Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

Opioid withdrawal can be a challenging and uncomfortable process for individuals addicted to these powerful drugs. Understanding the symptoms and timeline of opioid withdrawal is crucial for both those struggling with addiction and their loved ones.

Read on to learn more about the common symptoms of opioid withdrawal, both physical and psychological, as well as the timeline for the detox process. We will also discuss how we at Agape Detox prioritize effective treatment for opioid withdrawal, with compassion at every step.

How Long Do Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

In general, acute withdrawal symptoms tend to resolve within a week to 10 days. This, of course, depends on the individual and their level of opioid use over time. The duration of opioid withdrawal symptoms can vary widely.

It’s important to note that the duration of opioid withdrawal symptoms can also be influenced by factors such as the type of opioid used, the duration of use, the dosage, and individual differences in metabolism and overall health. For example, individuals who have been using opioids for a long time or at high doses may experience more prolonged and severe withdrawal symptoms compared to those with shorter or lower-dose histories of use.

However, some individuals may experience lingering symptoms, known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), for several weeks or months. PAWS symptoms can include mild anxiety, depression, cravings, and difficulty sleeping. Seeking professional treatment for detox can greatly reduce the duration and severity of withdrawal symptoms. Individuals can receive assistance from medical professionals trained to manage the symptoms of PAWS.

The presence of co-occurring mental health disorders (such as anxiety or depression) can also impact the duration and intensity of withdrawal symptoms. Addressing these underlying mental health issues through integrated treatment approaches for dual diagnosis can help individuals navigate the challenges of opioid withdrawal more effectively. This strategy is usually more effective at promoting long-term recovery.

Common Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal

Opioids are frequently prescribed to individuals to relieve pain, and that relief can often spiral out into addiction. Many people become addicted to opioids over time with normal use of prescriptions, but then aren’t sure what to do when the cravings continue. They may turn to excessive use of prescription opioids, or buy illegal opioids to achieve a high of the same intensity.

When individuals abruptly stop using opioids or significantly reduce their intake, they may experience a range of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can vary in intensity and duration, depending on the individual’s level of dependence and the specific opioids they have been using. Some opioids designed to help fight addiction, such as suboxone and methadone, have their own addictive potential. This is one reason why medically assisted detox is recommended for those looking for a safe detoxing experience.

It’s important to note that the severity of physical symptoms can vary depending on the individual’s overall health, the duration of opioid use, and the dosage of opioids consumed. For some individuals, the physical symptoms may peak within the first 24 to 48 hours of opioid cessation and gradually improve over the course of a week. However, physical symptoms may persist for a longer duration for others with a more prolonged history of opioid use.

Common symptoms include:

  • Muscle aches and pain
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating and chills
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure

These physical symptoms can be challenging to endure, but they are signs that the body is adjusting to functioning without the presence of opioids.

The psychological symptoms of opioid withdrawal can be equally distressing. Common psychological symptoms include:

  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Insomnia or changes in sleep patterns
  • Lack of motivation or pleasure
  • Difficulty concentrating

The psychological symptoms of opioid withdrawal can sometimes be more challenging to manage than the physical symptoms. The emotional turmoil and mental strain experienced during withdrawal can lead to relapse if not addressed effectively.

It is crucial for individuals undergoing opioid withdrawal to have access to comprehensive support services, including counseling, therapy, and peer support groups, to address both the physical and psychological aspects of their recovery journey. Detoxing from opioids without medical and emotional support can lead to adverse effects, and the detoxing individual may not recognize signs that medical attention is required in time to avoid adverse effects.

What is the Timeline for Opioid Withdrawal?

The timeline for opioid withdrawal can vary depending on several factors, including the type of opioids used and the individual’s overall health. It is important to note that everyone’s experience with withdrawal will be unique, and the timelines provided are general guidelines.

During opioid withdrawal, individuals may experience a range of physical and psychological symptoms. The severity of these symptoms can vary depending on the duration and amount of opioid use.

For individuals who have been using short-acting opioids (such as heroin or immediate-release prescription opioids), withdrawal symptoms typically begin within 6 to 12 hours after the last dose. The peak of withdrawal symptoms usually occurs within 1 to 3 days and gradually improves over the course of 5 to 7 days.

It is advised that individuals going through opioid withdrawal seek medical assistance or enter a detox program to help manage their symptoms and increase the likelihood of a successful recovery. These programs may offer medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, counseling services, and support groups to address the psychological aspects of addiction.

Withdrawal from long-acting opioids, such as extended-release prescription opioids, may have a delayed onset. Symptoms may not appear for 1 to 3 days after the last dose, and the peak of withdrawal typically occurs within 3 to 5 days. These symptoms may last for up to 2 weeks or longer. Ongoing support is recommended for those detoxing from these substances.

woman sitting in front of support group for opioid addiction

How Agape Detox Treats Opioid Withdrawal

Agape Detox understands the challenges individuals face during opioid withdrawal and provides comprehensive treatment to ease the process and promote successful recovery.

When individuals arrive at Agape Detox seeking help with opioid withdrawal, they are greeted by a team of caring professionals who are committed to guiding them through this difficult journey. The facility is designed to provide a safe and comfortable space for individuals to begin their path to recovery.

Agape Detox offers a safe and supportive environment for individuals to undergo medically supervised detoxification. Medical professionals are available 24/7 to monitor and address any withdrawal symptoms that arise. Medications may be prescribed to alleviate discomfort and reduce cravings.

During the detox process, individuals are closely monitored to ensure their safety and well-being. The staff is professionally trained to handle any complications that may arise during this critical phase of treatment, allowing individuals to detox with peace of mind.

Following detoxification, Agape Detox offers inpatient treatment programs where individuals can receive intensive therapy and support. These programs address the underlying causes of addiction and provide individuals with the tools and skills necessary for sustained recovery.

Through individual and group therapy sessions, individuals at Agape Detox have the opportunity to explore the root causes of their addiction and develop coping strategies for the future. The inpatient treatment programs are designed to provide a supportive environment where individuals can focus on their recovery without distractions.

Agape Detox believes in an individualized approach to treatment, recognizing that each person’s journey is unique. Their compassionate and experienced staff are dedicated to helping individuals navigate the challenges of opioid withdrawal and achieve long-term sobriety.

Receive Opioid Addiction Treatment at Agape Detox Today


At Agape Detox, we understand the complexities of opioid addiction and the challenges individuals face when trying to overcome it. Our team of experienced medical professionals and addiction specialists is dedicated to providing compassionate care and support throughout the recovery process.

We believe in treating each individual with respect and dignity, creating a safe and nurturing environment for healing to take place. When you choose Agape Detox for opioid addiction treatment, you can expect a comprehensive approach that includes medical detoxification, therapy, counseling, and aftercare planning. Our goal is to help you not only overcome your addiction but also equip you with the tools and resources needed to maintain long-term sobriety. Our dual diagnosis program is designed to set you up for success, maintaining sobriety while managing your mental illness in a way that promotes overall wellness.

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, it is essential to seek professional help. Agape Detox offers personalized treatment plans designed to address the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of addiction. Contact Agape Detox today to take the first step toward a healthier, drug-free life.

How Long Does Opioid Detox Last?

The first question for many people considering treatment is, how long is detox? The timeline for opioid detox can vary from person to person based upon factors such as their:

  • Drug of choice
  • Length of time using
  • The volume of opioid use
  • Tendency to pair opioids with other substances
  • Age
  • Bodyweight
  • Gender

Most physical symptoms will peak within 72 hours and begin to noticeably abate after one week. Psychological and emotional symptoms such as irritability, depression, and anxiety will begin to decline after two weeks. Within one month, cravings for opioids and any remaining depression will likely decrease as well.

After completing medical detox, it’s important to continue treatment in an inpatient program or outpatient rehab, where individuals will learn to cope with addiction symptoms and develop strategies to prevent relapse.

Why Choose Agape Detox Center for Your Opioid Treatment

At Agape Detox Center, we understand that detoxing from opioids can be extremely difficult. That’s why we use a whole health approach and customized detox plans to help our patients establish solid foundations for success. 

After months of conditioning the brain to block its pain receptors, most people feel as though they are in agony during this process. The Agape recovery methods are compassionate, clinically proven, and structured to make withdrawal a safer and less challenging experience.

During your stay with us, you’ll enjoy peaceful and serene surroundings, as well as a vacation-like setting. Our staff is committed to treating all patients with dignity by providing constant attention to your needs. Call or contact us today to speak with one of our admissions counselors for further details on how to get started.

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