An opioid is a powerful painkiller. It works by causing a mental stupor that reduces your ability to feel discomfort. While opioids can be used per doctor’s orders, they’re highly addictive and often abused. In 2017, over 1200 Virginians died from an opioid overdose. And even someone who is using them correctly may develop dependence. That’s why it’s essential to know the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. You don’t have to suffer alone.
1. Restlessness and Anxiety
One of the most common symptoms of opioid withdrawal is intense restlessness. A significant part of this restlessness is the cravings. In fact, the anxiety is made worse because you know that giving in to those cravings would end this feeling. You may begin to worry about what life will be like without the drug.
But you must stay strong. This is temporary. With help, you can overcome it.
2. Increased Pain Levels
Because opioids dull pain, opioid withdrawal signs include extreme discomfort. Your body and mind have forgotten how to manage what hurts without the opioid’s help. So you may experience minor discomfort as pain.
3. Trouble Sleeping
One of the ways opioids treat pain is by making you groggy. If you take enough, it may put you immediately to sleep. So you’ll not be surprised to find that symptoms of opioid withdrawal include “forgetting” how to go to sleep or stay asleep without it.
4. Gastrointestinal Issues
Some people may experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Opioids suppress basic human functions like breathing, hunger, and digestion. For this reason, your body needs a little time to recalibrate these functions.
5. Sweating or Fever
Opioids impact the brain stem. This is the survival center of your brain. Maintaining consistent body temperature is a core survival skill. So immediately after you stop taking opioids, you may have chills, sweats, and a fever as your body tries to re-establish a normal temperature.
You might also experience a shakiness that may continue for a day or more. But know that opioid withdrawal signs only last for a few days for many. Some may experience ongoing symptoms for as long as two weeks.
Whether you’re dependent on prescription opioids or street opioids like heroin, these experiences are much the same.
7. Rapid Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Increase
Because the brain stem also regulates heart function, it will need an opportunity to recover. So you’ll likely feel an erratic and fast heartbeat. This puts added stress on your blood vessels. And for that reason, blood pressure will probably go up.
Some of the symptoms are more dangerous than others. This one, for example, could lead to:
- Heart attack
That’s why it’s best to go through detox under the supervision of professionals.
8. Confusion and Hallucinations
You may also feel very disoriented and even see things that aren’t there. This can be very frightening, especially given the fact that you’re already experiencing anxiety.
How Professionals Can Help With Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal
These symptoms may be short-lived. But they can be dangerous, and withdrawal is only a step on the recovery journey. Professionals at Sagebrush Treatment Center in Northern Virginia can help you through this trying time by creating a safe, home-like environment in which you can heal.
We believe firmly in holistic care, treating the mind, body, and spirit at the same time so that you experience profound healing. As the initial symptoms subside, you can begin working with addiction professionals to develop an individualized program that sets you up for long-term success on the recovery path.
In our small 8-bed residential treatment program, you’ll explore trauma, emotions, and mental health barriers as you learn to overcome challenges and manage your addiction.
We supplement evidence-based treatments with complementary therapies that enhance a client’s success, such as:
- Qi gong
You can overcome the hold that opioids have over your life and get on a path to healing, health, and recovery with treatment. Don’t let the symptoms of opioid withdrawal prevent you from seeking treatment. When you call us at 866.488.1156, a compassionate addiction professional can help you begin the healing journey.