Opiates are highly addictive drugs and it's rare to be able to use this type of drug without becoming addictive. Even so, it's difficult to recognize that you're developing a dependency on the drug until the addiction becomes severe. When this happens, successfully quitting without medical help is extremely challenging. In addition to experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, people are often confronted by intense cravings for the drug.
While withdrawal symptoms from opiates aren't usually life-threatening, they do make a relapse much more likely. For this reason, people struggling with opiate addiction are urged to seek the help of a detox and addiction recovery facility. In these treatment centers, a medically supervised detox program offers the best chance of a sustainable recovery.
What Withdrawal Symptoms Accompany Opiate Addiction Detox?
Depending on the type of opiate the individual has been using, it won't take long after the last dose for withdrawal symptoms to start. The severity of the symptoms will also depend on how long the individual has been using the drug and how many doses he or she takes per day. Pre-existing mental health issues, physical conditions, and the general state of health of the individual may also influence the development of withdrawal symptoms.
Early withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as six hours after your last opiate use and typically include:
- Fever, which is often accompanied by sweats, runny nose, and a rapid heart rate
Within 72 hours, more severe withdrawal symptoms will begin to manifest. These symptoms can last a week or more, depending on the nature of the addiction. These withdrawal symptoms include:
- Nausea with vomiting
- Stomach cramps leading to diarrhea
- Drug cravings
Is Medical Detox Necessary for Treating Opiate Addiction?
With some drugs, a medical detox is necessary, because quitting abruptly can cause a life-threatening shock to the system. While this isn't the case in quitting opiate use abruptly, the withdrawal symptoms and cravings become intense as the body tries to adjust to the absence of the drug. This often causes many people to give in to their cravings and begin using again.
However, a medical detox involves using controlled doses of prescription drugs, which are administered by trained addiction recovery caregivers. The doses are gradually decreased, allowing the individual to experience milder withdrawal symptoms. In addition to controlling the detox with regulated drugs, treatment facilities begin to treat underlying mental health issues and physical disabilities that may have contributed to the drug use. Although the withdrawal symptoms may last longer, the detox process is usually completed within five to seven days.
Will You Continue to Receive Medication After Detox?
Although you may have completed detox, this is only the first step in the recovery process. The administering of prescription drugs to control your withdrawal symptoms will have served its purpose by the time you leave detox. At this point, the drugs will be out of your system, which makes you eligible for a rehab therapy, and you no longer require the controlled doses of medication.
However, if you have been diagnosed with a mental illness, you will continue receiving treatment for that condition throughout the rehab program. Caregivers try to treat mental illnesses with psychotherapy and coping mechanisms, but some conditions may be too severe to treat without medication. In these cases, the individual will receive controlled doses of the drugs they need to alleviate the symptoms of their mental illness. They may also participate in educational courses and classes on coping with stress, so they will be better prepared to take prescribed drugs without abusing them.
Getting Clean with the Right Help
If you are struggling with opiate use, this may be the right time to seek out help. Getting help at a licensed detox facility is especially wise if you have previously tried to quit and failed. A medically supervised detox will help you get clean and significantly decrease the chances that you'll give in to drug cravings and relapse.
To begin your road to recovery, contact our addiction treatment facility today. Our counselors can be reached 24 hours a day at 800-737-0933. While speaking with our addiction treatment counselors, you can find out more about the treatment process and get answers to your questions or concerns. This call can lead you on a more successful road to recovery, preparing you for a new life without drugs.