In the medicine cabinet, it’s in a bottle with the label OxyContin. On college campuses or the street, they call it Hillbilly Heroin. It’s an opioid with strong addiction potential. What is the typical opioid withdrawal timeline?
Opioid Addiction Develops Quickly
Opioids are synthetic narcotics. Doctors prescribe them for pain relief after surgery. Examples include fentanyl, oxycodone, and tramadol. If your teen underwent wisdom teeth surgery, it’s possible the doctor sent some home.
Because these drugs alter the brain’s chemistry, addiction develops quickly. Even a slight increase in the dose can result in euphoric side effects. An elevated dopamine release makes you feel good. It’s a small step to wanting to repeat this sensation over and over again.
For a while, opioids were easy to get. Plenty of people have unused pills in their medicine cabinets right now. Teens at pill parties typically raid their parents’ unused drug stashes and get opioids that way. Others buy them on the street.
The Opioid Withdrawal Timeline Shows That Chemical Dependency Doesn’t End Quickly
About 12 hours after the last dose, someone in active withdrawal feels like they’re coming down with the flu. The nervous system is coming back online and muscles spasm. The next two days will be the toughest with opioid withdrawal symptoms. There are gastrointestinal upset, feelings of depression, and intense cravings.
Besides that, people can’t get comfortable enough to rest. It’s a difficult few days. Therefore, many teens and young adults can benefit from medical detox at a facility. It eliminates pain and protects against dehydration.
These opioid withdrawal symptoms stop in their intensity after about four days. Besides that, it’s easier to get a handle on cravings. However, now isn’t the time to become complacent. Teen and young adult opioid addiction treatment center specialists warn that there’s still the psychological dependency.
Dealing with Opioid Dependency on a Clinical Level
Post-acute opioid withdrawal symptoms can crop up at any time. Typically, there’s a trigger that brings on the sudden strong craving for the drug. That’s why rehab is essential for long-term recovery. It prepares teens and young adults to anticipate trigger events and respond to them.
Possible care options include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy that encourages the recognition of negative patterns in thoughts, feelings, and actions
- Group sessions for social skills development and healthy boundary setting exercises
- Family therapy that helps those closest to become a strong support network
- Addiction education that explains the post-acute opioid withdrawal timeline
- Talk therapy for identifying goals and focusing on personal development that prevents relapse
After Medical and Clinical Care
The opioid withdrawal timeline proves that addiction calls for a two-pronged treatment approach. Medical care gets you off the drug. Clinical care keeps you sober for the long term. That said, remember that addiction is a chronic condition.
Relapse prevention is essential; support networks, meetings, and a positive peer group experiences help recovery. Find out more about moving past the opioid withdrawal timeline toward healing. Zelus Recovery is one of the Boise substance abuse programs that help teens and young adults. Call 866.365.4436 now.