Withdrawal Symptoms From Opiate Addiction

Opiate addiction is an incredibly difficult habit to beat due to the severity of its withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms keep many people from quitting, even if they are desperate for sobriety. The following symptoms are likely to occur if you attempt to detoxify from opiates. Thankfully, detoxification medicines make it possible to prevent or even decrease the severity of these symptoms.

Headaches And General Sickness

In the first few hours of withdrawal, you are going to get a headache that gradually increases in sharpness. This is your brain reacting to the lack of opiates. As hours pass, your headache will get worse until it nears a migraine. While the pain will ebb and flow, it may come back. Your body will also start to feel the first stirrings of generalized sickness, such as:

  • Upset stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Soreness
  • Light-headedness

For some people, this pain may not increase beyond mild to sharp levels during withdrawal. This is especially true of those that go through guided or medicated withdrawal. Sadly, others are going to experience worse symptoms.

Extreme Physical Pain

Eventually, your physical pain will progress in severity. A slight stomach ache can turn into extreme nausea and slight aches in your muscles can become unbearable. Remember that addiction is the state where your body becomes physically dependent on a substance and its lack causes the body to feel pain, including:

  • Spasms
  • Sudden cramps
  • Shooting pains in your extremities
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Twitching and uncontrollable movements

Relief from this pain is possible with pain-killers and replacement medicines. They’ll stop the chain reaction from tumbling out of control.

Paranoia And Psychological Unrest

People who are withdrawing often feel like their pain and discomfort is “obvious” to those around them. This may cause them to feel persecuted and “exposed,” creating a sense of paranoia compounded by the mental confusion and exhaustion caused by withdrawal.

As a result, you are likely to become temporarily psychologically unstable. You may lash out at friends or family members and behave in an erratic fashion. These behaviors are also complicated by any unrest opiate addiction had already caused in your life. Replacement medicines may help decrease the severity of these feelings, but they are hard to monitor outside of a professional rehab environment.

Hallucinations And Panic

Left untreated, your mental deterioration is likely to get worse. Panic may start creeping around the edges of your mind, fueled by your physical pain and paranoia. When we panic, our minds and bodies go into “fight or flight” mode. We feel as if we are literally battling for survival and will do anything to escape the situation.

Even worse, your mind may start hallucinating sights, scents, sounds, and even physical sensations. While the withdrawal hallucination images in Hollywood movies like “Trainspotting” are exaggerated, the things you imagine are likely to be unsettling. That may further increase your panic and cause even unpredictable behavior.

Vomiting And Diarrhea

If your mind starts to panic, your body is likely to respond with two forms of physical panic: vomiting and diarrhea. The lack of opiates in your body will make it feel as if it is poisoned or dying and it will react by trying to empty your body of that poison.

In the most severe cases, vomiting and diarrhea may become uncontrollable. People that utilize methadone or similar opiate medicines greatly decrease their chance of this occurring, but run the risk of overdosing if left to do it on their own.


While rare, some people may begin experiencing dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Heart palpitations, extreme blood pressure, seizures, and even comas are all possible. Unfortunately, people that experience these withdrawal symptoms may fall into a dangerous cardiac arrest.

However, there is hope. The risk of death from opiate withdrawal becomes exponentially lower with medically-assisted detoxification. Rehabilitation experts provide you with a steady stream of replacement medicines that are designed to alleviate symptom severity.

Avoid These Symptoms

Contact us to learn more and get help with opiate withdrawalIf you’re interested in guided detoxification, your best bet is to attend a rehab center. They will also offer addiction counseling methods that can help you identify the causes of your addiction and get you ready for life-long recovery. If you are interested in this process, please contact us at DrugRehab.org to learn more.