Detoxification is the process of ridding the body of all traces of a given drug. Compared to other drugs, opiate detox is relatively fast—in most cases, the body manages the process in about one week—but the symptoms are still challenging to endure. The process of withdrawal, in which the body struggles to wean itself off of drug dependency, produces several common symptoms.
In most opiate cases, withdrawal symptoms begin with 6-12 hours after the final instance of consuming the drug. At that time, patients will begin to experience heart palpitations, hypertension, mood swings, anxiety, fever and sweating, and will have difficulty attempting to sleep. These symptoms usually peak within 72 hours, before giving way to the next stage of symptoms.
After the 72-hour mark, cravings for opiates typically set in. This is the body’s response to the difficulty of withdrawal and is often the time that unsupervised patients will cave to the temptation. This period can also produce nausea and vomiting, goosebumps, stomach cramps, and depression. After about one week, these symptoms begin to taper off.
Although opiate detoxification may not be the most dangerous, it is still highly advised to go through a medical detox center that can help manage the challenging opiate withdrawal symptoms. A specialized opiate addiction rehab will be able to walk the addict through the entire process from start to finish, providing them with the tools they need for long-term recovery.