What Is the Opioid Withdrawal Timeline?

When people stop using substances, the opioid withdrawal timeline starts with the occurrence of symptoms. The length of opioid dependence is determined by several variables.

The quality of opioids used and the brain’s biochemistry influences the duration and intensity of opioid withdrawal timeline symptoms. Withdrawing from opioids can be brutally unpleasant, making the road to recovery tough.

Professional detoxification can assist shorten the opioid withdrawal timeline. As a strategic treatment approach, a medicine rehab program can help with long-term abstinence after detoxification.

Reducing the opioid withdrawal timeline is the initial stage toward effective opioid symptoms management.

What Are Opioids?

An opioid is a substance that includes both prohibited narcotics like cocaine and controlled medicines like oxycodone, which physicians may administer to relieve severe aches. When taken as intended, long-term opioid usage can build tolerance.

This denotes that when people stop taking them, they may experience unpleasant physical symptoms.

People who use unlawful opioids or overuse prescription painkillers, which means they take them in ways that were not intended, are prone to acquiring an opioid addiction, a condition marked by the ongoing use of pain medications despite destructive concerns.

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How Do Opioids Work in The Brain And Body?

Opioids attach to certain sensors in our brain to block pain receptors, making uncomfortable sensations less noticeable. Opioids also boost the production of serotonin, a brain transmission chemical involved in rewarding and reinforcing actions.

This activation of serotonin is linked to feelings of personal gratification, which leads to drug abuse. When serotonin is generated because of opioids, it encourages the mind to keep acting in the same manner, which is one reason why opioids are dangerous.

What Are Commonly Prescribed Opioids?

Opioids are often administered for brief, like pain following the oral procedure. The following are some of the most frequently approved opioids:

  • Oxymorphone (Opana)
  • Tapentadol (Nucynta)
  • Tramadol (Ultram)
  • Morphine
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone (Percocet or OxyContin)
  • Fentanyl (Sublimaze, Duragesic, and Actiq)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
What Are the Signs Of Opioid Withdrawal

How Quickly Does Opioid Withdrawal Occur?

Organic opioids are produced by the body to help to reduce discomfort, tension, and grief. Artificial opioids relieve aches, but the body’s natural receptors, nervous system, and digestive pathways grow sensitive to them in long-term usage, requiring greater quantities.

Increasing opioid intake causes dependence, and when people quit, the system responds to the absence. When you stop taking opioids suddenly, the consequences of opioid withdrawal appear gradually.

Addiction Vs Dependence on Opioids

Dependency means a physical addiction to an opioid. Resistance and opioid withdrawal timeline effects are common signs of addiction. Although it’s conceivable to have an actual need without becoming habitual, dependency is always close by.

Addiction refers to a behavioral change brought on by biological processes and neurological symptoms because of ongoing substance misuse. The victim’s primary focus becomes substances, irrespective of the destruction they might bring to themselves.

Whenever a person is addicted, they behave erratically when it is not there in their bloodstream.

What Are the Signs Of Opioid Withdrawal?

The opioid withdrawal timeline occurs in anyone who may get hooked to the medicine if their dosage is unexpectedly reduced or they avoid taking it. Opioid withdrawal timeline The following symptoms vary from moderate to critical:

  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Bone and muscle pain
  • Insomnia
  • Amplified body temperature
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Racing heart
  • Chills
  • Vomiting or nausea

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A Typical Opioid Withdrawal Timeline

An opioid withdrawal timeline depends on the substance to some extent, with large differences between Tramadol and methadone, for example. Generally speaking, withdrawals usually begin 8-30 hours after the last daily dosage and occur for 4-10 days. The opioid withdrawal timeline is relatively short for some folks, while it may be longer for others.

Day 1

(Eight to twenty-four hours following the last intake): Brief opioids, including codeine, heroin, and fentanyl, causes opioid withdrawal timeline symptoms like:

  • Headaches
  • Muscular pains
  • Drug cravings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritation, anxiety, or aggression

Day 2

For lengthy opioids such as oxycodone elongated, withdrawal occurs 24 to 48 hours after the last administration. Opioid withdrawal timeline symptoms comprise:

  • Panic attacks
  • Stomach problems
  • Excessive sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Insomnia

Day 3

Brief opioid withdrawal timeline symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Day 4

Long-lasting opioid withdrawal timeline symptoms:

  • Shivering
  • Fatigue
  • Cramping
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Enlarged pupils

Day 5

The lengthy opioid withdrawal timeline reaches a maximum.

Episodes of days 1 to 4 may be present.

Day 6

Same as day 5.

Day 7

Opioid Withdrawal timeline symptoms decrease:

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioids

Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms and Opioid Drugs

PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) pertains to a combination of symptoms that are long-lasting after refraining from substances. The effects of PAWS are often the last long-term, hence, treatment is usually given over a long duration.

Acamprosate, a medication often used to aid substance abusers in recovery, has been reported to help manage certain PAWS effects. To understand how to manage the difficulties, many clients receive cognitive therapy.

What Causes Opioid Withdrawal and Dependence?

Opioids accurately and comfortably ease pain from invasive procedures or any sort of severe physical discomfort when used as allowed by a specialist. Consuming an opioid for an extended period might develop resistance and dependency.

Dependence on opioids develops over time, requiring a higher dose to achieve the same effects, which directly contributes to the use of bigger doses of opioids. A person’s physical dependence on the medication may develop.

Reducing or stopping opioids abruptly leads to a destructive spiral: a user may start cutting back or quit, but then experience unpleasant effects, prompting them to reintroduce the substance to ease the pain.

If consumed in excess, opioids can cause excessive sleepiness, vomiting, exhilaration, and decreased respiration, which is harmful.

Can Opioid Withdrawals Be Fatal?

If an individual dependent on opioids reduces or ceases using them abruptly, they’ll go through withdrawal indications. It leads to a negative spiral: a user may consider cutting down or quitting consumption.

However, when they experience unpleasant opioid withdrawal timeline effects, they’ll reintroduce the substance to alleviate the symptoms. If used in excess, opioids can cause fatal symptoms like slow breathing, increased heartbeat, and extreme drowsiness.

The Epidemic Within a Pandemic

When the pandemic first broke, authorities worried that the pandemic’s environment might lead to an escalation in dose-dependency and fatalities. Analysts alluded to possibly aggravating variables like higher social exclusion, financial difficulties, and interruptions in medical access.

They also thought that substance misuse would be used as a survival reaction to the mental trauma connected to the epidemic.

As more data emerged, the initial concerns were justified. The CDS (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) identified 81,000 opioid fatal overdoses in the twelve months since May 2020, the highest documented in a yearly period of American history.

The rise of fentanyl in counterfeit opioids seems to be the primary cause of this alarming prevalence. Records show a 38.4 percent rise in related mortality over the preceding annually.

CDC found that risks of overdose from opioids like psychostimulants and cocaine, along with methamphetamine, rose significantly in 2019 (by 26.5 percent and 34.8 percent, respectively).

Proper Treatment for Opioid Withdrawals


Counseling is often an essential primary intervention. Counseling can be provided in the location where medicine is administered or by a different provider outside of the hospital context. Counseling assists clients in dealing with psychological, societal, and other issues that may contribute to their habits.

Supervised Detox

Many individuals who attempt to recover from opioids themselves rapidly relapse, to ease the pain of opioid withdrawal timeline effects. Increasing diarrhea or nausea in clients with extreme opioid withdrawal timelines can soon become critically dehydrated.

Medical detoxing creates a positive environment throughout recovery besides decreasing the intensity of opioid withdrawal timeline symptoms.

Contingency Management for Opioid Treatment

Contingency management denotes a therapeutic option for drug abuse and psychological issues. Few doctors, though, are aware of this approach or how it is used to treat a variety of client habits.

Contingency management is a sort of behavioral treatment in which people strive or are rewarded when they show signs of successful behavior modification.

Alternatives To Opioids for Pain Management

  • Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Exercise and movement
  • Cold and heat
  • Therapies
  • Physical Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Massages

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Medical Detox and The Opioid Withdrawal Timeline

Going through an opioid withdrawal timeline is extremely unpleasant, and sometimes, consequences can arise that are hazardous. The duration of a withdrawal timeline depends on various factors. Medically supervised withdrawal, often known as detoxification, assures the person’s convenience and protection.

Proper Treatment for Opioid Withdrawals

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioids

Methadone and buprenorphine are two drugs that can aid with opioid cravings. Buprenorphine is a medication that might assist people in the transition off of opioids.

Buprenorphine and methadone along with suboxone (a naloxone-buprenorphine mixture), can be administered to counteract urges, sustain sobriety from other illegal or legal drugs, and prevent the occurrence of overdosing.

Other supplementary drugs, like Clonidine (for stress), and Loperamide (for nausea), are used to ease withdrawal effects. It’s vital to remember that detoxing from substances and receiving a prescription for opioid misuse disorder symptoms might be the moving toward sobriety.

Narcan Or Naloxone for Opioid Harm Reduction

Naloxone refers to a drug that is used to relieve the symptoms of narcotics or pain reliever misuse. Narcan is a premium brand for Naloxone. It comes as an injection or a mist. Naloxone counteracts the consequences of opium-based substances, also known as opioids.

Is Lasting Recovery from Opioids Possible?

Icarus Behavioral Health is proud to be among the newest and most cutting-edge addiction treatment facilities in New Mexico, and our commitment to helping our community heal from addiction is absolute.

Our client-aligned, proof-centered rehabilitation option enables us to prioritize the client’s needs and lay the groundwork for long-lasting rehabilitation.

You may be confident that once you arrive at Icarus, you’ll be provided with the tools and setting needed for your recovery. We’re a fully accredited institution that prioritizes the well-being of our customers.

Icarus Behavioral offers alcohol and drug detox, inpatient drug rehabilitation, dual diagnosis care, and outpatient services, among other programs. Don’t hesitate to start your recovery journey today, call our Admissions team now to get started!

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