Detoxing from pain pills is a necessary part of leaving addiction behind. The withdrawal process from an addictive substance like pain pills, especially opiates, is challenging and may be accompanied by unpleasant symptoms. By knowing how long a pain pill withdrawal will last, and what factors influence the duration, prospective patients can be prepared and know what to expect.
When Withdrawal Begins
Just as important as knowing how long a withdrawal from pain pills will last is knowing when it will begin. On average, those addicted to opioid pain pills begin to notice the first signs of withdrawal within 24 hours of their last consumption of pain pills.
Short-acting opioids run out first, causing the body to initiate withdrawal symptoms. This can happen, on average, within 12 hours of the last pain pill dosage. These are typically very mild symptoms, and they may not be uncommon for those addicted to the medication. That’s because these symptoms may be present daily, encouraging the next dose of pain pills.
When long-acting opioids cause withdrawal symptoms, they begin approximately 24 hours after the last dosage of pain medication. This is when the body realizes that there are no more opiates available for the brain or the body to metabolize, and it can result in more severe withdrawal symptoms to appear.
Peak of Withdrawal Symptoms
As mentioned, withdrawal symptoms can begin to appear just a few hours after the last dose of pain pills. They gradually increase in intensity, and they tend to peak around 72 hours into the withdrawal.
The peak of symptoms can feel like the most challenging part of the process, but patients should remember that after the peak comes a gradual tapering. At the peak of withdrawal, however, patients should be prepared for symptoms that include the following:
- Nausea and diarrhea
- Muscle cramps
- Agitation or restlessness
- Depression and/or anxiety
Average Duration of Pain Pill Withdrawal
While 72 hours may be the peak of pain pill withdrawal, it’s not the end of the road. Patients who are addicted to pain pills should expect the entire withdrawal process to last approximately one week. Of course, that number isn’t set in stone, and can vary significantly from patient to patient.
Factors Impacting Withdrawal Duration
There are a number of factors that impact the exact duration of a withdrawal from pain pills. Some of these factors have to do with the overall health and age of the patient and how well they can handle and respond to stress and flu-like symptoms. However, other factors have to do with the scale, duration and intensity of the addiction. How long patients have been using pain pills, and in what dosages plays a big role in determining a timeline. Regardless of the factors impacting withdrawal, choosing a medically-managed detox program can help relieve uncomfortable symptoms.
Total Length of Recovery From a Pain Pill Addiction
The end of withdrawal doesn’t mean the end of recovery. In fact, it’s just the beginning. Although patients may have broken their physical and chemical dependency on pain pills, they still won’t have addressed the underlying factors leading to addiction. They’ll also need to work with professionals to create a sustainable and customized relapse prevention plan. Through rehab, addiction treatment and continuing care, patients can participate in treatment and therapies that focus on everything from family relationships to mental health.
Pain pill withdrawal is an important element of the addiction recovery timeline. At Pinnacle Peak Recovery in Scottsdale, Arizona, we can help you overcome addiction once and for all. Call 866-954-0524 to get information about our program offerings and how you can start achieving your goals of health, happiness and sobriety starting right away.