Opioid Withdrawal: Symptoms, Duration, Treatment

This means that even if you relapse and use an opioid, you won’t get high (but you can overdose). Knowing that using an opioid won’t get you high should discourage you from impulsively relapsing. They can be highly frustrating for both people in recovery and their loved ones. It helps to remember that these symptoms are temporary and should resolve within the year.

  1. It allows people to recover from their opioid use disorder, giving them the ability to reclaim their lives.
  2. Medical detox can reduce withdrawal symptoms and make the process safer for the user.
  3. Comparison 5 Tapered methadone versus placebo, Outcome 1 Completion of treatment.
  4. The length of withdrawal depends on how long you had been taking the drug and how much you were taking.
  5. This is why you shouldn’t suddenly stop taking methadone without your doctor’s assistance.

Even if you are frustrated and sick of going to a clinic or pharmacy every day for a supervised dose, it is best to avoid abrupt cessation. Your experience with methadone withdrawal will depend on a variety of factors, including your past experiences and expectations. Some people go into it thinking it’s going to be a nightmare, but it turns out to be milder than they anticipated. Others go into it thinking it will be easy and find that it requires a much greater commitment than they thought.

What Is Methadone?

This gives your body more than enough time to adapt to the smaller dose without producing withdrawal symptoms. If you are taking your methadone as directed by your doctor, you are likely dependent on your medication. That means you may experience some of these withdrawal symptoms if you miss a dose or suddenly reduce your dose.

Post‐intervention data were collected immediately after the intervention ended. For continuous data it was not possible to pool data due to the heterogeneity of reporting in the included studies. Incomplete outcome data (avoidance of attrition bias) were considered for all outcomes except for the drop‐out from the treatment, which is very often the primary outcome measure in trials on addiction. It was assessed separately for results at the end of the study period and for results at follow‐up.

The risk of bias assessment  for RCTs and CCTs in this review were performed using the five criteria recommended by the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (Higgins 2008). The first part of the tool involves describing what was reported to have happened in the study. The second part of the tool involves assigning a judgement relating to the risk of bias for that entry. To make these judgments we used the criteria indicated by the handbook adapted to the addiction field.

However, your doctor may recommend such medications depending on your particular needs. PAWS refers to a group of symptoms that appear after the “acute” stage of opioid withdrawal. Acute withdrawal, associations between socioeconomic factors and alcohol outcomes pmc which happens after a medically supervised detox, can cause symptoms of physical discomfort like muscle aches, nausea, headaches, and increased heart rate, as well as life-threatening complications.

The 21/23 studies that considered this outcome varied in how severity was rated and in the form in which results were reported. In some studies withdrawal was assessed by observers only, in others it was reported by participants and in others by both. In one study (Washton 1981), withdrawal was not is it safe to mix antibiotics and alcohol systematically assessed and it was unclear how the assessment was undertaken. The diversity of approaches used for rating withdrawal severity prevented a direct comparison of scores across studies, consequently, we have not been able to make a quantitative analysis of the intensity of withdrawal.

Symptoms of withdrawal from methadone usually last 3 to 6 weeks, but the process can take longer for those with severe addictions. The symptoms and duration of withdrawal will vary depending on the severity and length of the user’s addiction. A user’s body chemistry and tolerance will also affect their symptoms and how long the withdrawal process takes. Methadone withdrawal is difficult, so it’s best not to attempt to do it on your own. Let your doctor know any troubles you are having so that they can help treat your withdrawal symptoms if they arise. Support groups can connect you with others who understand what you’re going through.

The first step to stopping methadone is consulting with your prescribing doctor. Together, you can create a plan to ease you off methadone using a gradual tapering program. Specific topics of discussion can help your doctor design an individualized tapering plan for you. Methadone withdrawal symptoms continue for several days and sometimes a whole week before they begin to ease. Your flu-like symptoms may continue during this time, but you may also have trouble focusing, sleeping, and controlling mood swings. If you do develop methadone dependence, gradually tapering off the medication can cause less severe symptoms.

The setting in which withdrawal occurs is a factor that can be expected to influence outcomes. The degree of its effect has been explored by examining rate of completion of withdrawal. Opiates are opioids that come from nature (specifically from the opium poppy plant), like heroin, morphine, and codeine. A person needs to go to the emergency room if they lose consciousness, experience chest pain, or are pregnant and feel very sick. Many people find that they need a combination of treatments to get the best results. During detox, the goal is to keep the brain as balanced as possible.

Treatment Resource

You won’t feel as well as you did before you began taking opioids. Taking these medications won’t replace your opioid addiction with another addiction. Instead, research shows that they can reduce your chances of overdosing on opioids or having other serious medical problems. They can also increase your chances of fully recovering from OUD. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms during withdrawal, you should discuss them with your doctor.

Ziaadini 2011 published data only

Some research suggests that the best way to prevent recurrence of OUD is to remain on one of these medications for the long term. Opioids refers to all opiates, as well as any opioids that are made with a combination of natural and chemical substances (semisynthetic) or from just chemicals (synthetic). An average of five Americans die from an opioid overdose every hour. Having the right medical support can make it easier and improve the chances of long-term sobriety.

Is there treatment for withdrawal?

That said, generally speaking, withdrawal tends to follow the stages outlined below. When you call our team, you will speak to a Recovery Advocate who will answer any questions and perform a pre-assessment to determine your eligibility for treatment. If eligible, we will create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. If The Recovery Village is not the right fit for you or your loved one, we will help refer you to a facility that is. Methadone withdrawal typically lasts around 10 days, although it may last longer in some cases, with certain symptoms like anxiety and insomnia lingering for weeks or even months.

While methadone withdrawal itself is not considered life threatening, if left untreated, some symptoms may cause serious health issues. In this type of therapy, a team of healthcare professionals will closely monitor you as you’re tapered slowly off the medication in a safe and controlled way. Symptoms of methadone withdrawal may be less severe and take longer to set in than withdrawal symptoms of other opioids.

Symptoms typically appear 24 to 36 hours after the last dose of methadone. The duration of methadone withdrawal varies from person to person but can last from two to three weeks to up to six months. Uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can occur when methadone is stopped in people who have been taking the drug long-term. Your doctor may prescribe medications to treat methadone withdrawal symptoms off-label, meaning that they are not FDA-approved for those specific indications.