Opioids are drugs that are used to relieve pain. Among this class, you can find prescription painkillers like hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine, oxycodone (Percocet or Oxycontin), and methadone. Illegally manufactured drugs like heroin and synthetic drug fentanyl addiction also fall under this category. Opioid addiction happens when people abuse opiate drugs and take higher doses than needed for the long term, with or without a prescription. As users become more tolerant of these drugs, it causes physical dependence. Any delay in the intake of these drugs can lead to severe cravings for more frequent doses to achieve the same effect and remain in that state. Otherwise, they experience opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Opioid addiction withdrawal effects occur when you stop taking the drugs suddenly, especially when you had been taking large amounts earlier. Your body will need time to recover from the abrupt ceasing. But how long you will endure this phase depends on your drug usage and level of dependence.
Furthermore, drugs like methadone that are used as painkillers can make you addicted. However, methadone is also used as a replacement medication for opioid use disorder treatments and opioid withdrawal treatment of other drugs.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline
The withdrawal effects may be categorized as mild, moderate, and severe. Some Opioid withdrawal symptoms show early on, within a few hours, while others show up late – based on whether the drug is short-acting or long-acting. Other factors include your body constitution, method of intake, and duration.
Hours 6-30: Early Symptoms
- Sleep issues
- Muscle aches
Days 3-7: Late Symptoms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Chills and goosebumps
Usually, the Opioid withdrawal symptoms peak around 72 hours and last for a week in total. However, in severe cases, the effects may last for months.