Opiates are becoming an increasing threat to the health of the nation. Due to their addictive properties, more and more are finding themselves struggling with addiction. Through opiate addiction treatment at a drug detox center, recovery is possible.
What are opiates?
Opiates are narcotics that relax muscles and relieve pain. When consumed in high doses users experience pleasure, acute relaxation, and semi-consciousness. Very high doses can result in coma or death.
Opiates include illegal recreational drugs such as heroin and opium; prescription pain medications such as morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl; cough suppressants and anti-diarrheal medications that are codeine based; as well as opiate addiction treatment medications such as buprenorphine and methadone.
Opiate dependence means an opiate user is susceptible to opiate withdrawal symptoms whenever he or she stops taking opiates. The length of time required to become physically dependent to opiates varies from person to person, but it generally takes just a few weeks of daily use. Dependents are so driven to avoid withdrawal symptoms, they stop at almost nothing to obtain more and more opiates, even if that means damaging relationships, losing a job, or going to jail.
Opiate withdrawal refers to a wide range of symptoms that occur shortly after discontinuation for any person physically dependent on opiates. Symptoms of opiate withdrawal are similar to influenza symptoms, but the good news is that opiate withdrawal symptoms can be easily handled with proper treatment.
Early symptoms of opiate withdrawal include:
- Muscle aches
- Increased tearing
- Runny nose
Late symptoms of opiate withdrawal include:
- Abdominal cramping
- Dilated pupils
Withdrawal symptoms are very uncomfortable but are usually not life-threatening. An opiate addict who is experiencing withdrawal symptoms may think they are going to die but they’re much more likely to die from using opiates than they are from coming off opiates.
Two of the most severe threats posed by opiate withdrawal are diarrhea and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration if fluids are not replaced. Water and electrolytes (sodium, chloride, potassium, and bicarbonate) are lost through liquid stools, vomit, sweat, urine, and breathing. It is important to replenish fluids and maintain adequate hydration during opiate withdrawal.
Opiate addiction treatment
Withdrawal treatment involves supportive care and pharmacotherapies. Specialized medications have been shown to work better than many other types of opiate withdrawal treatment. Buprenorphine based medications typically shorten the length of opiate addiction treatment. With the proper addiction therapy services, recovery is possible. Contact LA Detox today for the help you need at (866) 932-8563.