Opiate Withdrawal and Detox North Jersey Recovery Center - An image of various bottles of opiates and other painkillers, where pills are spilling out of one bottle, leading the individual who is prescribed to wonder: "How long does it take to withdraw from opiates?"

Recovering from an Opiate Addiction 

“How long does opiate withdrawal last?” This is a common question that many individuals ask themselves, but the answer isn’t a simple one. Research shows that the results can vary based on the particular opiate at hand. Additionally, the method of ingestion, frequency of use, the dose taken, and other factors can alter the time it takes to withdraw from opiates.

The better question may be this: What is the best way to withdraw from opiates? The answer to this question is simple—through medical detox. Under the care of our knowledgeable and dedicated team of addiction specialists and medical professionals, your safety is assured when ceasing to use opiates.

How Long Does Opiate Withdrawal Last if You Try to Quit Cold-Turkey?

We often get a question similar to the ones we previously mentioned: How long does it take to withdraw from opiates if you try to quit cold turkey? There is no single answer to this question. Further, it’s not recommended to stop using opiates on your own. Without a skilled medical team’s assistance, it can be hard to commit to a cold-turkey detox. In fact, many individuals struggling with addiction try to quit this way and end up relapsing.

There is no way to say how long it would take to fully with cold turkey since it often does not stick the first time. Opiates are powerful and addictive, and the overwhelming withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings that occur when discontinuing use make quitting cold turkey challenging for many people. Instead, overcoming an opiate addiction takes patience, persistence, and professional treatment. 

A monitored detox in a professional setting is the easiest and safest way to withdraw and start fresh. Here at North Jersey Recovery Center, our reliable and trusted facility provides you with a safe and comfortable place to detox. It eliminates many of the risks associated with drug withdrawals while also removing temptations and distractions. Additionally, our carefully chosen and professionally administered medications can ease withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings to give you a better chance of success.

How Long Does it Take to Withdraw From Opiates in Rehab?

While the process is different for everyone and the duration of withdrawal may depend on different variables pertaining to drug use, withdrawing under a dedicated team’s medical care can streamline your recovery. However, there are many factors to consider, regarding your opiate use, including:

  • How much do you take each time?
  • Which opiates have you been abusing?
  • How long have you been abusing opiates?
  • Are there any addiction problems in your family history?
  • What is your medical history and mental health condition or history?
  • What are the details of your demographic information, including age, race, height, and weight?
  • What method do you or did you use when abusing opiates (i.e., swallowing, snorting, smoking, or injecting)?

Regardless of the factors above, opiate withdrawal comes with many common symptoms for those who discontinue use. This is because withdrawal is what happens when you stop taking a drug that your body has become physically dependent on. Without treatment, a vicious cycle can occur where a person may try to discontinue use only to begin using again with the goal of reliving the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. 

Opiate Withdrawal and Detox North Jersey Recovery Center - A woman is speaking with a medical professional at an opiate rehab center to discuss how long does it take to withdraw from opiates and what the medically-supervised detox will entail prior to beginning her recovery process.

Stages of Opiate Withdrawals

Generally, opiate withdrawals occur in two phases. The first phase is brief, usually only lasting a day or two after you stop taking the opiates. However, you are not out of the clear just yet. Stage two of opiate withdrawals typically lasts from three days to one week. This length of time is one reason why quitting cold turkey has proven ineffective for many people. 

With persistent withdrawal symptoms, drug cravings, and temptations at home, it can be challenging to commit to a full week of withdrawing. Furthermore, one of the earliest opiate withdrawal symptoms is insomnia. When you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, your brain struggles to function how it is supposed to. Subsequently, a lack of sleep can make it harder to resist your drug cravings.

If you’re looking to end the cycle of abuse and addiction, our medical detox program makes the withdrawal process significantly easier. Choose a better way to get sober than quitting opiates cold-turkey. Choose to make this commitment to sobriety stick. Withdrawing in a safe and comfortable facility under medical care will expedite the withdrawal process and ensure the longevity of your sobriety. 

Common Stage One Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Opiates are potent and powerful drugs. For this reason, withdrawal symptoms may begin sooner than they would for other drugs. Some of the most common stage one opiate withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Frequent yawning
  • Increased sweating

Before long, you will move into stage two. While stage two is usually accompanied by more severe symptoms, you can rest assured. Our team will be right by your side to help you through it. When you are committed to a comprehensive, customized addiction treatment program, the symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal will be much easier to overcome than if you were to withdraw on your own.

Common Stage Two Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

The second stage of opiate withdrawal tends to be more intense than the first. This stage typically begins after the first day or so and symptoms usually begin to improve after the first 72 hours. Some common stage two opiate withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps
  • Dilated pupils
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeats and high blood pressure

The average medical detox lasts from five to seven days. Within one week, you should see a significant decrease in physical withdrawal symptoms. However, some emotional and behavioral symptoms may persist. In severe cases, emotional or behavioral withdrawal symptoms may last up to a month. These are usually temporary and generally fade over time.

Distinguishing Between Opiates and Opioids

The words “opiate” and “opioid” are somewhat interchangeable because one term encompasses all drugs that land in either category. Opiates are natural drugs derived from plants. Opioids are synthetic but produce similar effects. Therefore, the term “opioids” describes drugs that create opiate-like effects.

Chemically engineered opioids mimic the effects of opiates. Some are entirely synthetic, and others are semi-synthetic. Semi-synthetic drugs contain natural and chemical ingredients. Whether the opioids are natural or synthetic, abusing drugs that fall into these categories often leads to addiction. However, our opiate rehab programs can help.

What are the Most Common Opiates?

Some of the most common opiates and opioids are drugs that are familiar to most Americans. This is because they are well-established pharmaceutical drugs. Whether they know them from personal use or otherwise, most people recognize these common prescription opiates:

  • Vicodin
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Percocet
  • Morphine
  • OxyContin

Opioids are used to treat moderate to severe pain. Often, they are used to treat chronic pains that are unresponsive to other pain relief methods. These drugs may also make you feel more relaxed. Feeling relaxed is appealing to many people who have chronic pains and anxieties as these uncomfortable issues make it difficult for them to sleep.

How Addictive are Opiates?

Opiates are highly addictive. Even when being prescribed opiates by a medical professional, it’s important to only take the medication as directed as addictions and overdoses are common in opioid abuse. This is due to how the body adjusts to opiates. Once your body begins to build up a tolerance to the drugs, the side effects diminish and leave you seeking something stronger.

Increased tolerance is one reason why people who use heroin report starting with prescription opioids. In one study, up to 86% of respondents admitted to following this path. Unfortunately, at that stage, addiction, coma, and overdose become increasingly likely. In 2018 alone, there were 14,996 heroin-related overdose deaths. But opioids do not have to derail your life. You can take back control with our comprehensive opiate addiction care.

Opiate Withdrawal and Detox North Jersey Recovery Center - A young woman is sitting with an addiction specialist for an initial assessment to go over any questions and concerns she has prior to recommending a customized treatment plan, including her question of: "How long does it take to withdraw from opiates?"

Paying for Opiate Addiction Treatments

When you are working toward recovery, you have enough to worry about without having to stress over financial issues. Treatment costs should not deter you from seeking the opiate addiction rehabilitation you need. And the good news is most major health insurance providers offer coverage for addiction care treatments.

If you are unsure of the limits of your coverage, our admissions department can help. They will review and verify your insurance coverage for you or provide alternative payment options for your opiate addiction treatment.

North Jersey Recovery Center

At North Jersey Recovery Center, our goal is to provide you with high-level, customized addiction care that works. We offer various treatment programs, settings, and methods because we know that each person is different. We will meet you where you are in your recovery journey and get you to where you need to be. Contact us today to explore our treatment options and start your recovery journey. 

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Laura Riley

Medical Reviewer

Laura comes to NJRC with 23 years of vast clinical experience in hospital, residential, outpatient, and community outreach settings where she has worked, supervised clinical teams, and volunteered. She has provided substance abuse and mental health counseling, clinical coordination, and advocacy to individuals, families and groups, and specializes in co-occurring disorders for both adults and adolescents.