The Truth about Detoxing from Opiates
Today, I can say something that I couldn’t for years – my name is David and I’m an addict. For years, seven to be exact, I was a heroin addict trapped in active addiction. I lied, cheated, scammed, and stole to get drugs. I did whatever I had to. Thankfully, today I’m an addict in recovery.
Before I could move from active addiction to sobriety, I had to start detoxing from opiates. It wasn’t pretty. In fact, dealing with opiate withdrawal symptoms was probably the most uncomfortable experience I’ve ever had.
There’s good news, though, and that good news is simple. Recovery is possible for everyone. It doesn’t matter how bad your addiction is – you can recover. It’s that simple.
So, with a firm belief in the idea that knowledge is power, I’ve decided to write about symptoms of narcotic withdrawal and give a brief opiate withdrawal symptoms timeline. I hope this helps those struggling with addiction and their families.
Remember, if I can change, so can you!
Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
Before I go any further, I’d like to make something very clear – opiate withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. For some, opiate detox isn’t bad at all. For others, and for most, it’s a pretty uncomfortable experience. The same goes for symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal.
So, take everything I say with a (rather large) grain of salt. I’m not a doctor, nurse, or medical professional. I’m simply an addict in recovery who can share his experience with opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Find a list of common opiate withdrawal symptoms below:
- Runny Nose & Uncontrollable Sneezing
- Profuse Sweating
- Muscle Cramping
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Feeling Alternately Very Hot & Very Cold
- Aches in Your Muscles & Bones
- A General Feeling of Exhaustion & Weakness
Remember, your experience, or your loved one’s experience with opiate withdrawal symptoms, may be different. For example, I know several friends of mine who never got Restless Leg Syndrome as part of their experience when detoxing from opiates. I envy them like nothing else!
For those who don’t know, Restless Leg Syndrome is probably the most annoying opiate withdrawal symptom. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Your legs twitch, shake, and are always tapping.
While this probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, trust me when I say it is! Okay, having explored common opiate and hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms, let’s examine what a general opiate withdrawal timeline looks like.
Opiate Withdrawal Timeline
The following opiate withdrawal timeline is simply my experience detoxing. While the times are often the same, they’re not always. So, remember, it’s important to seek professional medical help for any sort of opiate detox.
- 4 – 12 Hours:
Expect sneezing (often called “the detox sneeze”), unease, some nausea, and a general sense that things are about to get bad.
- 12 Hours to 2 Days:
Things aren’t pretty during this part of the opiate withdrawal timeline. This is the part of detox most often depicted in the media. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, aches, cramps, and the dreaded Restless Leg Syndrome.
- 2 to 3 Days:
This is the peak of the opiate withdrawal timeline. Expect all the symptoms listed above and more. The good news is that relief and being opiate free is now a light at the end of the tunnel.
- 3 Days to a Week:
During this phase of withdrawal, you’ll start to feel better. You’ll be able to eat without vomiting, get a few hours of sleep, and even start to lose those restless legs. Symptoms are tapering off and detox is nearing its end.
You may be asking yourself what the point of this opiate withdrawal timeline is. For that matter, you may be asking yourself what the point of any of this information is! After all, we can all agree that opiate detox isn’t any fun.
Well, let’s look at the most important part of this article – the part where I talk about hope!
An Opiate-Free Life
It’s important to remember that anyone who’s willing to go through opiate withdrawal is serious about getting better. Why would they deal with all those symptoms listed above if they didn’t really want to change their life?
That’s the good news. If someone is willing to experience opiate detox, then they’re also willing to start a new chapter in life. It’s at this point that rehab enters the picture.
Opiate withdrawal symptoms stink. It’s that simple. Still, they’re nothing compared to how tricky addiction is mentally. It’s a disease of justification, blaming others, and relapse. Thankfully, with help from a treatment center, this doesn’t have to be the case.
Treatment centers offer a period of safety and security for addicts to learn about themselves. They can learn what makes them tick and why they turned to drugs in the first place. Speaking from personal experience, I learned about triggers, resentments, fears, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and so much more.
So, if you or a loved one are thinking about quitting opiates and starting a new way of life, reach out to the professionals for help. Give Lighthouse Recovery Institute a call today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or 1-(561)-381-0015. We’ll walk hand-in-hand with you along the road of recovery.