If you or a loved one is addicted to opiates, you may be trying to find a way to detox from the medication. Opiate addictions often start because of the need for physical pain relief. However, over time, your body may become dependent on the medicine.
Still, many people become apprehensive about detoxing from opiates, because they do not know what to expect. Here is some information to demystify the detox process.
Is It Ok to Quit Cold Turkey?
It is not usually advisable to just quit taking opiates after a long dependency on them. The withdrawal symptoms may be so intense after abruptly stopping the drug that it would be too difficult to continue the detoxification process. Here are some of the withdrawal symptoms that you can expect, even if you gradually wean off of the drugs:
- Perspiration. As a person stops taking opiates, the portion of the brain that controls the emotions and body temperature responds to the lack of medication. As a result, profuse sweating is likely.
- Loose stools. Opiates tend to slow down digestion, often causing constipation. Once the drugs are out of your system, your digestive process may speed up, resulting in loose stools.
- Muscular discomfort. People who use opiates often feel little pain, since the medication is designed to block pain. However, without the medicine, your body may feel everyday aches more intensely.
- Anxiousness. Feelings of anxiety or agitation may quickly surface once you stop taking opiates. The hypothalamus, which is the area of the brain that controls your emotions, may respond to the withdrawal from opiates by inciting feelings of anxiety.
Can a Return to Opiates After Detoxing Be Dangerous?
If you return to opiates after a few days of detox, you may overdose on the drug. Your tolerance for opiates quickly drops during detoxification. Thus, if after several days you ingest the same amount of the drug that you did prior to starting the detox process, your body may not be able to withstand the dose.
What Can You Expect from a Reputable Detoxification Program for Opiates?
In order to detox from opiates safely and effectively, it is best to receive treatment through a medically approved program. Here are a few steps that are likely to be included in such a program:
- Monitoring. Medical supervision is important for the safety of the detox.
- Drug support. Drug support that lessens the intensity of withdrawal symptoms may be used.
- Therapy. Psychotherapy can help an addicted person overcome emotional triggers that may be related to the addiction.
For more information about detoxing from opiates, contact a treatment center in your local area, such as Support Systems Homes.