Overcoming Addictions of Opiates
Opiate addiction is a chronic medical condition wherein a person becomes dependent on opiate drugs to the extent that getting free needs much more than willpower. As addicts become tolerant to a drug, their bodies may need larger quantities of the drug to get the same high they once had on smaller doses.
But when they suddenly stop or decrease the amount of the drug, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. To keep away from the feelings of withdrawal, addicts may need to abstain from the substance, with the abstinence period extending up to at least six months. It usually takes around four to seven days for the drug to exit the body, but it can take weeks for the person to overcome the drug habit and lead a normal life.
Common Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal syndrome is a set of symptoms caused by decreased amounts of alcohol or drugs in the blood of a person who cannot survive without a prolonged heavy use of the substance. Apparently, alcohol withdrawal may show its first signs in 4-12 hours after someone stops drinking or cuts down heavily on it, and can last a few days. Some of the symptoms of early stage withdrawal are:
- Intense worry
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shakiness and sweating
Life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, called delirium tremens (DTs), are:
- Being extremely confused or upset
- Feeling things on the body that are not there
- Seeing or hearing things that do not exist
Opiate Withdrawal Treatments
Drug cravings are impossible to resist, with psychological and social factors acting as common triggers that force an addict to start using drugs once again. A therapist needs to understand an addict’s complete history of drug abuse before starting any treatment, as most people tend to relapse even after achieving long-term abstinence.
A person addicted to opiates exhibits a range of withdrawal symptoms that can be effectively managed with medical detox program – a process that provides the safest, most comfortable environment for a patient’s fast recovery. Rapid detox is a good way of treating opiate addiction and its withdrawal symptoms. There are many good rapid detox centers, including the detox centers.
A detox therapy uses medications and counseling to improve the chance of successful recovery in addiction patients. Drugs like buprenorphine and naltrexone can help patients stay on the path to recovery under the care of professional medical personnel who supervise the detox process. This process takes place in an inpatient rehab center along with adequate medical intervention.
The detox process can help eliminate the effects of narcotic addiction and opioid withdrawal. Time and again, studies have suggested that drug addiction can be better controlled with long-term maintenance therapy, using either methadone or buprenorphine.
While methadone is the most effective drug used for a quick recovery from narcotic addiction, suboxone has also gained a wide popularity as a maintenance therapy. Naltrexone, on the other hand, may not block opioid withdrawal or cravings as it doesn’t activate receptors, unlike methadone and suboxone. But the biggest advantage of using naltrexone is that a person won’t get a high even if he or she uses drugs while taking the medicine.
Although patients undergoing such a treatment are still opioid-dependent, they often remain untouched by the destructive effects of drug addiction. A few addicts have been found to take medicines for decades as they tend to fall back to illicit drug use after the maintenance therapy is stopped, while some others are recommended to taper off the therapy over months to years.
It is not easy to fight the vicious cycle of addiction, recovery and relapse and getting back to the square one. At the same time, it is not difficult to fight addiction. Proper treatment and care can help a person reclaim his life.