Detoxing from Opiates

Defining Opiates

Opiates refer to a group of drugs which act as depressants in the CNS or the central nervous system. They are used medically for relieving acute and chronic pain such as post-operative pain and trauma pain. They are also among the most commonly abused drugs and substances, as they are highly addictive in nature. Some examples of opiates include morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, thebaine, oxymorphone and heroin.

The Difficulty of Quitting Opiates

Those who have an opiate addiction and are planning to stop using it can have a hard time stopping, primarily because of the withdrawal symptoms that it has. That is why we utilize different drugs to help our patients detox including Methadone, Suboxone and Subutex. Some of the physical withdrawal symptoms of opiates include nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, joint pain, diarrhea, cold flashes, abdominal cramps, insomnia, restlessness, involuntary leg movements and increased urination. Aside from physical symptoms, withdrawing from the use of opiates can also cause several psychological symptoms including anxiety, depression, difficulty in concentrating, irritability, impulsiveness, hallucinations, delusions, and psychosis, especially when the drug has been taken in large doses or for a long period of time. These withdrawal symptoms start around 48 to 72 hours after the individual’s last use and can last from one to two weeks. Their severity generally depends on the frequency and duration of use of the individual.

Opiate Detox Programs

Because of the severity and intensity of the withdrawal symptoms of opiates, undergoing an opiate detox program is a must before going through an opiate rehabilitation program. By getting into an opiate detox program, the physical effects of the drug on an individual can be significantly minimized through various approaches and treatments which would, in turn, make his or her rehabilitation easier and more effective. Some of these approaches and treatments can include the use various medications, patient education and counseling.

An opiate detox program is usually offered by licensed detox facilities. In these facilities, patients are fully evaluated and monitored throughout the process of the opiate detox program. This allows the medical and healthcare professionals in the facility to properly assess any pre-existing medical conditions and psychological issues that the individuals have first before coming up with a customized detoxification and treatment plan for each of them. Aside from being offered by detox facilities, an opiate detox program can also be offered by wellness centers which offer both inpatient and outpatient detox programs.

Because there are a lot of options available for those who are looking for an opiate detox program, it is imperative to make sure that a lot of research is conducted first before making a choice. It would also be best to consider several factors when searching for an opiate detox program. Some of these factors include the level or the degree of the addiction of the individual, the kind of treatment that would best suit the individual and whether or not the individual wants to be treated as an inpatient or an outpatient. By researching and taking several important factors into consideration, an individual or the family of the individual would be able to choose a detox center or facility and an opiate detox program that would best suit their needs.

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