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What is the diagnosis for Opioid Withdrawal?

The diagnosis of “opioid withdrawal” may apply after a person stops/reduces opioid use that has been heavy and prolonged (i.e., several weeks or longer), or after the person has been given an opioid antagonist. Three or more of the following symptoms must be present within minutes to several days after stopping/reducing opioid use, or after receiving an opioid antagonist:

  • Uneasy, anxious, or depressed mood
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Excessive tearing or runny nose
  • Pupillary dilation, goosebumps, or sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Yawning
  • Fever
  • Insomnia

The symptoms cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The symptoms are not attributable to another medical condition or mental disorder, including intoxication or withdrawal from another substance.

Mental Health Library Sources:

Information included in all topics of the Mental Health Library comes from the Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria From DSM-5 and Kaplan & Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Complete diagnostic and treatment information may be found within these publications.


Information within the Mental Health Library is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis purposes. Rather, it is provided as a public educational service to make people aware of mental health conditions. Please consult a qualified mental health professional for a diagnosis of any suspected mental health illness.

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