OPIATE WITHDRAWAL AND DETOX
The term opiate is used to describe a natural drug that is derived from the opium poppy plant. Opiate drugs are most commonly used in the medical field to treat moderate to severe physical pain. Some of the commonly prescribed opiates that are used in the United States include Morphine, Codeine, Hydrocodone, Fentanyl, Oxycodone, and Meperidine. Each of these types of opiates have highly addictive qualities, and should be used only when prescribed. Due to the fact that they are moderately easy to access, there is a high propensity for opiate abuse in America.
Opiate abuse occurs when a person ingests opiates in a way different than prescribed by his or her medical professional, takes too much of the drug, uses the drug when it has not been prescribed, or takes the drug while simultaneously using other drugs or alcohol. When abused, opiates can be ingested in several different ways. Some individuals will chew the drug so as to increase its absorption. Others may crush the drug and snort it. Individuals may also dissolve the drug into water and inject it intravenously. Any individual who takes opiates for an extended period of time, even if taken as prescribed, opens him or herself up to addiction.
- IMS (Incidental Medical Services)
- Full Physical Examination
- All labs including blood & urine tests
- Medical Director/Physician
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- EMT’s (Emergency Medical Technicians)
- CNA’s (Certified Nurse’s Aid)
- Detox Technicians
- Substance Use Disorder Counselors
- Healthy snack & drinks
- TVs in the bedrooms
- Healthy meals prepared by chef
- Smoking area provided outdoors
One of the first steps in recovery for an individual struggling with opiate abuse or addiction is to go through a detoxification, or detox process. The possible side effects and withdrawal symptoms that can occur during one’s detox process can be extremely uncomfortable and in some cases life threatening. For this reason, it is advised for an individual addicted to opiates to go through the detox stage at a specified detox facility, equipped to deal with the possible medical complications that may arise during one’s detox. There are medically assisted detox programs in addition to medically supervised detox facilities that are available for individuals in need. A medically supervised detox will be able to offer twenty-four-hour care for an individual undergoing detox from opiate abuse. There will be qualified professionals present to provide support to the individual going through the detox process. A medically supervised detox facility will also have access to additional resources, such as being able to offer a medically assisted detox program. Once a person completes his or her detox program, it is often recommended that he or she continue his or her treatment by attending a substance abuse or addiction treatment program.
There are many side effects that an individual may experience when he or she stops using opiates, after an extended period of time engaging in opiate abuse. These adverse effects are commonly referred to as withdrawal symptoms. Every person will experience a slightly unique combination of withdrawal symptoms. The length of time an individual has abused opiates, the dosage abused, one’s personal health history, if an individual has simultaneously used other drugs or alcohol while abusing opiates, and one’s family history with substance abuse will all factor into the severity of one’s withdrawal symptoms.
The timeframe an individual experiences withdrawal symptoms will vary. The first symptoms can be experienced within twenty-four hours of one’s last opiate use. In mostcases, the withdrawal symptoms will subside within seven days from the time of one’s last opiate use. Some of the possible withdrawal symptoms an individual may experience can include the following:
- Stomach problems
- Muscle pain
- Panic attacks
- Excessive sweating
- Loss of appetite
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
Any combination of the above withdrawal symptoms can be exhibited in an individual detoxing from opiate abuse. Every person is different and will, therefore, have a different detox experience that will be made up of varying combinations of withdrawal symptoms. One of the most difficult steps in recovering from substance abuse or addiction is the detox process. Though the above symptoms can seem incredibly daunting, it is imperative for an individual to remember that these symptoms are temporary. Going through detox and experiencing the withdrawal symptoms are essential in one’s progression through substance abuse and addiction treatment.
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If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please seriously consider getting help as soon as possible. Addiction can be an incredibly damaging disease and the sooner help is received, the better. For further information on substance abuse or addiction, feel free to reach out to us. We are happy to answer any questions and provide any information you may be looking for regarding substance abuse and addition.