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How Long Does Painkiller Withdrawal Last?

man and doctor discussing how long does painkiller withdrawal last

Painkiller withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable; fortunately, it’s a temporary experience. But how long do withdrawal symptoms from painkillers last, and is there anything an addiction treatment center can do to help? This article will answer the question, “How long does painkiller withdrawal last?” and help you understand why painkillers cause withdrawal. Starting an opiate addiction treatment center program is the best course to get sober if you’re struggling with painkiller use.

Contact 844.904.3485 to learn more about Serenity Grove’s treatment options.

Why Painkillers Cause Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from painkillers can be intensely unpleasant. It may include symptoms such as:

  • Shakes
  • Sweats
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling chills
  • Fidgeting

These symptoms are opposite to the effects of painkillers themselves. In fact, research has shown that this happens because painkiller withdrawals are the result of a rebound effect from the central nervous system, which is the main target of a painkiller.

Before diving into the question, “How long does painkiller withdrawal last?” it might be helpful to understand that painkillers are central nervous system depressants. This means they slow down the body’s automatic, life-preserving functions.

Painkillers can slow your breathing and heart rate and may cause you to fall asleep unexpectedly. They can also cause a person to feel pleasure, warmth, and relaxation.

When you take painkillers repeatedly, your body adjusts to their effects. This means that your central nervous system speeds up, and when painkillers are in your system, your body’s automatic functions are closer to normal.

When you stop taking painkillers suddenly, the central nervous system is essentially on overdrive. This leads to the intense withdrawal effects from opioids and can often cause people to return to addiction rather than suffer through withdrawal.

How Long Does Painkiller Withdrawal Last?

Painkiller withdrawal is temporary. But how long do withdrawals from painkillers last? The answer is different for everybody, but there are a few guidelines that can help you understand the painkiller withdrawal process.

For most people, withdrawal symptoms occur less than 24 hours after they last took a painkiller. Symptoms are mild at first but grow worse over time. By day three, people are experiencing the full effects of painkiller withdrawal and may experience intense symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Painkiller withdrawal has often been equated to flu because the symptoms are so similar. People in withdrawal will sneeze, have a fever, and make repeated trips to the bathroom. The chills, shakes, and anxiety make it hard to get any sleep, making symptoms even worse.

By day four, withdrawal symptoms will begin to subside. After a week, most people feel much better and stop experiencing all symptoms after two weeks.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

Some people will experience long-term withdrawal symptoms. This is typically the result of extended painkiller use. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome refers to symptoms that can last months or even years and typically include more mental health symptoms than physical symptoms.

Some of the key symptoms of post-acute withdrawal include:

  • Depression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of interest in hobbies or activities

Seeking help at an addiction treatment center can help people overcome post-acute withdrawal syndrome with targeted therapies and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Start Painkiller Treatment at Serenity Grove

Painkiller withdrawal can hold people back from achieving recovery. But seeking treatment in a painkiller treatment program can help manage the physical symptoms of withdrawal while also providing tools and strategies to manage post-acute withdrawal symptoms.

When you’re ready to start receiving treatment for your painkiller use, contact the professionals at Serenity Grove by calling 844.904.3485. Our team has decades of experience helping people beat opioid addiction and can help you achieve recovery as well.