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How Long Does Opiate Detox Take?

Man sitting near shuttered window, wondering, "How long does opiate detox take?"

Opiate withdrawal can be challenging and uncomfortable. Many people even put off quitting opiates because they are concerned about how the detox process will go. However, with the right help and support, opiate detox can be much less uncomfortable than you might imagine. For patients who need help quitting opiates, participating in an opiate detox program can be the first step to recovery.

If you or a loved one needs to stop using opiates, you may have questions about the process. What is opiate detox? How long will it take? Can an opiate detox program really help? Learning more about these topics can be empowering and help you make good choices about your recovery care. Find out the answers to the previous questions, plus more information about detoxing from opiates and other rehab options, by calling DetoxLA at 818.616.7341.

What Are Opiates?

Opiates are a class of drugs derived from parts of the opium poppy. Opium itself has been used for thousands of years to relieve pain and sedate people who have been injured. As medical science advanced during the 19th and 20th centuries, people created new compounds based on those found in the opium poppy. Although these pain-relieving compounds were beneficial, especially for those injured in World Wars I and II, doctors realized that the drugs could be addictive and dangerous to those who used them chronically. Some opiates are used for medical reasons to this day, although others, such as heroin and opium, are considered too dangerous to be medically valuable.

What Is Opiate Detox and How Long Does It Take?

Opiate withdrawal happens as a result of the body and brain becoming acclimated to the presence of opiates over time. The body and brain make changes to their processes and systems to account for the presence of the drug, and when the system stops taking the drug, uncomfortable symptoms can arise as the body and brain try to return to normal functions.

Some symptoms of opiate withdrawal are:

  • Sweating
  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Yawning and sneezing
  • Sleep problems and fatigue
  • Runny nose and watery eyes
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

The most uncomfortable part of opiate withdrawal usually lasts five to seven days. However, lingering effects of withdrawal can last for weeks or months. Patients who have just gone through opiate withdrawal are at the highest risk of overdose, so they must maintain access to supportive care to avoid relapsing.

Can Opiate Detox Programs Really Help?

Studies have shown that patients participating in substance abuse treatment programs have the best chance of maintaining their recovery over time. Patients like this often find returning to work, school, and other activities easier. In an opiate detox program, patients are monitored by medical and therapeutic staff to ensure that they are tolerating the withdrawal process as safely and comfortably as possible. Often, opiate detox programs are just the first step in a longer course of treatment for substance use disorder. To enter and stay in recovery, patients must have access to supportive care and counseling, which can help them develop the resilience and coping skills that will help them in the future.

DetoxLA Can Help with Opiate Detox

In our luxury detox center in Tarzana, California, patients enjoy a family-like atmosphere and treatment based on best clinical practices. We are committed to standing by our patients in the tough times and the moments of triumph. If you or someone you care about has been struggling to stop using opiates, reach out to our caring and compassionate staff at 818.616.7341 today. Entering recovery may be the hardest but bravest choice you ever make.