Opioid Withdrawal: Common Signs, Symptoms & Treatment of Addiction
Opioid detox under medical supervision is a necessity for people who have become addicted to this type of drug. Opioid withdrawal can be overwhelming because of its physical and emotional consequences. That’s why opiate detox treatment at a reputable rehab center is essential for patients who are trying to wean themselves from these substances.
Continue reading to comprehend what opioids are and how they affect the human brain. Begin to understand why these drugs may cause dependence and withdrawal. Learn to be familiar with the common signs of opiate addiction and the typical symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
Find out what the usual timeline is for opiate withdrawal. Explore what treatment alternatives are available for patients who need detox from opiates. Finally, discover an “opioid detox center near me” in Los Angeles or other nearby places in Southern California.
Detoxing from Opioids: What You Need to Know
Opioids are a category of drugs that are often prescribed by physicians to treat or reduce chronic or extreme pain. Some examples of opioids are pain relievers like morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and other similar medications. The illegal drug heroin, as well as synthetic opioids like fentanyl, also fall under this classification, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists explains that opioids are typically used by adults and kids who are experiencing severe pain because of cancer, long-term backaches, chronic headaches, physical injuries, or surgical procedures. Opioids are also popularly known as opiates or narcotics.
What Are the Effects of Opioids on the Human Brain?
Opioids have a major impact on the brain of a person. These substances connect with opioid receptors to relieve pain and to produce pleasant sensations. It promotes the extra production of dopamine, a natural chemical that is linked to the reward circuits in the human brain.
Dopamine is related to gratifying activities like participating in favorite hobbies, bonding with loved ones, and performing fitness workouts. It also reinforces the use of opiates when it is released because of the consumption of these drugs.
Because of the stimulation of dopamine production, opioids may cause sleepiness, calmness, and relaxed breathing among people who consume them. Opiate intake may also result in a thrilling high called euphoria, which encourages people to take these substances more frequently.
Why Do Opioids Cause Dependence and Withdrawal?
Opioids can be beneficial if these medications are properly taken under the prescription of a doctor. They can minimize pain caused by health issues, injuries, or operations. Nevertheless, prolonged consumption of opioids may result in dependence on these substances.
People with a regular opiate intake may gradually build a tolerance to these medications over time. As a result, they will require a higher amount of these drugs to achieve the same effects they once experienced with a lower dosage. Individuals who have grown dependent on opioids may experience unpleasant symptoms if they suddenly cease or minimize the use of these substances.
An unhealthy cycle develops as addicted persons who are trying to wean themselves from opiates end up taking these drugs once more just to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Take note that individuals who are struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) and other mental health conditions are more susceptible to the misuse or abuse of prescription opioids.
What Are the Signs of Opiate Addiction?
Individuals who become dependent on opiate addiction may exhibit radical changes in their behavior, based on American Society of Anesthesiologists resources. Here are some of the common signs of opiate addiction:
- Mood swings
- Depression and sadness
- Excess energy
- Unstable sleeping patterns
- Extreme exhaustion
- Worry and irritability
- Neglecting basic hygiene tasks, such as taking a bath, brushing teeth, and changing clothes
- Lack of interest in previous favorite activities
- Significant increase or decrease in appetite
- Nonsensical conversations
- Avoiding quality time with family and old friends
- Mingling with new friends and social groups
- Inconsistent attendance in the office or school
- Skipping meetings and appointments frequently
- Growing financial difficulties
- Violating laws and regulations
What Are the Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal?
Although there are various kinds of opioids, these are the usual symptoms that are typically associated with opioid withdrawal:
- High blood pressure
- Fast heart rate
- Muscle aches
- Bone pain
- Higher body temperature
- Body chills
- Abdominal pain
- Excessive sweating
- Sleep disorder
- Drug cravings
What Is the Timeline for Opioid Withdrawal?
The exact timeline for opiate withdrawal may vary based on the following factors:
- Type of opioids involved
- Amount of drugs consumed
- Intake frequency and intervals
- Extremity of withdrawal symptoms
- Onset of the manifestation of symptoms
- Length of the effect of withdrawal symptoms
These are the two estimated timelines for opiate withdrawal:
Slow-acting Opioid Withdrawal Timeline
People who are addicted to heroin generally start experiencing withdrawal symptoms in a span of eight to 12 hours after they take the last dose. These symptoms grow more severe within one to three days and last for up to seven days.
Individuals who are dependent on short-acting opiates like morphine and immediate-release formulations of fentanyl, morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone usually encounter withdrawal symptoms as soon as eight to 24 hours after the last intake. The symptoms may persist for up to 10 days.
Fast-acting Opioid Withdrawal Timeline
People who are addicted to long-acting opioids like methadone and extended-release formulations of hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl, and oxycodone commonly begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms 36 hours after the last consumption. These symptoms could last up to 14 days or beyond.
What Are the Opioid Detox Treatment Options?
Opioid withdrawal can be an unpleasant and risky process. That’s why medical supervision is vital for people who wish to recover from opioid addiction. There is a variety of treatment alternatives that are available for individuals who need detox from opiates. Here are some of the opiate detox options that patients can choose from at an “opioid detox center near me”:
Tapering is a method where the dosage of opioids is minimized gradually. The purpose of tapering is to eventually reduce or eliminate the dependence of individuals on opiates. Round-the-clock monitoring by licensed doctors and staff members at a rehab facility is a must for patients who are undergoing the tapering process.
Behavioral therapy is a form of clinical psychotherapy which is based on the principles of cognitive psychology. It can motivate people to refrain from opioid use and to change their attitude towards drug dependence. It allows them to sharpen their life skills so they can successfully resist the desire to use opiates despite stressful situations and environmental triggers. It encourages them to avoid starting and perpetuating a new cycle of opiate abuse.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the types of behavioral therapy that are especially suitable for patients who are addicted to opioids include the 12-Step Facilitation Therapy, Contingency Management Interventions/Motivational Incentives, and Community Reinforcement Approach Plus Vouchers.
Other types of therapy may also be beneficial for patients who are undergoing opioid detox. For instance, Adolescent Behavioral Therapy is appropriate for young persons, while Family Behavior Therapy is advisable for persons whose family members wish to be actively involved in the healing process.
The medication-assisted treatment makes it possible for people to control their cravings for opioids. Opioid maintenance drugs like methadone or buprenorphine enable patients to curb their desire for opiates.
Buprenorphine is usually recommended for people who are weaning themselves from opioid substances. Methadone and buprenorphine are generally prescribed on a long-term basis to lower the risk of overdose and to encourage the avoidance of prescription drugs and illegal opiates. Both medications can lessen the frequency and severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms as well.
Other supplementary medications may be prescribed to relieve and manage withdrawal symptoms. For example, Loperamide may treat diarrhea, while Clonidine can minimize anxiety.
Experience Safe Opioid Withdrawal via Opioid Detox Treatments at NorthStar Detox & Rehab Center
Every patient is unique, which is why different people will require a different combination of treatments as they undergo detox from opiates. However, all patients need the constant support of a qualified medical team at an accredited facility like NorthStar Detox & Rehab Center. We can guide you on a 24/7 basis through our in-house opioid detox program.
Your future opiate detox treatment will be administered in our physician-owned facility in Tarzana, California. Once you or your loved one is admitted to our center, you will undergo a comprehensive evaluation by a medical doctor who specializes in opioid addiction and other forms of SUD.
Our licensed clinicians and staff will create a personalized plan and medication regimen that is tailored to your needs. We shall do our best to maximize your comfort and minimize unpleasant symptoms as you experience the opioid withdrawal process through our round-the-clock monitoring.
NorthStar Detox & Rehab Center is the ultimate choice for you if you or your family member are searching for an “opioid detox center near me” in Los Angeles and other surrounding areas in Southern California. Call us at (888) 577-0550 today or send us a message to start your recovery journey from opioid addiction and withdrawal.