Someone holding a container of fentanyl.

The Increase in Fentanyl Use in California and Where to Get Treatment

Over the past decade, fentanyl use has significantly increased around the country. The substance itself is one of the most powerful opiates on the market and has led to nearly half of the opioid-related deaths within the U.S. 

Many people who aren’t aware of the fatal consequences of fentanyl abuse are more likely to try the drug out of curiosity or even through other drug addictions — if your substance of choice is unknowingly cut with fentanyl — which can have dire consequences. 

But fentanyl use continues to grow nationwide, leading to increased overdoses and a higher drug fatality rate. In addition to these dangers, fentanyl can also cause both long-term and short-term health problems, lead to severe mental health issues and cause complications in several areas of your life. 

As compared with other drugs, fentanyl abuse can be particularly dangerous since it’s more potent than other opioids and is often combined with other drugs. 

These two factors significantly increase the potential for a fatal overdose and are driving the surge of fentanyl use and abuse within California.

Why Opioids?

The opioid crisis sweeping across our nation has taken countless lives and destroyed others beyond repair for over a decade. Astonishingly, nearly thirteen people die every day from drug overdoses in California and fentanyl has been shown to be one of the biggest contributors of this devastating issue. 

In San Francisco, drug users are dying at a rate of nearly two a day, many on the streets of the city’s Tenderloin District. Santa Clara County saw the number of fentanyl deaths more than double last year with victims on average younger than in previous years. In San Diego, fentanyl is coursing through the homeless population. 

The lab-made drug was barely seen in western states before 2017, but regardless, between 2017 and 2018, fentanyl overdose deaths in California rose by over 70% and continue to plague the state to this day.1

Opioid Trends in California

Some disturbing trends within the state include:

  • Fentanyl overtook heroin as the deadliest drug in America in 2018
  • A decade ago, fentanyl was involved in just 4% of overdose deaths, now that number is well over 40%
  • Within the last five years, fentanyl overdoses in California have increased 2100% 
  • Last year alone, fentanyl and other synthetic opioids killed almost 4000 people in California
  • In all of 2019, there were 152 fentanyl-related deaths in San Diego County. But in the first six months of 2020, there were 203.2

Why Has There Been an Increase in Fentanyl Use & Addiction in California?

Once upon a time California boasted one of the lowest opioid-related deaths per capita in the entire country. However, with a new wave of deaths that have been attributed to fentanyl use within the state, authorities are worried that the synthetic opioid is now burning across the state like a wildfire. 

With California’s huge population, the epidemic that has already plagued the rest of the country is set to impact the state of California much worse. One of the biggest factors behind the rapidly expanding fentanyl problem in California is its proximity to covert drug labs in Mexico. 

According to recent studies, the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels are increasingly taking over fentanyl production and distribution from previous sources like China. Because of this proximity and increased border production, a new wave of deaths from fentanyl started to spread in early January of this year. 

Both criminal investigations and recent research has shown that the majority of fentanyl that makes it to the United States is being trafficked across the southern border.3  Add to that the increasingly common practice of dealers substituting fentanyl for other drugs, without informing the users, and you can begin to understand the magnitude of the problem. 

You see, fentanyl is a completely synthetic opioid that is manufactured in a laboratory where it’s much cheaper to produce than heroin. People selling the drug illegally will routinely mix low quality drugs with fentanyl to boost potency or substitute it entirely. 

However, because fentanyl is 50 times stronger than pure heroin, the difference between a recreational dose and one that is lethal can literally be measured in micrograms. Meaning, when you take your accustomed dose of what you think is heroin, a potentially fatal accidental overdose can easily occur.4 

Where to Start with Opioid Addiction Treatment

Admitting you need help to overcome your addictive impulses is not easy. But finding the strength and courage to face your disease with the help and guidance of a clinically qualified treatment facility is the best way to begin your path back to sobriety. 

The dangers associated with a substance like fentanyl, combined with the way it’s rapidly spreading across the state, make addressing your substance use disorder more important than ever. 

The holistic techniques implemented at Ranch Creek Recovery takes all your addictive behaviors into consideration, including the need to potentially detox and the importance of engaging your mind, body and soul to heal the damage inflicted by your addiction and begin your life anew.

Life-Changing, Holistic Opioid Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

For any individual who is contending with a substance use disorder and wants to regain control over their entire life, you must believe that your life can begin again. It’s our firm belief at Ranch Creek Recovery that addicts can recover from their disease and can rebuild abstinent, productive lives.

If you’re addicted to opioids or have a loved one who is in the grips of an opioid addiction, there is help.

We address addiction recovery and relapse prevention head on through our non-12-step, individualized, holistic addiction treatment programs. Our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a custom treatment and recovery plan that will help you feel confident and ready to enter your new, sober life.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery, including our opioid detox and rehab programs.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today. 


CALL NOW: (877) 997-8931



1 California Department of Public Health. California 2018 Opioid Data. Accessed July 31, 2021.

2 DA News Center. ​​Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Spike in San Diego. Accessed July 31, 2021.

3 Drug Enforcement Administration. National Drug Threat Assessment. Accessed July 31, 2021.

4 The Guardian. Enough fentanyl to kill San Francisco: the new wave of the opioid crisis sweeping California. Accessed July 31, 2021.  

Hands holding naloxone when learning about naloxone administration.

Naloxone: What it is and How to Use it

One of the scariest moments you will ever encounter is a loved one experiencing an opioid overdose. The level of panic and fear that immediately sets in can be blinding, causing you to think irrationally and forget the essential techniques necessary to potentially save your loved one from dying.

While this is a scenario that no one ever wants to go through, knowing what to do if you find yourself facing this crisis can literally mean the difference between life and death. Contacting emergency services immediately is imperative, but knowing how to use the life-saving medications available today can help your loved one survive long enough for medical personnel to arrive.

Understanding which medications work for an opioid overdose and how to administer those interventions is essential knowledge to anyone who has a loved one struggling with opioid addiction.

What is Naloxone?

Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication that is known as an opioid antagonist, which means – in essence – it is an opioid antidote.

It is commonly used to counter the effects of an opioid overdose, such as morphine, heroin or prescription pain medications, by counteracting the life-threatening depression of your respiratory system and central nervous system.

This allows a person suffering from an overdose to breath normally until further life-saving interventions can be implemented to properly detox their system.

What is Naloxone Used For?

The beauty of a medication like Naloxone is that it only works if a person has opioids in their system. This is why it is an ideal intervention for someone experiencing, or potentially experiencing, an opioid overdose, because it will not harm that person if no opioids are present.

Naloxone works by blocking the effects of opioids on the brain and restoring a person’s ability to breathe.

How Does Naloxone Work?

Naloxone is typically administered by a health care professional. However, the medication was recently made available to the public to help counter drug overdoses. In emergency situations, anyone can administer a dose of Naloxone to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and revive a person until medical professionals arrive.

As previously stated, Naloxone will ONLY work if a person has opioids in their system and will not work with other drugs like alcohol. Naloxone also does not interact negatively with other drugs or get a person high.

Naloxone Administration: What You Need to Know

Naloxone is administered as a nasal spray or injection. Both methods are relatively simple to manage and come with detailed instructions. If you find yourself in a scenario where your loved one is experiencing an opioid overdose, there are very specific steps to take to potentially save their life.

It’s important that you remain as calm and levelheaded as you can, so doing the proper research beforehand is essential to making appropriate decisions and administering the most appropriate intervention.

Below are the proper steps to follow before and after administering Naloxone:

  1. Call 911
    Always, always, always contact emergency services first when encountering a person experiencing an overdose. While Naloxone can help them temporarily recover, if they have ingested too much of an opioid, the medication will wear off and they will begin experiencing overdose symptoms again.
  2. Administer Naloxone
    Note that Naloxone is only effective in the case of an opioid overdose. However, if you are unsure of the substance(s) involved, it’s best to err on the side of caution and administer it. Naloxone is not known to cause any harm in the case of a non-opioid overdose.
  3. Comfort and Support
    Once your loved one is breathing normally, do your best to comfort them and provide support until emergency services arrive. They will most likely be confused and disoriented when revived, so having you there to calm them and encourage them can be essential.

If you are concerned with the process of giving the drug and know you have a loved one struggling with an opioid addiction, take the time to contact a treatment provider and request additional information on the topic.

Educate Yourself on How to Handle an Overdose and How Best to Help an Addicted Loved One

No one ever wants to find their loved one experiencing an opioid overdose, and yet, overdoses happen every day. Educating yourself on the facts and working with your loved one to seek treatment for opioid addiction is an excellent long-term option to help them achieve sustained sobriety.

Until that day comes, staying prepared for any and all situations can be just what your loved one needs to see another day.

Renowned Addiction Rehab at Ranch Creek Recovery

If your loved one is in the grips of addiction, Ranch Creek Recovery can help. Learn more about our addiction treatment programs or contact us today to learn about our facility and holistic approach to addiction rehab and recovery.

A man burying his face in his hands while dealing with the effects of opioids and the brain.

How Opioids Work in the Brain

Living with an addiction can make you feel like the entire world is against you. After all, most people who have never experienced a substance use disorder routinely minimize the severity of addiction and how it can alter and essentially destroy a person’s life.

How many times has someone told you to just “stop using drugs already” or to “get over your drug use and stop being a failure”?

Statements like these are commonplace within our society and completely minimize the disease component of addiction.

The fact of the matter is that an addiction to opioids can prove to be as debilitating as any illness known to man, causing a person to act out of character, ignore all logical thought processes, destroy their physical body and deteriorate their mental health.

If you are struggling with an opioid use disorder, it is imperative to understand the way painkillers impacts your entire being to formulate a plan to not only detox from the substance, but to also help you achieve long-term sobriety.

What are Opioids, Exactly?

Opioids are a class of drug that can come in a number of forms. From prescription medications like oxycodone to black market heroin, “opioids” is a term for drugs that interact and bind to the opioid receptors in your body.

All opioids are chemically similar and typically cause a euphoric feeling within the individual ingesting the substance. Due to the manner in which they impact the neurological makeup of your brain, opioids are easily addictive and can cause severe physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing use.

That is why it is usually recommended to consult with a clinical professional before detoxing from an opioid addiction.

How Do Opioids Work?

Opioids are extremely effective at addressing feelings of pain within the human body. This is because, when ingested, opioids attach to receptors found in the brain, spinal cord, and other areas of the body, reducing the transmission of pain messages and increasing a person’s feeling of general well-being and euphoria.

The messages that opioids generate to your body and brain don’t only block pain, though. They also slow your ability to breathe effectively while instilling a feeling of peace and overall calmness.

This synthetic feeling of serenity, or dopamine rush, can make you feel amazing, but the feeling is both fabricated and fleeting. This forces your brain to want more of that feeling, which, in turn, forces you to use more of the opioid to achieve the high you’re looking for.

What Do Opioids Do to the Brain?

Since opioids impact the brain by blocking pain and sending false messages of euphoria, they present a serious risk of addiction, overuse and overdose.

As previously stated, developing a tolerance to opioids can happen very quickly, forcing you to take more and more of the substance to achieve the same intoxicating effects. Additionally, an opioid addiction has been directly linked to structural brain damage, decreasing your ability to reason properly and think through problems.

This altered brain functioning and increased need for constant dopamine release creates a vicious cycle where your brain demands more opioids to simply make it through the day.

This is why so many opioid addicts find themselves getting “dope sick” when they don’t get their fix. They’ve completely forgotten how to function normally without ingesting dangerous amounts of opioids on a daily basis.

After a while, this pattern of addiction takes its toll on a person, leaving them broken and damaged and forcing them to perpetuate their addiction to simply live – all the while bringing them closer and closer to a potential opioid overdose.

Recovery Starts by Understanding the Effects of Opioids and the Brain

Regardless of where you are in life or how severe your opioid addiction has become, there is no time like the present to begin establishing a healthier and happier version of yourself. This starts with identifying a clinical treatment program that is capable of managing your specific symptoms while guiding you along your recovery journey.

Achieving personal success along this path requires you to open your eyes and your mind to see the way that opioids have lied to you and tricked you into believing they make you feel good.

In reality, they have covertly destroyed your ability to achieve actual happiness by poisoning your body and mind. Take back control with the help of a qualified treatment facility that specializes in opioid addiction and recovery.

Life-Changing Holistic Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioids and pain medication, now is the time to find real, life-changing support that will help you achieve sobriety and learn how to holistically manage pain or other life circumstances.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we address addiction recovery and relapse prevention head on through our non-12-step, individualized, holistic addiction treatment programs. Our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a custom treatment and recovery plan that will help you feel confident and ready to enter your new, sober life.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

A man and woman holding hands.

Where Should My Loved One Get Opioid Addiction Treatment?

Making the decision to enter into rehab for an opioid addiction is a life changing resolution. It requires your loved one to first admit that the addiction exists and then take the next step and concede they need clinical assistance in order to conquer their opioid use disorder.

For someone who has not faced the overwhelming hardships and physical compulsions associated with an opioid addiction, making the decision to pursue rehabilitative services may seem obvious.

However, the actuality of facing an opioid use disorder is far more complex when you are living with the disease and wrestling with how it exerts control over your entire being.

Like any ailment, an opioid use disorder impacts every facet of your loved one’s physical health and mental stability. It drives them to act out of character, fixating on their addiction with singular focus and maladaptive motivation. It distorts their perspective and forces them to neglect their positive social connectivity and physical health in order to perpetuate their opioid use with reckless abandon.

That is why when your loved one makes the decision to pursue clinical aid in regard to their disorder, it is no simple decision. It is proof that they have encountered a moment of clarity within their life and need all of the positive social support they can receive in order to follow through on their decision to begin rehab.

When that decision is made, which treatment facility should your loved one turn to for their clinical needs and guidance?

There are a variety of viable treatment interventions available to your loved one and choosing the best fit for their individual needs is an essential step in their recovery journey. It ensures that their assimilation into rehab is as seamless as possible, while enabling them to feel supported and inspired to press through whatever difficulties may arise.

The Importance of Getting Expert Opioid Treatment

When beginning a recovery journey, the first initial transition into therapy can make or break your loved one’s potential for long-term health and happiness.

That is why doing the necessary research prior to beginning their rehabilitative stay is essential to the foundational components of the therapeutic process.

Understanding what to look for in a quality treatment facility can aid in identifying the most appropriate choice for your loved one’s opioid treatment.

Treatment for Addiction to Prescription Drugs & Other Opioids: What to Look For

A few key areas include:

  • Choosing a facility that is accredited and certified
  • Choosing a facility with licensed clinical staff
  • Choosing a facility that can handle all facets of your loved one’s recovery
  • Choosing a facility that incorporates an integrated therapeutic approach

These options indicate that the treatment facility has taken the time and made the efforts to ensure their clinical approach and treatment staff are fully trained and prepared to provide your loved one with the best available clinical care.

Opioid Addiction Treatment Options: Outpatient vs Inpatient

The primary methods of treatment available to your loved one include outpatient therapy and inpatient therapy. While the two options share some similarities, their differences highlight which one may be more appropriate to handle your loved one’s opioid addiction.

  • Inpatient Opioid Treatment
    Inpatient treatment can last 30, 60 or 90 days, depending on the program, and requires the participants to voluntarily transition into a secure facility where intensive drug treatment becomes their primary focus. This allows the patients to safely detox from their opioid addiction under the supervision of qualified medical staff and begin their clinical therapy immediately after their body achieves a healthy state of homeostasis.
  • Outpatient Opioid Treatment
    Most outpatient treatment options allow the participants to remain in their community while participating in weekly treatment sessions aimed at addressing their opioid addiction. Since this method of therapy is much less restrictive, it is typically used as a step-down in therapy for opioid addicts who have completed inpatient therapy and are ready to assimilate back into the community with the appropriate oversight and social support.

Both treatment options have their beneficial components, so understanding the extent of your loved one’s addiction is essential to deciding which treatment approach is best suited to address their clinical needs.

This can be accomplished through a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, which should be conducted by any viable treatment facility offering to treat your loved one’s opioid use disorder.

Whichever treatment option you and your loved one decide on, simply making the decision to pursue rehabilitative services for their opioid addiction is an amazing step in their recovery journey.

Whether they’ve struggled with prescription pills, heroin or another opioid, deciding to relinquish control of their recovery to a clinically qualified treatment facility ensures they are initiating their recovery process in a safe and healthy manner.

This also allows them to focus solely on their mind state and sobriety, knowing that their clinical and medical needs are being properly addressed.

After all, beginning a recovery journey can be an exhausting task, so starting that process with as much social support and clinical guidance as possible only increases the likelihood of attaining a healthier existence and sustained sobriety.

Life-Changing, Holistic Opioid Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

We understand you are your loved one’s biggest advocate, and we know how imperative it is for you to help your loved one get clean and stay sober.

If they are ready to get help, or you are seeking insights from addiction recovery experts, Ranch Creek Recovery can help.

Live in Southern California? Find Opioid Addiction Treatment Near Me:

We are a renowned drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility that is set in a serene and tranquil area in Murrieta, CA. At Ranch Creek Recovery, your loved one will enter into a healing environment that’s free of distractions and supported by an expert team.

Learn more about our holistic opioid and prescription drug treatment programs or contact us today to learn about our facility and holistic approach to addiction treatment.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

A professional man breathing in fresh air during his holistic opioid withdrawal treatment.

What Does a Holistic Detox from Opioids Look Like?

We live in a time in which opioid use has grown into an epidemic within our country. From major cities to small suburbs, the use and abuse of opioids has spread like wildfire, consuming entire families and whole communities without prejudice.

While the influencing factors associated with this tremendous upsurge in opioid dependence around the nation has varied, the death toll and utter destruction associated with the spreading addiction continues to rise.

If you want to get clean, you must acknowledge that you can get and stay sober.

Understanding your options in relation to treatment centers, and their various clinical approaches, is imperative to choosing a rehab facility best suited to meet your individual needs. Identifying the severity of your addiction and the personal goals you hope to achieve throughout the recovery journey can aid in selecting a treatment facility capable of managing your detox symptoms.

In addition, choosing the most appropriate rehab program can best facilitate your transitioning into a clinically comprehensive therapeutic environment once the primary symptoms of your opioid detoxification are achieved.

Will a holistic approach to detox from your opioid addiction suit your personal needs?

Easing Opioid Withdrawal: Can It Be Done?

While the consequences of long-term opioid addiction can be physically devastating, easing the withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid detox can be accomplished. A majority of opioid addictions require medical assistance in order to safely withdrawal the body from the grips of opioid addiction.

This is due to the fact that when you first started abusing opioids, your body and brain built up a tolerance to the substance, forcing you to take larger and larger amounts to achieve the high you were looking for.

Soon after starting your opioid use, your entire being became dependent on the substance in order to simply feel normal. Now, while you are attempting to withdrawal from your opioid addiction, your body is striving toward a natural homeostasis, but the damage done to your neurological and physical functioning is causing you to experience a tremendous amount of pain and discomfort.

Easing these symptoms can be accomplished in a number of manners, from pharmaceutical interventions to some extremely effective holistic measures aimed at decreasing your discomfort and expediting your transition toward physical normalcy.

Acupuncture to Ease Opioid Withdrawal

One extremely effective manner of treating opioid addiction through a holistic method is the ancient practice of acupuncture. The World Health Organization (WHO) listed 64 medical problems that were considered suitable for acupuncture treatment, including the treatment of drug abuse and recovery.

In fact, findings from the Joint Acupuncture Opioid Task Force, Acupuncture Now Foundation and the American Society of Acupuncturists outlines several benefits of acupuncture in the midst of the opioid crisis, stating acupuncture has the potential to reduce – or, in some cases, eliminate – the need for opioids while also helping to treat opioid addiction.

Researchers believe acupuncture can replace opioids through stimulating the production of the human body’s “endogenous opioids” – or, using the body’s own chemistry to mirror or exceed the benefits of synthetic drugs without the risk of side effects.1

Opioid Withdrawal Treatment

The available options for opioid withdrawal treatment can vary from facility to facility, but focusing on a holistic approach is inherently specialized and individually tailored. This is due to the onus placed upon the personalized experience of opioid detoxification and the importance of approaching each person as a unique being.

While the withdrawal process can be physically and mentally draining on the participant, the primary benefit of a holistic approach is the comprehensive method to therapy: implementing techniques that focus on every aspect of the recovering addict, including the mind, body, and soul.

A few key holistic treatment potions for opioid withdrawal and therapeutic recovery include:

  • Mindfulness Training
    Mindfulness involves taking a moment to relax, to become aware of your present situation – the sounds, smells, and surrounding environment – and to think calmly about your emotions and feelings. By considering thoughts in this context, you’re better able to achieve wellness, as mindfulness requires that you approach yourself without judgment and without thinking about what’s right and what’s wrong. It helps you find happiness within your present being through quiet reflection and meditations, during which you are taught to focus on, appreciate, and take in the smells, textures, and colors of your environment.
  • Equine Therapy
    This clinical intervention incorporates the technique of animal care and maintenance, enabling participants to engage in activities such as grooming, haltering and leading horses under the supervision of a mental health professional. The goal of this clinical treatment is to aid the participant in developing personal skill-sets, such as improved methods of self-control, expanded personal accountability, and increased self-confidence. The aim is to aid all participants in addressing behavioral and emotional challenges associated with their addiction recovery and personal improvement.
  • Amino Acid Therapy
    This clinical intervention focuses on the nutritional deficiencies associated with opioid addiction and withdrawal. This includes hormonal imbalances, chronic inflammation, pain, anxiety, and depression. Amino acids are the building blocks for neurotransmitters like Dopamine, GABA, Serotonin and Endorphins, which are closely tied to addictive behavior. With the use of various amino acids, brain chemistry can be adjusted to help normalize and restore deficiencies in these neurotransmitters that spur cravings that can lead to both addiction and relapse.

Drugs Used to Help Withdrawal from Opioids

While the holistic interventions available throughout the detoxification process are extremely effective, the fact remains that some individuals will require additional pharmaceutical interventions during their detox process. Specific drugs used to help an individual withdrawal from opioids include:

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Lucemyra

All of these prescription interventions vary in their effectiveness and application. Deciding to use drug interventions such as these during the detox phase is for a medical professional to decide, so receiving a thorough and comprehensive medical assessment prior to beginning rehab is imperative to starting the process appropriately.

The point to starting therapy is to achieve sustained health and sobriety; Make sure to follow the advice of medical and clinical professionals before deciding on any specific clinical approach and intervention.

Life-Changing, Holistic Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

If you’re looking for a non-12-step rehab in California, consider Ranch Creek Recovery’s alternative approach to addiction rehab. We go beyond the traditional, widely used 12-Step program and focus on tailor-fitting each recovery program to address every patient’s unique needs.

With a more intimate recovery experience, a higher level of care, a serene environment, individual recovery plans, and a holistic approach, you can be sure you or a loved one will receive everything needed to achieve sobriety and prepare for a thriving, sober life.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recover, including what we offer and what we treat.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.


1 The National Center for Biotechnology Information. Acupuncture for Detoxification in Treatment of Opioid Addiction. Accessed December 15, 2018.

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline

Addiction to opiates—whether due to taking prescribed medications following surgery or injury or due to reckless recreational abuse—leads to misery, regardless.  Once opiate dependency has developed, any attempt to stop the drug will result in highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

The opiate withdrawal symptoms timeline can offer some understanding about what to expect during the detox phase of treatment.  Whether the detox and withdrawal is conducted at home on an outpatient basis or in an inpatient treatment facility rests entirely on how entrenched the dependency is, what other drugs of abuse may be involved, and the general health, both mental and physical, of the individual.

What is Opiate Withdrawal?

Opiates are a class of drugs often used to treat pain, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and morphine sulfate.  Other illegal drugs, such as heroin and fentanyl, are also in the opiate family.  Opiates work as pain relievers by attaching to the opiate receptors in the brain and spine, sending messages to the rest of the body.  Dependency can form after just a few weeks of using these drugs when the body becomes desensitized to their effects.  Tolerance to the drug increases, requiring increasingly higher and more frequent dosing.

When someone who has become addicted to opiates attempts to stop using them, within hours the body begins communicating to the person that it needs a dose in the form of withdrawal symptoms.  There is a wide range of physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms, depending on the severity of the opiate dependency.  The course of the opiate withdrawal symptoms timeline is fairly predictable, however.

The Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline

During detox the body will experience a period of suffering, ranging from mild symptoms to severe, based on the length of time of opiate use, the type of opiate involved, and frequency/dosage of use. The stages of opiate withdrawal occur as follows:

Stage One of Opiate Withdrawal

Within 12-24 hours of the last dosing, the onset of stage one symptoms will ensue.  Withdrawal symptoms during stage one are the most severe because of the cessation of endorphin production by the brain.  Severe flu-like symptoms, including fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps are likely.  Depression, hallucinations, and anxiety are also common in stage one.  Stage one typically lasts for 3-5 days.  It is important to have medical assistance to alleviate many of the symptoms in order to prevent relapsing back to using opiates in an attempt to discontinue the withdrawal symptoms.

Stage Two: Stabilization 

After enduring stage one withdrawal symptoms, the body begins to stabilize.  At this point the body is beginning to produce some endorphins, helping to manage some physical pain involved.  Stage two symptoms may include chills, low-grade fever, goosebumps, muscle cramps in the legs, clammy hands.  In addition, psychological symptoms such as depression, fear, anxiety, and paranoia may continue.  Stage two generally lasts for three days.

Stage Three: Residual Effects

In stage three, although most of the physical symptoms have diminished, there may be residual stomach cramps and nausea, as well as drug cravings, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.  Stage three lasts a few days.

Stage Four: Enduring Symptoms

The lingering psychological effects of opiate withdrawal are the protracted withdrawal symptoms.  While most of the painful withdrawal symptoms have passed, protracted symptoms may include fatigue, irritability, depression, trouble with concentration, and sleep disturbance.

Ranch Creek Recovery Treats Opiate Addiction

Ranch Creek Recovery offers the highest level of treatment for opiate dependency.  Understanding the opiate withdrawal symptoms timeline involved, RCR provides fully supervised natural detox using amino acid therapy and over-the-counter medications to mitigate the discomfort.  Ranch Creek Recovery is a non-12 step rehab center located in California, offering the natural beauty of the surrounding hillsides to create a serene, relaxing treatment experience.  The limited client population allows for an intimate recovery environment where a high degree of attention and care is provided by the expert staff.  For more information, contact us today at (877) 997-8931.