Although withdrawal symptoms for opioids may vary in intensity by type of drug, most of the drugs in this class have a similar profile. As the body tries to compensate for not having the drug, symptoms of withdrawal start. They are largely the opposite of what the drug did, only in many cases, much worse. So, while opiates can cause constipation in many patients, withdrawal will cause diarrhea.
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Other symptoms include:
- Sweating, runny nose and watery eyes
- Vomiting and nausea
- Shivering and goose bumps
- Muscle aches and cramps
- Restlessness and insomnia
- Irritability and anxiety
- Loss of appetite
- Drug Cravings
Symptoms can last as few as three days up to a week. Serious problems can arise from the effects of withdrawal. For instance, dehydration from a combination of nausea and diarrhea may be life threatening. In all cases, withdrawal should not be attempted without observation, preferably in a medical setting.
Going it alone is also made more difficult when cravings are factored in. From the addict’s perspective, all the symptoms can be treated by taking more of the drug. In the confusion and anxiety of withdrawal, taking ‘just one more dose’ can seem like the right choice. Of course, this leads right back into the addiction.