What are the Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal?

Addiction can cause someone to become very manipulative in their nature, causing them to lie, cheat, steal, and hide the truth. You might suspect that someone in your life is abusing drugs like opioids but you cannot catch them or prove that they are. One of the best ways to identify opioid abuse is through identifying opioid withdrawal symptoms. During occasions when your loved one is trying to quit, or perhaps they cannot find any more drugs to support their chemical dependency, they will start to experience symptoms of withdrawal. When the addiction to opioid drugs is extreme, symptoms of withdrawal can start to show up in just a few hours in behaviors like cravings, itching, a runny nose, or complaints of stomach ache.


Symptoms of opioid withdrawal can include:

  • Severe aches and pains in the muscles

  • Restless legs and physical irritability

  • Insomnia

  • Shaking

  • Sweating

  • Shivering

  • High levels of anxiety

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Fever

  • Runny nose

  • Sneezing black residue

  • Flu like symptoms


Though some symptoms can start to reveal themselves in as little as just a few hours after the last dose of opioids, it often takes 24-48 hours without opioids for the symptoms of withdrawal to begin. Within the first 48 hours, there will be physical discomfort in the muscles and joints. Opioids are analgesics. Without the presence of opioids, the body can no longer regulate pain. As the first 24-48 hours ends, more severe symptoms like nausea, stomach ache and sweating will begin. This is the sign that the body is preparing to detox. The peak of opioid detox is between 3-5 days into the process where all the symptoms, including psychological cravings, will be at their worst. Diarrhea, vomiting, shaking, and other physical symptoms are the way the body is trying to rid itself of the toxins left behind by opioids. After the 5 day mark, symptoms will start to wear down and cognitive clarity will slowly return.


Detox from opioids should be done in a safe, structured clinical environment in order to protect the mental and physical health of your loved one. Smarmore Castle Private Clinic offers residential treatment programmes for pain management due to opioid detox. For information on how our healing programmes serve Ireland in addiction treatment, call to speak with one of our caring staff members today at +353 41 214 5111.

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