Addiction to opiates and the withdrawal symptoms associated with getting clean is a serious matter. Opioid detox is one of the most difficult phases of addiction recovery that you could ever face. The painful, flu-like symptoms come on fast and can last for days or weeks, depending on the severity of the abuse. While you can try to self-detox, it’s easier and far more effective to utilize an inpatient or outpatient treatment facility. You’ll receive fulltime medical monitoring, compassionate care and replacement medication to ensure your detoxification and rehabilitation are as comfortable as possible.
Opiates are narcotic analgesics derived from the opium poppy plant. These drugs are used to treat chronic or severe pain, and there are numerous varieties both legal and illegal. The most common illegal opiate, and by far the most popular, of the hard narcotics is heroin. Majority of the addictive opiates are synthetic and acquired through a prescription. These include OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, morphine and Opana.
Opiates act on the body and brain in two specific ways. Like other substances, opiates alter the addiction and reward centers of the brain and influence the increased production of dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals are responsible for creating a feeling of euphoria and enjoyment in the body. However, through extended use of an opiate, these chemicals are kept at an unnaturally high level that the body cannot produce on its own. This is one of the reasons you go into withdrawals when you don’t have the drug.
The other way opiates act on the body is through the alteration of natural opioid receptors throughout the body. These receptors, and the chemicals that fill them, are responsible for pain management. Opiates act on these receptors by replacing the natural binder with the drug chemical. Take away the opiate, and withdrawal symptoms are soon to follow.
What Happens During Opioid Detox?
Opioid detox is a relatively extensive process. The most important thing is to have proper medical monitoring in place. This will ensure that you’re as comfortable and safe as possible. While an outpatient detox program will keep daily tabs on your health and wellness, an inpatient program is better able to watch your patterns and respond to your needs quickly and effectively.
During detox, you’ll likely be given a replacement medication of some kind. The facility may choose to use Methadone, Suboxone or Subutex. These are the three most popular detox medications and are proven successful at eliminating withdrawal symptoms while reducing cravings. Replacement medications are first started at a high dose to ensure that you’re comfortable. Over the first few days or weeks, the dose is slowly lowered until you’re taking a very little amount. When you’re deemed ready by a medical professional, the drug will be removed, and you’ll be completely clean from opiates and ready to move on in the recovery process.
Opioid detox doesn’t have to be a horribly painful and emotionally chaotic affair anymore. Through the use of replacement medications, you can now be comfortable and concentrate on recovery rather than struggle with withdrawal symptoms. Don’t let detoxification hold you back from living a normal and enjoyable life. Call our hotline at 800-447-9081, and let us help you get into an inpatient or outpatient detox program that’s right for you.