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How Long Does Painkiller Withdrawal Last?

a woman struggles through painkiller withdrawal symptoms

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 explain how long painkiller withdrawal lasts and help you understand why painkillers cause withdrawal. Starting an opiate addiction treatment center program is the best course to get sober if you struggle with painkiller use.

Call 844.904.3485 or fill out our online contact form to learn more about Serenity Grove’s substance abuse 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 result from a rebound effect from the central nervous system, which is the main target of a painkiller.

Before diving into how long painkiller withdrawal lasts, 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 usually 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).

How Medical Detox Helps Individuals Through Painkiller Withdrawal

The importance of professional medical detoxification cannot be overstated when it comes to breaking an addiction to prescription painkillers. It provides a safe environment for individuals to withdraw from opioids at their own pace with the help and supervision of experienced medical staff. Medical detox is a process that helps individuals overcome addiction. It involves the supervision of qualified medical professionals who can provide physical and psychological support, as well as medications to ease withdrawal symptoms. During a medical detox program, clients can expect to receive an individualized treatment plan tailored to their specific needs. Medications may also be prescribed if needed to help manage any severe withdrawal symptoms.

The primary goal of medical detox for painkiller addiction is to safely reduce the amount of opioid drugs in a person’s system until they can function without them entirely. Through this process, individuals can learn coping techniques to help them manage their addiction and the associated withdrawal symptoms. This program is typically completed in an inpatient setting, with patients being monitored around the clock, as this is the safest way for them to go through detoxification.

Medical detox is just one part of a comprehensive treatment plan that is designed to help individuals overcome their painkiller addiction. Once clients have completed detoxification successfully, they may be referred for additional treatments such as counseling or behavior modification therapies. With the right support and guidance, individuals can break free of their addiction and reclaim their life from the grip of prescription painkillers.

Start Painkiller Addiction Treatment At Serenity Grove

Painkiller withdrawal can hold people back from achieving recovery. But seeking help in a painkiller addiction 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 or reaching out to us online. Our team has decades of experience helping people beat opioid addiction and can help you achieve recovery as well.