Unfortunately, 10.3 million people fell victim to misusing opioids last year.
Many of these instances were specifically due to opiates, which are drugs directly derived from opium poppies. Opiates are classified as a category of opioids, which is why the two terms are often used interchangeably.
Thousands upon thousands of people don’t seek help before it’s too late, resulting in many lost lives.
No matter what level of use a person suffers from, there is always hope and the opportunity to become free through detox.
Keep reading to find out what to expect when going through withdrawal. It may save your life or a loved one’s.
Going Through Withdrawal Isn’t Easy
This is a no-brainer, but we say it to highlight another true point: it is possible.
Many cases require professional assistance to go through the process of withdrawal because of the intensity of symptoms and complications involved.
If you or someone else you know suffers from addiction, it’s important to know that going the professional route is always the safest. It may make things a little easier, too.
If going into a clinic feels daunting but you want to see the light at the end of the tunnel, call a hotline and they can inform you on what to do.
You can also do independent research to find out what the process looks like. This drug detox article talks about things like how long the process takes.
Here are 5 symptoms you can expect when going through opiate withdrawal, although there are more than what is listed.
These symptoms may vary throughout the process, some showing up in the early part of withdrawal and others appearing later.
1. Emotional Changes
Throughout the withdrawal process, a person may experience decreased energy and interest in everyday life.
This can result in anxiety, depression, and irritability.
Additionally, your mind will go through a re-adjusting process. Opiates change the chemical workings of your system, so as it reorients itself, you may experience cognitive issues like decreased concentration and memory.
You may have trouble sleeping as well, resulting in insomnia.
2. Gastrointestinal Symptoms
We’ve lumped the withdrawal symptoms relating to the stomach and digestive issues.
This may include:
- Abdominal cramping
Hydration is essential when you’re losing your stomach contents in these ways. This is one of the reasons why professional help is advised.
3. It’s Not In Your Head (But These Symptoms May Be)
All of the symptoms of withdrawal, including the ones you can’t see, are legitimate and real. It’s important to acknowledge and affirm that throughout the process.
You may experience head-related symptoms such as:
- Dilated pupils
- Runny nose and eyes
It’s often cited that withdrawal is similar to having a severe case of the flu, although experiences vary in intensity.
4. Temperature Variations
Throughout withdrawal, you may experience hot and cold flashes.
This, again, is because your body’s chemical and hormonal balance has been off and now it’s rebalancing itself.
This may manifest in goosebumps, sweating, or tingling.
5. Other Systems Involved
Because opiates affect your whole body, each system is affected in various ways.
Your muscular system may be affected, resulting in muscle aches, cramps, and shakes.
You may experience respiratory issues, such as trouble breathing.
Finally, your heart may act differently throughout withdrawal. Symptoms may include palpitations and increased heart rate.
Short-term Suffering For Long-term Freedom
In a sense, going through withdrawal will only be a small fraction of time in your life. It may not feel like it, as some symptoms can be intense and mind-consuming.
However, it’s well worth it. By going through withdrawal, you are freeing your body, mind, and life from the evil that is addiction.
You (or the person suffering from addiction) are extending your life expectancy in the process.
Stay optimistic, reach out for professional help, and keep researching what you can do.
Keep reading our blog for more ways to improve your health and life.