Many people avoid pursuing a rehab program for an opiate addiction because they’re afraid of the withdrawal symptoms. Although the symptoms and intensity of withdrawal vary depending on a variety of factors, there is a general painkiller withdrawal timeline that can help you understand what to expect. Going through withdrawal alone can make you more likely to relapse. Getting the right support as you go through the painkiller withdrawal timeline can set you up for lasting recovery.
Painkiller Withdrawal Timeline: Phase 1
Most people start to experience withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours of their last dose. For short-acting opiates, symptoms usually begin about 6 to 12 hours after taking the last pill. Long-acting opiates might take as long as 30 hours to start leaving the system.
This initial phase in the painkiller withdrawal timeline is also referred to as the acute withdrawal phase. It lasts one to three days and causes intense discomfort.
- Some of the withdrawal symptoms to expect during this phase include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Muscle aches
- Heavy perspiration
- Panic attacks
Many detox facilities offer support to alleviate your distress during the withdrawal period. Medications can help dull some of the more powerful symptoms. Medical professionals can monitor your vital signs as you go through this phase to help ensure that your blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration remain stable.
Painkiller Withdrawal Timeline: Phase 2
Between three and five days after your last dose of the painkiller, you should start feeling a little better. The stronger symptoms begin to subside around this time, but mild symptoms may stick around.
Because everyone’s painkiller withdrawal timeline is different, you may still feel the extreme symptoms from phase 1 for up to a week. However, most people’s symptoms during phase 2 include:
- Stomach cramps
- Minor aches and pains
Painkiller Withdrawal Timeline: Phase 3
It’s not uncommon to have lingering physical discomfort, such as insomnia or loss of appetite, during phase 3 of the detox period. The physical symptoms of withdrawal may subside after one or two weeks, but the psychological distress can remain if the person doesn’t receive proper treatment.
You might still experience strong cravings for the drugs. During this period, you may also struggle to re-establish a healthy lifestyle without returning to unhealthy habits.
It’s important to spend time at an accredited rehab facility that can address your psychological and emotional needs as you develop new groundwork on which to live your life. Many people who have addictions to painkillers need addiction and pain management education.
If they continue to experience discomfort while staying sober, they need to learn strategies for managing pain without resorting to addictive medications. Getting resources for managing stress and responding to triggers for drug use is also crucial for recovery.
Many people need to replenish their bodies with beneficial nutrients after going through detox. The loss of appetite that accompanies opiate addiction and withdrawal can prevent your body from functioning optimally. Creating a foundation for physical health is as important as rejuvenating your psychological health.
If you’re looking for comprehensive, short term residential rehab program, New Bridge Recovery offers professional care for facilitating detox and addiction treatment services. Take the first step in your recovery and reach out today.