Withdrawal

Cessation of chronic opiate therapy produces an unpleasant experience called withdrawal. Symptoms include diarrhea, runny nose, goose bumps, abdominal pain and dilated pupils. The duration of these symptoms varies, but can last several weeks. Methadone withdrawal tends to be more prolonged. For a several weeks after discontinuation of opiates patients frequently have increased pain; this is part of the withdrawal process. Three months after discontinuation of long-term high dosage narcotic therapy, a patient’s pain is usually less than when they were taking the narcotics.