Vertava Health - Texas Publishes Blog Post Explaining The Stages Of Opioid Withdrawal

SCURRY, Texas — Vertava Health Texas, a residential drug and alcohol treatment center near Dallas, has published a blog post detailing the stages of opioid withdrawal in an effort to educate those who are suffering from opioid addiction and their loved ones.

Opioids are a class of drugs that includes illegal substances such as heroin as well as prescription painkillers that are used to treat pain and slow down the central nervous system. They are habit-forming and can quickly lead to physical and psychological dependence. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 1.6 million people in the U.S. had an opioid use disorder in 2019. Some common examples of opioids include oxycodone (OxyContin), morphine, codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), methadone, and fentanyl, just to name a few.

Quitting opioids is a very unpleasant experience as those suffering from opioid addiction usually become so dependent on the drugs that their brain and body struggles to adjust when they stop consuming them. This period of extreme discomfort is called withdrawal, and it is the reason why it is strongly recommended that people only quit in the presence of certified medical professionals who can administer the right drugs to alleviate its harsh symptoms. Opioid withdrawal symptoms include aches and pain, sweating or chills, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, insomnia, mood swings, and anxiety. The opioid withdrawal timeline and the symptoms vary from person to person as well as from opioid to opioid.

The first stage is called early withdrawal, the post says, and it typically begins within eight to 24 hours after the last dose for short-acting opioids like codeine, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and morphine, or closer to 36 hours for long-acting prescription opioids like the extended-release and controlled-release tablets of the aforementioned drugs. Early opioid withdrawal symptoms generally include a runny nose, tearing up, excessive sweating, chills, goosebumps, muscle and joint pain, stomach cramps, anxiety, and insomnia.

The second stage of opioid withdrawal is called the peak period. During this stage, symptoms from early opioid withdrawal tend to grow in intensity over the next several hours, and new symptoms also arise. After one to three days for short-acting opioids and three to four days for long-acting opioids, the severity of these symptoms usually hits its peak. Symptoms during this stage of opioid withdrawal tend to be both physical and psychological. At this point, the person may feel flu-like as well as emotionally distressed. It is important for people to maintain adequate levels of hydration and nutrition as well as have emotional support. Peak opioid withdrawal symptoms include rapid breathing, racing heart, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever, depression, mood swings, and intense drug cravings.

The third stage is called late acute withdrawal. For short-acting opioids, it ends around days seven to 10, and for long-acting opioids, it ends after up to two weeks. Symptoms of late acute opioid withdrawal include drug cravings, irritability, anxiety, restlessness, depression, and insomnia.

Finally, the post-acute withdrawal syndrome is where the physical symptoms tend to all be gone, but psychological symptoms remain or come and go. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms may include sleep problems or disturbances, anxiety or panic, depression, mood swings, irritability, and increased sensitivity to stress.

The exact opioid withdrawal timeline can be different based on factors that include the type of opioid misused, the route of administration, the severity of addiction, tolerance, regular dosage, polysubstance misuse, previous opioid misuse, state of mental health, overall health, medical history, and care during detox.

Opioid withdrawal is a painful and mentally taxing experience that requires a lot of care and mental resolve. Doctors may prescribe or recommend medications as needed to provide a safer and more beneficial experience for the patient. The doctor may recommend medication-assisted treatment (MAT) that uses certain FDA-approved medications like buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone to help ease psychological cravings, reduce withdrawal symptoms, and block the euphoric effects of opioids.

Vertava Health Texas is a substance misuse treatment center that includes care for both men and women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, as well as co-occurring mental health disorders. To learn more about their services, visit their website or call (888) 759-5073.


For more information about Vertava Health of Texas, contact the company here:

Vertava Health of Texas
6950 Shady Ln
Scurry, TX 75158