What Are Opioids?
Opioids are a class of drugs that include both prescription painkillers such as oxycodone or morphine and illicit substances such as heroin. Prescription opioids are typically used in medicine to treat moderate to severe pain, but are often misused as a recreational drug. Even if taken as prescribed, these drugs can lead to dependence, addiction, and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking them.
Opioids and the Brain
Opioids produce their effects by latching onto opioid receptors within the brain. These receptors produce feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and pain relief, and can be incredibly reinforcing. Frequent opioid misuse can lead to a pattern of long-term brain changes that makes it more likely for people to repeatedly seek out opioid drugs, and begin to neglect other aspects of their life that used to be important to them.
In time, the brain adjusts to the effects of opioids. This can lead to people only feeling “normal” while under the influence, and makes the prospect of achieving sobriety seem exceedingly difficult. When opioid use is suddenly stopped, people begin to experience the hallmark effects of opioid withdrawal.
Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
- Muscle aches
- Hot and cold flashes
- Drug cravings
Opioid withdrawals are often compared to a severe flu – but while the symptoms may be similar, opioid withdrawal syndrome is typically much more severe. Most people are unable to break through this stage on their own, and will return to active opioid use if they don’t seek out an opioid detox center.
Opioid Withdrawal Timeline
Several factors determine the opioid withdrawal timeline: such as which opioids were being used, how frequently, your typical dose, and the length of substance misuse. Yet for most people, the following timeline can help you know what to expect:
Eight Hours Since Last Use
The symptoms of opioid withdrawal can occur as quickly as eight hours after opioids were last used. The first symptoms are typically mild and can include feeling irritable or chilly.
24 Hours Since Last Use
Withdrawal symptoms begin to heighten after 24 hours, and include aches, racing heart rate, and sweating. At this stage, people begin to have difficulty sleeping as well, and experience powerful drug cravings.
72 Hours Since Last Use
The third day of opioid withdrawal is typically the worst. People experience the full intensity of opioid withdrawal symptoms, possibly including diarrhea and vomiting.
One Week Since Last Use
Most people begin to feel better a full week after quitting opioids. While you may have lingering withdrawal symptoms, they are minimal compared to the experience of acute withdrawal.
How an Opioid Detox in Nashville Can Help
TN Detox’s opioid detox center provides the latest and most effective treatment options for reducing the severity of opioid withdrawal. With targeted medical intervention, compassionate support from a treatment team that truly cares, and a safe and restorative place for people to recover, anyone can make it through opioid withdrawals in comfort.
Medications for Opioid Withdrawal
Targeted medications can vastly reduce the intensity of opioid withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine, also known under the brand names Suboxone or Subutex, is a drug for detox specifically designed to help people with opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Buprenorphine is known as a partial opioid agonist. This means that it interacts with the brain in a similar way to commonly misused opioids, but to a much lesser degree. When administered as part of a targeted detox regimen, buprenorphine can relieve nearly every sign of opioid withdrawal, without producing an intoxicating effect.
Supportive medications can also be used to alleviate lingering withdrawal symptoms that buprenorphine doesn’t relieve. This can include medications such as:
- Clonidine – which can relieve anxiety, sweating, and insomnia
- Loperamide – used to treat diarrhea
- Ondansetron – can prevent nausea and vomiting
While recovering from an opioid use disorder is never easy, these medications can make the difficult first stage much more manageable.
24/7 Medical Support
The team at TN Detox provides around-the-clock medical support for people detoxing from opioids. This allows us to treat new symptoms as they arise, and provide support for your recovery if your confidence starts to slip. Our team is there to take care of your every need, to ensure that you can focus your energy on feeling better.
Detailed Assessment and Evaluation
No two substance use disorders are alike. People use opioids for a variety of reasons: to manage pain, to self-medicate mental illness, or to feel good. Further, many people use several substances simultaneously, which can alter the course of detox treatment.
As such, the first step of medical detoxification is a detailed and thorough assessment process. This helps our team to understand any co-occurring physical or mental health symptoms, your substance use history, and how we can individualize your care to better suit your needs.
Start Treatment at an Opioid Detox Center in Nashville Today
TN Detox can help you or a loved one overcome a substance use disorder. Our opioid detox center in Nashville has a team of caring professionals with the tools and experience to treat your symptoms, help you through withdrawals, and guide you along to the next steps in recovery. Reach out by dialing [Direct] or fill out our confidential, no-obligations contact form to learn about our comprehensive treatment options today.