Drug addiction is a chronic, progressive, and fatal disease if left untreated. Currently, the United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, with 78 Americans dying each day from an opioid overdose. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that between 26.4 million and 36 million people around the world abuse opiates, which include prescription painkillers and the illicit drug heroin. Fortunately, recovery is possible. Detox is the critical first step towards recovery and changing your life for the better.
Withdrawal can be a difficult obstacle in overcoming opiate addiction. Detox help is available and recovery from an opiate addiction is possible. Many people addicted to opiates cannot stop using on their own. They often require professional help in order to quit. This is nothing to be ashamed of — addiction is a cunning, baffling, and powerful disease. Some people struggling with an opiate addiction refuse to get help, while others believe that the detoxification process is too difficult to overcome. The truth of the matter is this: you can cope with opiate withdrawal by going to a medically-supervised opiate detox program. Learning about the opiate detox process is critical to knowing what to expect and making it through detox successfully.
Opiate Detox Process
The first step in treating opiate addiction is to stop taking opiates and let your body detox from the drugs. The withdrawal process is inevitable once your body becomes physically dependent on opiates. Stopping the use of opiates will lead to withdrawal since your body has become used to and dependent upon them. Withdrawal varies based on the individual and their use history. Early symptoms of withdrawal typically begin within 6-12 hours for short-acting opiates and begin within 30 hours for longer-lasting ones. Early symptoms include:
- Muscle aches
- Increased tearing
- Runny nose
Late stage symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Abdominal cramping
- Dilated pupils
- Drug cravings
Although these symptoms may be very uncomfortable, they are typically not life-threatening. Opiates, including prescription painkillers and heroin, can produce withdrawal symptoms just hours after the last dose. Withdrawal from opiates can occur any time long-term use is stopped or reduced, and symptoms can last for a week or more. Some of the psychological withdrawal symptoms (e.g. depression and cravings) may continue for longer than a week in some situations, which is why continued support and long-term treatment is beneficial.
Importance of a Medical Opiate Detox
Opiates should not be stopped suddenly without physical and emotional support available. The side effects of opiate withdrawal can be very powerful and even have dangerous complications. Medical professionals often help an individual wean off opiates by slowly tapering the dosage during a medical detox. This prevents the onset of severe withdrawal symptoms. Opiate withdrawal symptoms can be highly uncomfortable, but a medically-supervised opiate detox program can help you detox safely and comfortably. Vital signs, such as blood pressure, body temperature, respiration levels, and heart rate, are closely monitored in a medical detox center to ensure your safety.
Medical detox centers can help smooth out the withdrawal process, reduce side effects, prevent serious complications, and reduce drug cravings. Detox programs not only provide medical assistance, but emotional support as well. They may offer group and individual counseling, as well as an introduction to 12-Step meetings to help ease your cravings and process the difficult emotions that accompany an opiate detox. Detox programs also typically include discharge planning, to help you take the next step in your journey of recovery. Attending a medical detox program provides a solid foundation for recovery and can help you maintain long-term sobriety.
Summit Detox: Exceptional Opiate Detox Care
At Summit Detox, we help our clients detox from opiates safely and comfortably. We teach our clients about their addiction, provide physical and emotional support, and help them transition to a longer-term treatment facility. Our compassionate and experienced staff is comprised of medical doctors, psychiatrists, registered nurses, and addiction professionals. We are committed to helping you or your loved one complete the opiate detox process and begin a new life in recovery. At Summit Detox, we understand the challenges that accompany detoxing from opiates and are with you every step of the way. Detox is the important first step of recovery, so it is important that you choose the best opiate detox program for your specific needs and goals.
To start your journey of sobriety, call Summit Detox today. If your loved one is struggling with an opiate addiction, you can rest assured that he or she will receive the help they need and deserve at Summit Detox. Call us today: (888) 995-5265.