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Opioid Detox and Withdrawal Timelines

Drug Detox Alexa Iocco | November 2, 2021

Opioid Detox and Withdrawal Timelines

Opioid Addiction

Prescription opioids like oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine are used to help relieve pain under a doctor’s supervision. They, along with illicit opioids like heroin, are very addictive substances and are commonly abused due to the euphoric feelings they can provide.

Some of the issues opioids can cause, even when prescribed, may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Heart health issues
  • Breathing issues
  • Pregnancy complications, including giving birth to a baby who is addicted to opioids
  • Accidental overdose

Addiction to opioids can happen gradually and can even happen accidentally. You may have been prescribed some oxy as a painkiller following a medical procedure, or your friend shared some of their prescriptions with you to help you relax at a party. These drugs can quickly affect your brain’s reward system, making chemical changes that can create a tolerance that leads to physical dependency. You may soon feel like you need to take the drug just to feel normal and have withdrawal symptoms or cravings if you try to cut back. It can happen to anybody, and it is not something to feel shame about.

Some signs you may have an opioid addiction and need professional help include:

  • Using opioid prescriptions in ways not prescribed by your doctor
  • Keeping paraphernalia and stashes of drugs around
  • Compulsive drug-seeking, feeling obsessed or preoccupied with finding drugs and planning when you can use them next
  • Needing more of the drug to get the same effect because of increased tolerance
  • Doing things that you normally would not do for money or more drugs and not caring about the consequences, like lying, stealing, risky sex, or sharing needles
  • Missing or performing poorly at work, avoiding normal social activities, and not taking care of everyday responsibilities because of drug use and hangovers
  • Legal trouble related to drug use
  • Continuing to use opioid drugs even when it causes problems in your life, your friendships, family life, and other relationships

As opioids are so addictive, it is important to use them only as prescribed by your doctor and to never take somebody else’s medication. If you or a loved one are showing signs of addiction to opioid drugs, contact us at Resurgence today. We can help you.

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Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Opioid withdrawal can be both physical and psychological, and may include symptoms like:

  • Anxiety, agitation, irritability, and restlessness
  • Dysphoria or depression
  • Paranoia and hallucinations
  • Chills or sweating with goosebumps
  • Nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose and eyes
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Strong drug cravings

These withdrawal symptoms from opioid use are usually short-term but have some longer-lasting mild symptoms that will remain for weeks to months after you quit. These can become an issue and may lead to relapse if you don’t work with a professional therapist to get to the underlying root of your addiction and gain healthy coping skills to help you through the difficult times.

Opioid Detox and Withdrawal Timeline

Opioid detox is different for everybody. Some factors that will impact your individual timeline include:

  • The type of opioid you were using and what its half-life is
  • How long have you been using the drug
  • The amount of the opioid you were taking each time
  • Your physical and mental health at the time of your detox
  • Your history of drug use
  • Your history of relapsing

Your symptoms will show up fairly quickly after you stop taking the opioid drug, including drug cravings. Because most opioid drugs have a short half-life of a few hours, you will progress through withdrawal fairly quickly as well. You will begin to feel anxious and become preoccupied with wanting more drugs to be able to feel normal.

At the peak of your withdrawal, usually between 24 to 72 hours after your last use, your withdrawal symptoms will become more severe. You will feel very sick, experiencing mood changes, stomach issues, insomnia, rapid heart rate, feeling hot or cold with sweating and flu-like symptoms, and an increase in blood pressure. Your cravings will convince you that you need the drug. This is a very powerful stage of detox, and is when the majority of people will relapse, because you may not be able to think of anything other than getting more of the drug, so these awful feelings go away.

Medical detox can help you through this phase, making it more comfortable and keeping you safe, with therapy to help you get through the toughest part. Methadone and other medications can reduce or even stop the drug cravings, and you may be given medication for the pain and to help you rest easier.

The final stage of opioid detox usually begins about a week after your last use of the drug. Your psychological cravings will be much less intense and your physical withdrawal symptoms should have diminished or disappeared entirely. Unfortunately, with many opioid drugs, there are symptoms that remain long after the detox is over and can return unexpectedly for months or even years to come, which can increase your risk of relapsing if you don’t have a good support system and a relapse plan in place.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

What Happens After Opioid Detox?

After opioid detox, the best course of action is to move directly into an inpatient rehab program, followed by outpatient rehab. During inpatient rehab, you will live inside a safe facility full-time, attending groups, therapy, counseling, educational programs and more so you can get to the underlying causes of your addiction, learn new skills and discover more about yourself and how to become the person you want to be, without the use of drugs or alcohol.

Outpatient rehab programs are flexible and can work to fit a return-to-work plan or arrange meetings and appointments around your school schedule or other responsibilities you may have like childcare. You will still have the full support you need as you transition back to your normal life, and it can last for as long as you need it to.

Aftercare programs are an extension of outpatient programs, with even more flexibility. You can live your life, with support and meetings there for you if you need them. You will also stay connected to the same medical and psychiatric caregivers to ensure you have no issue gaining medical care or prescriptions.

It is a good idea to have a plan for what to do if you begin to experience physical or psychological urges to use opioids again. Some things you can do include:

  • Stay in touch with your rehab center in an aftercare program or other support program
  • Go to therapy, and continue making appointments even if you feel better
  • Go to meetings or groups, and know how to find peer support when you need it
  • Keep friends and family up to date on how you are doing, be honest with them and with yourself
  • Continue taking your medications as prescribed
  • Treat your underlying medical health conditions and do what your doctor says (i.e. physiotherapy, exercise, eat right, etc.)

With a customized rehab program, you will get off on the right foot, with all the contingency skills and recovery tools you will need to be able to move on with your life after opioid addiction.

Choosing Resurgence for Opioid Detox

At Resurgence, we have an effective medical opioid detox program that, when combined with our integrated rehab programs can help you remain in recovery long-term. We can provide FDA-approved medications like methadone and buprenorphine as a maintenance treatment that will satisfy drug cravings in a safe and comfortable setting and will not create a new addiction.

We are the number one facility for drug detox because:

  • Each patient’s treatment plan is 100% customized to best suit your unique goals, budget, and preferences, and will help you get to the underlying root of your addiction
  • We have a caring and highly trained staff who truly want to help you, available 24 hours a day
  • You will have a full-sized bed in a community-oriented facility instead of a hospital room
  • We provide an integrated medical detox program that can be customized to suit your individual needs
  • Our dual diagnosis program treats mental health issues at the same time as addiction
  • We provide a continuum of care that will see you through detox, rehab, and into aftercare, helping you integrate back into your normal life when rehab is over

Our medical detox program is a holistic treatment that combines your physical health with mental health and wellness, meaning we focus on you as a whole person, rather than just an addiction that needs treatment. We will customize your program to best suit your unique needs, including therapy, counseling, and dual diagnosis treatments, to help you deal with behavioral, emotional, and psychological issues as you detox.

When you are physically and psychologically ready, we can then transfer you into our residential rehabilitation program, which occurs in the same facility with the same care providers, to make the transition as seamless and easy as possible.

Our detox program has been proven to improve patient survival rates, and the ability to live a self-directed life without needing to lean on opioid drugs and our continued support will help you focus on getting healthy and moving forward into rehab and long-term recovery.

You can do this. Contact us for more information on medical detox, opioid rehab, or any questions you may have about recovering from opioid addiction.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.


Opioid withdrawal timeline: Symptoms, stages, recovery, and more (

Alexa Iocco

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