Detoxing from opioids can take a long time due to the severity of opioid addiction. While the worst withdrawal symptoms should go away within the first week of sobriety, you might continue to struggle with urges long after the initial withdrawal goes away. Other factors, like co-occurring mental health disorders and your physical health, can contribute to how long detox from opioids will take for you.
What is a Medical Detox From Opioids?
Medical detox can help you safely rid your body of the harmful chemicals that caused your opioid addiction. Opioids mimic naturally occurring chemicals in your brain that help you deal with pain and feel good. When chemicals in fentanyl, heroin, or prescription pain killers bind to opioid receptors in your brain, you can become addicted to the euphoric feelings that they cause.
When an addiction takes hold, you also have a chemical dependency that makes it difficult and even dangerous to quit “cold-turkey.” If you are addicted to opioids, you will experience withdrawal symptoms that can be unpleasant and uncomfortable. You are at a high risk of overdosing if you relapse during detox. This is because you might take more opioids than usual to deal with intense withdrawal symptoms.
During a medical detox from opioid addiction, you will have support from professionals to ensure that you detox safely while staying at an inpatient facility. Your treatment team can help you with medication-assisted treatment and support you during the worst parts of opioid withdrawal. While staying at a facility, you can be safe from any temptations to relapse and transition from detox to inpatient drug rehab.
What are Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms?
Opioid withdrawal symptoms can range from being mildly unpleasant to severe. According to MedlinePlus, you might experience some of the following withdrawal symptoms while in detox from opioids:
- Anxiety and agitation
- Sleep disturbances
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle aches and pains
- Abdominal cramping
- Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
While most of these symptoms are not life-threatening, they can be highly distressing. You might struggle to cope with these feelings, which leaves you vulnerable to a relapse.
How Long Does it Take to Detox From Opioids?
Detoxing from opioids can vary in time due to different factors unique to your addiction and overall state of health. Most of the severe symptoms will go away within about a week. While you might have similar withdrawal symptoms as your peers during medical detox, the severity and duration of these symptoms can vary from person to person.
Some of the following factors affect the time of your opioid detox:
- What types of opioids do you use?
- Some opioids are more potent than others. For example, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) states that fentanyl is “80-100 times stronger than morphine.”
- If you developed a dependency on prescription opioids, your doctor could gradually lower your dose to safely detox.
- Illegal opioids, like heroin, might be “cut” with other harmful substances, which can affect the time it takes you to detox.
- How frequently do you use opioids, and for how long?
- If you have been using opioids for a long time, like months or years, it might take you longer to detox than others.
- Additionally, if you use daily or multiple times a day, you might need medical detox services longer than someone who uses opioids less frequently.
- Do you abuse other substances, including alcohol?
- If you also abuse other substances, whether legal or illegal, you might be in detox longer than others.
- While you are in detox from opioids, you could have withdrawal symptoms from other substances as well.
- When you detox, you need to stop using all substances, including alcohol, to quit opioids safely.
- Do you have underlying mental health disorders driving your opioid addiction?
- Mental health and opioid use disorders often co-occur.
- Untreated mental health issues can leave you vulnerable to relapse or struggling to manage withdrawal symptoms.
- What is your overall state of physical health?
- If you have medical conditions or other complications, you might be in detox longer.
- Withdrawal symptoms can be stressful on your body, and if you are in poor health, you might need more time to detox.
Treatment Options for Opioid Use Disorder
Medical detox is only the first step in your recovery from opioid use disorder. After detox, you might need long-term residential treatment to keep you sober, learn relapse prevention, manage cravings, and deal with underlying mental health issues.
Some of the following options can help you recovery from opioid use disorder:
- Residential drug rehab usually occurs after medical detox. You would stay in a facility for about 30-90 days and learn new ways to live without using opioids.
- Holistic therapy can help you develop healthy lifestyle practices to curb your cravings and improve your overall well-being.
- Medication-assisted programming uses medications like methadone to prevent relapse and overdose during treatment.
- Aftercare services can help you continue in your recovery journey after long-term residential drug rehab.
Medical Opioid Detox in Nashville
If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid addiction, you might need medical detox to deal with withdrawal symptoms and prevent an overdose. Brentwood Springs Detox of Nashville, TN, is here to help you in every step of recovery from detox to aftercare to ensure your success. Call us today or visit our admission page to learn more about how we can help you overcome your opioid addiction.