Detoxing From Opioids: The Facts You Need to Know Right Now
01 July, 2022
Opioids are drugs derived from the poppy plant.
Physicians typically prescribe prescription opioids such as Vicodin, OxyContin, and morphine for pain management or relief. Opioids such as heroin and fentanyl are dangerous street drugs that have claimed the lives of millions of Americans. Opioid overdose is unfortunately now a major claimer of American lives.
Despite their differences, prescription and street opioids have something in common: they are highly addictive.
How Does Opioid Addiction Happen?
Unfortunately, many people end up getting addicted to opiates by accident.
When OxyContin was first released, the drug company responsible for creating and marketing the drug, Purdue Pharma, lied about how addictive OxyContin was. Additionally, Purdue paid doctors to prescribe the medication, leading OxyContin to be prescribed when it was not necessary.
These actions by Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies resulted in an opioid epidemic in the United States. Studies have shown that 80% of people addicted to heroin started using prescription opiates. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) estimated in 2016 that nearly two million Americans have opioid use disorder (OUD). Although there is now heightened awareness of the dangers of prescription opiates, the “opidemic” is still claiming the lives of thousands of Americans every year.
Struggling with an OUD is scary and difficult for the person who is addicted and for their friends and family. Despite these facts, there is hope. If an individual has an OUD, they should seek medical treatment to ensure a safe detox and a full recovery.
Detoxing from Opioids: What to Expect
Detoxing from opioids is the first step to recovery, but detox must occur with medical professionals carefully monitoring the process. Although death from opioid withdrawal is rare, it can happen, and withdrawals can be very taxing on the body.
The care of a medical professional is vital to ease the symptoms of withdrawal, which include:
Vomiting and nausea
Pain and cramps
Agitation and anxiety
Although these symptoms may not seem severe, they can be incredibly challenging for the person going through withdrawals. The person going through detox will need support, patience, compassion, and resources to make withdrawals more manageable.
Moreover, detoxing in a treatment facility can prevent the person from relapsing due to unsupervised and unmanaged withdrawals.
Opioids create a physical dependence, which makes withdrawals extremely uncomfortable. Since detoxing from opioids often involves pain, vomiting, and anxiety, attempting to detox alone can heighten the chances that individuals will use again and not complete the detox.
Ensuring that the person going through detox is at a facility that will not allow them to have access to opioids will increase the chances they complete the detox safely and begin their recovery.
Detoxing from Opioids: Finding a Treatment Center for Opioid Abuse
Recovering from opiate addiction is hard, but it is worth it. Luckily, inpatient treatment centers across the country have experience treating and resolving OUDs and can make recovery easier. In an inpatient facility, the person suffering from an OUD will be in an environment with no drugs or alcohol. They will have around-the-clock care to reduce their withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
More importantly, during treatment at an inpatient treatment facility, the person suffering from an OUD will be given therapies and medications such as Naltrexone and Sublocade. They will also develop new coping mechanisms to help them beat their addiction and continue recovering.
When looking for a treatment center, people should choose a facility whose practices are based on science. Unfortunately, people have fallen victim to rehab scams that leave the patient untreated and those financially supporting the individual out of thousands of dollars.
When researching facilities, look at their staff and ensure they are fully credentialed to treat OUDs. Additionally, ensuring they use evidence-based techniques to reduce cravings and improve mental health will help individuals determine if a facility will be successful in helping them detox safely and successfully.
After Detoxing from Opioids: What’s Next
Recovery does not end after detox. People who have developed an OUD often need to make significant life changes to continue recovering successfully. While these adjustments are being made, the person will likely continue to deal with cravings, stress, and burnout.
Long-term outpatient care can help ensure that the person recovering from an OUD has the tools and resources they need to secure a life free of drugs and full of happiness and peace.
One option for long-term care is joining a sober living home. In a sober living home, the person recovering from an OUD will be in an environment in which they will not be around drugs or alcohol.
Additionally, there will still be medical staff present who can provide medications to deal with cravings and give support to individuals throughout the process.
Get Proven Care for Opioid Addiction at The Forge Recovery Center
Choosing to undergo drug detox is scary, but it is also courageous. We want to be there for you every step of the way through your journey to help you have a life filled with happiness, health, and peace. Our expertly trained staff have years of experience helping patients make a full recovery from their opiate use disorders.
Through medication-assisted treatment and other proven therapies, we can help you beat your cravings, develop new coping mechanisms, and reintegrate into life outside treatment without drugs or alcohol. If you have questions about what options are available to treat your or a loved one’s opiate use disorder, please contact The Forge Recovery Center today.