By: Zinnia Healing Editorial Staff | Edited By: Rebecca Hill
Everything You Need to Know About Opiates Detox
Substance abuse can begin innocently with a doctor-prescribed pain medication. But if the medication isn’t taken according to the prescription, the body can build up a tolerance, requiring a higher dose at each interval. There’s a thin line beyond tolerance that, once crossed, can quickly devolve into dependence and finally addiction.
Opiate and opioid medications present these possibilities, as well as the potential for overdose. If an individual takes more of an opiate medication than they’re prescribed, or if they don’t have a prescription at all and begin mixing opiates with alcohol or other substances, it’s a recipe for unfortunate circumstances ahead. It can lead to withdrawal symptoms and the need for opiate detox.
Opiate rehab, detox programs, and targeted medical care can help people recover from opioid use disorder (OUD) or other substance use or abuse. Begin the journey to recovery, and take back the reins of their lives. If you or someone you love may be suffering silently, Zinnia Healing can help. Call (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our substance abuse treatment options.
What Are Opiates?
Opiates are naturally occurring drugs, such as morphine and heroin. Opiates fall within the opioid class of medications, encompassing all-natural, synthetic, or a combination.
Prescription opioids include medications such as hydrocodone, tramadol, or codeine. Illegal opioids include substances like heroin. Fentanyl is a medication you’ve likely heard a lot about, and this deadly substance may have even touched your life or that of someone you know. While fentanyl is a medication that doctors can prescribe, it’s also a drug made illegally and sold on the streets.
What Is Opiate or Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)?
OUD, or opioid use disorder, and opiate addiction occur when a person can’t mitigate their use of opiates or is unable to quit, regardless of how it’s affecting their home or work life or personal and professional relationships. OUD is a chronic, severe medical illness that disrupts the body and the brain. However, a doctor will only issue an OUD diagnosis and recommend addiction treatment for substance abuse if you’ve had two or more of the following symptoms within the past 12 months:
- You slow down or stop participating in activities you enjoy if these activities get in the way of your opiate use.
- You develop an increased tolerance level, needing to take more of the medication to achieve the same desired effect.
- If you cut back or stop using, you begin to feel opiate withdrawal.
- You experience intense cravings for opiates, even after taking a dose, especially when you run out.
- You can’t stop using opiates, even when you want to.
- You can’t stop using opiates, even though your use has created (or exacerbated) a physical condition or mental health problem or it’s caused damage to personal or professional relationships.
- Continued opiate abuse is hindering your home life, job, or studies.
- You focus a lot of time on sourcing your medication, taking it, or coming down.
- You consistently increase your doses or find the medication elsewhere once your prescription has run out.
- Using opiates in harmful situations, like driving, operating machinery, or otherwise in a position requiring clear thinking and total responsibility, doesn’t scare you.
Opiate use disorder looks different for different people. Some people with an OUD show no outward symptoms of drug addiction and are otherwise successful, highly functioning individuals. It’s much more typical, however, for the person to exhibit some of the warning signs of an opiate problem, such as:
- Mood swings
- Sudden behavioral shifts
- Less importance attached to appearance
- Sudden lack of money
- More doctor appointments or pharmacy visits than usual (or necessary) for the condition diagnosed initially
For someone in the throes of an opioid battle, it’s not always possible to understand the differences between tolerance, dependence, and addiction or to admit if they may have an opiate use disorder. Zinnia Healing has compassionate specialists who can create a tailored treatment plan specifically for each individual. Call us at (855) 430-9439 if you want to learn more about our treatment options for yourself or a loved one.
Opiates Detox and Withdrawals: What To Expect
Choosing to stop using opiates or opioids can feel scarier than continuing to use. An addicted individual can’t see the forest for the trees. In other words, they can’t see the clean, sober, and happy version of themselves just on the other side of medical detox and treatment. Their primary focus when considering detox in a recovery center is that, as the medication leaves their body, the withdrawals will be painful. But that isn’t necessarily the case.
Some individuals, especially those heavily addicted to opiates, will receive evidence-based medications specifically designed for those detoxing from opioid pain medications. Best of all, most insurance providers offer substance abuse treatment coverage (call your insurance carrier to be certain). Methadone, buprenorphine, and Suboxone (a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone) are the most frequently used drug detox medicines that help an opiate-addicted person find relief from opiate withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Spike in blood pressure
- High fever
- Excessive sweat
- Getting the “chills”
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Inability to sleep
- Excessive yawning
- Overall unwell feeling
In detox, medical professionals provide medications and care, and psychologists are present to talk through what you feel during your process so you can know that you’re 100% supported in your detoxification efforts. Once your withdrawal subsides and your system is clean, you’ll start your tailored opiate aftercare treatment program.
What Is the Difference Between Tolerance and Dependence?
Tolerance, dependence, and addiction — the first two don’t necessarily mean you’ll experience the third, but it could mean you’re suffering from substance use disorder (SUD). SUD often presents as tolerance, followed by opiate dependence. While dependence has different faces, physiologically and psychologically, tolerance requires increasingly greater doses over time, meaning both tolerance and dependence can simultaneously develop as you take more opioids to scale the plateau your body’s reached. Abruptly cutting back or stopping brings on withdrawal, creating a craving that often leads to using, and the cycle is a vicious one that’s hard to break free from. This is a condition best treated by compassionate, professional medical personnel in an opiate rehab treatment center.
How Long Does Opiate Detox and Rehab Last?
Effective treatment programs tailor every aspect of the recovery journey with the needs of the individual in mind. That said, the most successful stories are told by those who’ve spent at least three months in an inpatient treatment program, an outpatient treatment program, or a combination of both.
An inpatient treatment program provides the following types of treatment in the comforts of a professional opiate treatment center:
- Group therapy sessions
- Individual counseling sessions
- Family counseling sessions
- Support groups
- MAT, or medically assisted treatment (to curb cravings and minimize the effects of opioid withdrawal)
A completely outpatient program provides these treatments for patients who need to or choose to remain in their own homes, whether for familial, school, or work reasons. An outpatient program isn’t nearly as intensive as an inpatient program and can range from just a couple of hours weekly to several hours daily.
Zinnia Healing Can Help
Opiate addiction leaves lasting scars but not the visible kind. Addiction can harm your brain and change how it functions. In treatment for opiate use disorder, you’ll learn the skills necessary for adjusting your coping mechanisms, refraining from using, and staying clean one day at a time.
If you need help with opiate use, reach out to Zinnia Healing. Our caring representatives are ready to speak to you about your situation. Call us at (855) 430-9439 to see how we can help you take the first step on your road to recovery.