Opioids are extremely addictive drugs. Some people become dependent on them after using a prescription for pain. Others use opioids recreationally for their euphoric and relaxation properties. If you’ve become addicted to these drugs and want to stop using them, you’ll probably need to undergo opioid treatment, which starts with detox.
When you take opioids, you feel euphoric effects as the drugs bind to specific receptors in your brain. If you use these types of drugs for a long period of time, your body stops making its own feel-good neurotransmitters. You end up being reliant on the drugs to make you feel normal and balanced.
However, you develop a tolerance. Your brain becomes used to having opioids in its system, and it begins to need more to feel intense effects.
Opiates, which belong to a class of drugs in the heroin family, change the way that you experience pleasure. They bind to receptors in the brain. Those receptors are designed to respond to natural chemicals that your body makes to increase feelings of pleasure.
Once you’ve been using opioids for some time, however, you stop responding to the neurotransmitters that your body sends out. You start to need the drugs to feel good. Eventually, you must have the chemicals in your system just to feel normal.
You might want to stop using opioids. However, if you suddenly quit, you might feel awful. The only thing that can make you feel better during a detox period is time and certain medications. Taking your drug of choice will also relieve your withdrawal symptoms. But it also prevents you from achieving a successful recovery.
You’ll go through a transition period when you stop using opioids. During this time, you need to get the drugs out of your system. But you’ll feel powerful withdrawal symptoms as your body tries to adjust to the way that it worked before you used substances. This period can be excruciating.
Most people begin to feel withdrawal symptoms within a few hours of their last dose. If you’ve been taking a long-acting opiate, such as methadone, you may not feel withdrawal symptoms for a few days. But heroin and other short-acting opiates produce withdrawal symptoms within as few as six hours.
At first, someone who is going through opiate detox might experience symptoms such as:
• Achy muscles and joints
• Runny nose
• Excessive sweating
• Uncontrollable yawning
• High blood pressure
• Trouble sleeping
Within about 72 hours, the above symptoms intensify. They may be intense for about a week. Other symptoms that can arise within a few days after the last dose include:
• Diarrhea, vomiting and nausea
• Intense cravings for the drug
• Abdominal pain
Many people minimize the opiate detox timeline by getting medical assistance while they eliminate the drugs from their system. This is an important first step because you can’t heal while opioids are influencing your brain and body.
Even if you want to stop using drugs with all of your heart, you may be daunted by the process. No matter how much you want to combat your addiction, you may feel powerless to manage the effects of withdrawal.
You might have trouble quitting cold turkey without support. However, a professional who can guide you through a home detox process can help you get through this essential first step successfully.
Many patients who go through opiate detox need someone to supervise their temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and respiration. Getting this type of support at home can help you find peace of mind. You won’t have to expose yourself to a new environment or adjust to a clinical setting. You can have all of the comforts that make you feel safe. Plus, you’ll know that you’re in good hands.
Opiate detox involves more than the physical body. As your health improves, your psychological wellness might suffer. You may experience extreme ups and downs as your brain learns how to function with your body while you’re not under the influence of substances.
Even if your body handles opiate detox well, your mind may make the process seem impossible. Some people cope with withdrawal better when they take medications, such as antidepressants, to help them find relief.
Coming up with a treatment plan after detox is also important. Some people find it necessary to throw themselves back into their routines. However, the life that you lived before opiate detox may not be conducive to recovery. You might require help developing new patterns, finding fulfillment and getting through each day.
We will work with you to come up with a plan that takes your needs into account. We take a holistic approach to treatment. Nobody is the same. Opioid treatment is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Feel free to contact us to ask us more about our personalized home detox and opioid treatment.
The journey toward recovery from opioids starts with detox. Eliminating drugs from your body initiates the healing process.
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