance of you successfully overcoming the physical dependence on opiates is rather high. In fact, after about 10 days, most of the symptoms of opiate withdrawal will be in your past and a new future will be lying just ahead.

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Acute Opiate Withdrawal

During the first hours and days of opiate withdrawal, the body will undergo many changes as it gets used to not having opiates. This acute opiate withdrawal phase will usually begin within about 12 hours of the last dose of heroin being administered or about 30 hours after the last dose of methadone or other prescription opiates are taken. Acute opiate withdrawal will take place over a period of about 7 days but the peak of these symptoms is generally around the 3-5 day marker. Some of the symptoms you can expect to feel during acute opiate withdrawal include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and flu-like symptoms. Most of these will subside around 10 days after your last opiate dosage.

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Secondary Opiate Withdrawal

Depending on the length of time that an opiate was used and various other factors, the secondary phase of opiate withdrawal will usually begin around the 7th day following the last dose. These symptoms can persist for up to two weeks but in most cases will only last a couple of days. Some of the most difficult to deal with symptoms that are felt during the secondary opiate withdrawal phase include chills, leg cramps or restless leg syndrome, and goose bumps. Fortunately, as these symptoms take course, natural levels of endorphins begin to replenish themselves and become stable which will ultimately make the recovering addict “feel” better.

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Tertiary Opiate Withdrawal

The final phase of opiate withdrawal consists of mostly psychological symptoms that may or may not be felt by some addicts. These symptoms include anxiety, insomnia and restlessness. Not all recovering opiate addicts will feel these psychological symptoms but for those who do, the symptoms can persist for about a week on up to many months depending on the individual health of the addict and circumstances surrounding their addiction and lifestyle.

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