If you have been struggling with opioid addiction and have decided to get treatment, you may be feeling a mix of emotions. These can range from excited to nervous, as you may not be sure what to expect from treatment. Entering treatment can be daunting. You don’t know what to expect, especially during the detoxing process. Opioid detox can come with some obstacles but overcoming them and finally healing is possible. Learning what to expect during withdrawal treatment for opioids can help you feel more comfortable with your decision to seek treatment.

What is Withdrawal?

Detoxification (detox) is the process of removing unhealthy and harmful chemicals from the body, in this case, placed there by opioid abuse. It is the first step on the path to recovery. During the detox process, individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms. Your body is not used to working without the presence of opioids due to long-term use and addiction. Some symptoms are mild while others are more severe, which is why it is best to detox at a treatment facility so you can be monitored and given any medication needed to make the process more comfortable. Detox can be life-threatening at times, so it is not recommended to undergo the process on your own. The process can take anywhere between five to 14 days on average, depending on the severity of one’s addiction. Medication is sometimes used to make the process more comfortable, especially for those that struggle with an opioid use disorder. 

Medication-Assisted Detox

Individuals who struggle with opioid use disorder, alcohol use disorder and benzodiazepine use disorder will often have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms during their detox. Some treatment facilities, such as the Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford, use medication-assisted detox to make the symptoms more bearable until the person is no longer at risk for withdrawal symptoms and can continue using medication throughout treatment. 

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addictions is common across the United States, as well. Patients are monitored throughout the use of medications to ensure stabilization. Some medications are even prescribed long-term to help in the recovery process, such as Vivitrol. Common medicines used during medication-assisted detox and MAT include:

  • Methadone
  • Suboxone
  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol)

How Long Does Opioid Withdrawal Last?

While there are a variety of opioids out there, they often have similar withdrawal symptoms. These can range from mild to severe and are often considered to be very unpleasant. How long these symptoms last can depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • The severity of the addiction
  • How long the addiction occurred
  • The substance itself
  • How the substance was consumed
  • How often the substance was taken
  • The amount of substance taken each time
  • Family history
  • Medical/mental health history

Symptoms usually begin anywhere from eight to 24 hours after an individual’s last use and can last between four and 10 days.

The Two Phases of Opioid Withdrawal

There are two phases of opioid withdrawal, characterized by specific symptoms that occur. Phase one is milder, while phase two has more severe symptoms.

Phase One

Phase one occurs typically within the first couple of hours after the person stops using. The symptoms that commonly occur include:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Lethargy
  • Cravings
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Tearing
  • Sweating
  • Muscle aches

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, you may also experience bone pain, cold flashes and involuntary leg movements.

Phase Two

Phase two of opioid withdrawal usually occurs after the first day of not using. The peak of these symptoms will usually occur around 72 hours after last use. These symptoms may be more intense than those in phase one. Phase two symptoms commonly include:

  • Raised blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Goosebumps
  • Dilated pupils
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps

Treatment for Opioid Addictions

Once you have undergone detox, you will be ready to move on to treatment for your addiction to help you heal psychologically. At the Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford, you can expect to have one-on-one time with your treatment team as well as group sessions to help you learn the roots of your addiction and how to overcome them. You will also have time for reflection and self-care, allowing you to see your growth and take care of yourself along the way. At Pinelands, we understand how difficult it is to overcome addiction, and we are here to provide you the best treatment with the utmost respect and understanding of your situation. Once you have gone through the various treatment modalities and feel ready to leave, aftercare is provided to ensure you are set up for long-term sobriety.


With an opioid epidemic gripping the US, it is not uncommon to see individuals checking into rehab for opioid addictions. Choosing to get help is an essential first step, but you may be feeling nervous about what to expect, especially during the withdrawal process. At the Pinelands Recovery Center, medication is used to aid in the detox process to alleviate unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. After detoxing, you will enter treatment and experience various treatment modalities to help you heal and overcome what drove you to addiction in the first place. At Pinelands, our goal is to set you up for long-term healing by giving you new coping methods. Heal among the pines and give us a call if you are ready to take the first step. You can reach us at (877) 557-5372.