Deciding to stop using addictive painkillers like codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone is a big step. Reclaiming control of your life without reliance on prescription pain relief is hard. The American Society of Addiction Medicine reported in 2016 that 2 million US adults were addicted to painkillers. One hurdle holding many back from treatment is withdrawal symptoms. Fears of enduring potentially dangerous painkiller withdrawal symptoms shouldn’t deter you, though. High-quality drug rehab centers can make the withdrawal process as safe and comfortable as possible.
What Causes Painkiller Withdrawal Symptoms
Painkillers work by binding to the brain’s neural receptors to reduce pain signals and boost good feelings. Long-term addiction causes dependence on these drugs for your body to function normally. When you stop using painkillers, your system becomes off balance in crippling fashion. The lack of painkillers in your bloodstream results in adverse physical, mental, and emotional effects. Withdrawal symptoms can appear in just eight to 12 hours after your last dose. Withdrawal can last up to two weeks to eliminate toxins and let the body rebound.
Common Painkiller Withdrawal Symptoms
Everyone addicted to painkillers will experience withdrawal differently. The severity of symptoms will usually vary based on the length of your opiate use. Withdrawal symptoms often begin with the three A’s of anxiety, agitation, and aches. Body temperature can rise, heart rate can speed up, and blood pressure can spike. The peak is usually around 30 to 72 hours into withdrawal with extremely uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
- Stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Depression and uncontrollable crying
- The overwhelming need for painkiller doses
- Muscle pain, tremors, and fatigue
- Anger, hostility, and perhaps violence
- Respiratory congestion and wheezing
Painkiller withdrawal is rarely dangerous enough to threaten your life. Unlike alcohol and benzos, opiates generally won’t cause seizures or strokes on their own. However, withdrawal from painkillers can be deadly without professional monitoring. This is because you could give into the intense cravings. Desperation for the painkiller might cause you to take too many pain pills. Overdosing on pain relievers is a significant threat for those who choose to quit using cold turkey on their own.
How to Cope with Painkiller Withdrawal Symptoms
Going through the misery of withdrawal alone is never advised. Checking into an opiate detox program is the best and safest coping strategy. Rehab facilities have highly trained clinicians to monitor your progress and your vital signs and progress. Detox staff will lend emotional and physical support to minimize the danger of withdrawal symptoms. Painkiller addiction treatment never ends at detox though. After withdrawal cleanses your body during medical detox, you are refreshed and ready for other treatments, including:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Chronic pain treatment
- Motivational enhancement therapy
- Relapse prevention education
- Art and music therapy
- Mental health treatment
There’s help available to stop addiction prescription painkillers from numbing your life. Don’t be afraid of painkiller withdrawal symptoms. We will help you negotiate withdrawal and rehab. Kemah Palms Recovery is a leading rehab in Texas for safely quitting painkillers and getting a start on an addiction-free life. Contact us today at 866.604.1873 so we can guide your recovery.