While the use of opiates can be an effective means of pain relief, users should beware. Opiates are highly addictive, and recovery from opiate addiction can be extremely challenging.
What are Opiates?
Opiates are a type of drug that is derived from the opium poppy plant. Opiates include both prescription medications and illegal drugs, such as heroin. These drugs work by depressing the central nervous system, which can lead to feelings of relaxation and euphoria. However, opiates can also be addictive and lead to harmful side effects.
Opiates can have a range of effects, both short- and long-term. In the short term, opiates can cause euphoria, relaxation, and drowsiness. They can also lead to constipation and respiratory depression. In the long-term, opiates can cause addiction, tolerance, and dependence. They can also lead to serious health problems, such as respiratory depression, overdose, and death.
Anyone can be at risk for abusing opiates, but some groups are more likely than others. People who are addicted to prescription painkillers are at a higher risk of abusing heroin, for example. Other groups that are at risk for opiate abuse include those who have a history of addiction, mental health problems, or traumatic experiences.
The Need for Drug Detox
Stopping their use not only means letting go of a way to control physical pain, it means going through the difficult symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Within a day of abstinence from opiates, symptoms such as diarrhea, depression, and insomnia begin to appear and can last for as long as three months.
Some people who have become physically dependent on opiates may try to detox on their own at home. However, this can be very difficult and even dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and lead to relapse if not managed properly.
Detoxing in a medically supervised setting is the safest way to overcome opiate addiction. The staff can monitor your progress and help you manage any withdrawal symptoms. There are many different types of detox programs, so it is important to find one that fits your needs.
Knowing what to expect and when, as one goes through withdrawal, can be helpful:
Phase 1 of Opiate Withdrawal:
This phase of opiate withdrawal is known as acute withdrawal. Symptoms begin about 12 hours after the last use of an opiate and peak somewhere around the three-day mark. These symptoms can last up to five days and may include:
- Abdominal cramps
Phase 2 of Opiate Withdrawal:
As the body detoxifies during withdrawal, it starts to rebalance endorphin levels depleted during opiate addiction. This phase of recovery from opiate addiction can last as long as two weeks. Symptoms typically include:
- Dilated pupils
- Leg cramps
- Chills and goosebumps
Phase 3 of Opiate Withdrawal:
This is the longest phase of opiate withdrawal, lasting anywhere from one week to two months, but it is the least severe. Phase 3 symptoms may include:
If individuals are taking any of the common opiates as pain relievers, such as Codeine, Vicodin, hydrocodone, morphine, Oxycontin, Percoset, Dilaudid or fentanyl, they should note the prevalence of addiction among those taking them, as well as the challenges of opiate withdrawal, and use the drugs only as prescribed. While recovery from opiate addiction is possible, it is a challenging process and is best achieved with the help of qualified health care professionals who can help manage withdrawal symptoms.
Professional Opiate Detox is the First Step Toward Recovery
If you are taking opiates and feel like you may be addicted, it is important to seek help. There are many addiction treatment programs available, and they can help you get your life back on track. Recovery from opiate addiction is possible, but it takes time and effort.
Call New Start Recovery today at 833.433.0448 and let’s talk about how to help you beat opiate addiction.