Recovery from an opiate addiction or dependency is a multi-phased process that begins with an individual agreeing to get professional help. Whether they arrived at this realization after hitting their bottom, or by being encouraged by loved ones in an intervention doesn’t matter. All that really matters is beginning the recovery journey that will save someone’s life.
In anticipation of the dreaded detox from opiates, one may ask, “How long does opiate withdrawal last?” This is an expected question, as anyone with an opiate addiction knows full well what “dope sick” feels like. Just knowing they will have to endure days of discomfort is something that can cause anxiety and even second thoughts about going into treatment.
But knowledge is power. Being somewhat prepared for not only how long does the opiate withdrawal last, but also what to expect in rehab and beyond, can help to form a mental picture of the recovery process. Envisioning the steps that one will be moving through can help to muster courage and feel a little more in control.
What Is Involved in the Recovery Process?
Addiction recovery is a lifelong process that begins with the moment someone agrees to get needed help. Once that important decision has been made, it is time to seek out a treatment program that will align with the individual’s personal preferences, specific addiction features, resources, and mental health needs. There are different types of rehabs, as well as different levels of care, accommodations, and types of services.
Once a program has been selected, there will be an extensive intake process conducted. During the intake evaluation, the individual will participate in an interview with a clinician. This interview will allow the individual to relay the specific details about their opiate addiction history, any co-occurring mental health disorder, and any medical conditions. Clinicians may use assessment tools to help them further determine the new client’s recovery needs.
The rehab program will commence starting with detoxification, followed by an extensive addiction treatment program with intensive therapy, group therapy, and related activities. Once the rehab program is completed, the client should access continuing care services that include outpatient therapy and 12-step meetings at minimum.
Medical Detox for Opiate Addiction
Many clients are curious and ask, “How long does opiate withdrawal last?” They may be apprehensive about going through detox and need some reassurance prior to beginning the process. The detox and withdrawal process lasts about one to two weeks in most cases.
During a medically supervised detox individuals will be well attended to. The withdrawal symptoms, which are similar to a bad flu with the added features of psychological symptoms, begin to emerge within 12 hours of the last opiate dosing, peak on days 2-4, and then begin to incrementally subside. During the detox and withdrawal phase of treatment, the detox team will provide medications and other remedies to help ease the discomfort and pain caused by the withdrawal symptoms. So, as worried as a client might be when they inquire, “How long does opiate withdrawal last?” they may be surprised to find that it is over before they know it.
Rehab for Opiate Addiction
Treatment for the opiate addiction includes multiple treatment interventions. These include:
- One-on-one psychotherapy sessions based primarily on CBT
- Group therapy
- Family-based counseling
- 12-step programming
- Addiction education
- Relapse prevention strategizing
- Motivational guest speakers
- Adjunctive services, such as yoga classes, mindfulness meditation training, art therapy, or other holistic therapies
- Medication management for medication-assisted treatment
Rehab is available in various outpatient formats or residential, determined largely by the severity of the addiction, whether a client can leave work for an extended period, and the client’s resources.
Medication-Assisted Treatment and Continuing Care
Some individuals will benefit from medication-assisted treatment during early opiate addiction recovery. Drugs, such as naltrexone, Suboxone, or methadone can be prescribed as step-down opioids that can help stabilize the individual as they become accustomed to live without heroin. The drugs are regulated by a physician and may be tapered off by the one-year mark of recovery in many cases.
Continuing care refers to the post-rehab services or activities that can help bolster recovery, especially during the first six months of recovery when clients are most vulnerable. Continuing care might include sober living housing for a few months, continuing on with weekly outpatient therapy, and attending 12-step meetings. All of these activities will help to reinforce early recovery while providing key sources of support.
Ken Seeley Communities Offers All Opiate Addiction Treatment Services
Ken Seeley Communities is a comprehensive addiction treatment program located in Palm Springs, California. Ken Seeley is a renowned professional interventionist, featured on the A&E show, Intervention. Ken Seeley Communities offers the full spectrum of addiction treatment services, including intervention services, medical detoxification, addiction treatment (outpatient and residential), sober living housing, and continuing care services. Contact us with any questions regarding treatment for an opiate addiction, including, “How long does opiate withdrawal last?” Our caring and knowledgeable team is happy to answer all questions. Reach out to us at (877) 744-0502.