The Stages Of Opiate Withdrawal

The opioid epidemic in the country has been worsening at an alarming rate. It is saddening that the number of addicts that die from opioid overdose has also been on the rise. On the bright side, awareness of the problem at hand has also been growing, and many more addicts are seeking help. There are different treatment options for those who seek treatment. The first step to recovery is detoxification. There are several specialists assisting Las Vegas opioid addiction who help many addicts in Las Vegas.

When undergoing the detox, the patient will experience withdrawal symptoms that can span about a week. A person undergoing detox will experience withdrawal symptoms in three distinct stages distinguished by the symptoms they experience and their intensity. Below is some more information on each step. It is worth mentioning that the timeline between each stage does differ depending on the person and the drug used.

Stage One: Early Withdrawal

The first withdrawal stage happens between the first six to twelve hours after the patient stops using short-acting opiates such as heroin. If the patient was addicted to long-acting opiates, they would experience the first stage after 30 hours.

At this early stage the patient will experience early withdraw symptoms including;

  • Sweats
  • Racing heart
  • Anxiety
  • Running nose
  • Insomnia

They will also be experiencing several psychological symptoms and start tearing up. The patient will also be restless and anxious.

Stage Two: Peak Period

The stage starts about 72 hours after the last use of an opiate. The second stage is also known as the peak period and can last up to five days. During the peak stage, the patient will experience flu-like symptoms. To keep the patient’s strength up during this phase, keep them hydrated. They should also keep up the levels of nutrition. The patient might find it challenging to keep solid food down hence encourage them to eat softer foods or substitute solid foods with liquid nutritional supplements.

Stage Three: Late Withdrawal

Late withdrawal is the last stage of withdrawal. The physical symptoms the patient was undergoing will diminish in intensity. Even though the patient is almost out in the clear, it is essential to keep an eye on them and be cautious about persisting symptoms.

Opioid withdrawal can be severe and quite uncomfortable. It is not uncommon for the patient to be given medication to assist deal with the unpleasant symptoms. It is essential to mention that the drug should be used in a controlled environment; this will increase the chances of success. Medicine, such as aspirin and acetaminophen, can be used to help with mild withdrawal symptoms. If the patient is experiencing intense symptoms, they might need to be hospitalized and take other medications such as clonidine, which helps reduce anxiety, cramping, and muscle aches.


Coping Methods

There are a few coping mechanisms that can help ease the withdrawal symptoms. Hydrating is the most critical mechanism because the patient loses plenty of fluids by sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. Taking hot baths help in reducing muscle pain and pains in the body. Moderate exercises are also encouraged to distract the patient from what they are experiencing.

For an addict looking to get clean, it is advisable to check into an inpatient rehab where they will get all the resources they need to get clean.