The opioid epidemic in the United States has been a rampant problem for many years, and prescription opioids are fueling it. People are getting introduced to opioids legally through their doctors and getting addicted. Often this leads to abuse or misuse of illicit opioids such as heroin or fentanyl.
People who abuse these drugs often die from their misuse in various ways, including overdose or withdrawal symptoms that can be life-threatening without proper medical attention.
What are Opioids?
Opioids are a powerful class of painkillers that are one of the most commonly prescribed types of medication for dealing with post-surgery discomfort. They work by releasing endorphins into our brains, which then block out any feeling that would typically be attributed to soreness or injury; this is what keeps us functioning normally day after day until our next dose.
Over time as you continue taking these medications regularly, your body becomes desensitized and stops responding so well – leading many people down an addiction path where you’ll need higher doses to feel their effects – this is called dependency or tolerance, and often ends up in Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)
Opioid Use Disorder
Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is defined as “a medical condition in which one continues using these substances despite significant health consequences.” OUD can start with prescription painkillers and lead people down dark paths of despair– sometimes even leading them into life-threatening situations. In addition to health consequences, many people with OUD often face financial, social, or legal consequences.
A person who uses benzos may become physically and psychologically dependent. You can develop a tolerance if you take these drugs for an extended period. The effects don’t last as long in your body before needing higher doses to achieve them again, and withdrawal is expected when you stop taking them.
If you are opioid-dependent, reducing or stopping drug use after some time will cause you to experience several symptoms of withdrawal. Opioid Withdrawal can be categorized as mild or moderate. Then there are the more severe levels that affect people taking higher dosages for prolonged periods before quitting- these come with their set consequences.
Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal
- Excessive Sweating
- Muscle Aches
- Intense Drug Cravings
Though withdrawal from opiates is not typically life-threatening, it can still be an intensely painful experience. Going through withdrawal is challenging, but getting rid of your dependence is a crucial first step in overcoming your addiction; a residential inpatient detox program is the best way to do this.
Opioid Use Disorder Treatment
Treatment for opioid dependence begins with a safe environment where we safely detox opioids from our system while monitoring them closely so the symptoms do not come back soon after treatment ends and reduce the likelihood of relapse. Detox centers like The Right Time Recovery provide customized medical services to meet each individual’s needs throughout their rehabilitation journey.
A medical approach to stabilization is used in an inpatient detox program. A team monitors your vital signs to keep you safe, and medications are used to keep you comfortable and mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal, which also lowers the chance of relapse.
Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT)
MAT often involves three FDA-approved medicines:
- Buprenorphine helps relieve withdrawal symptoms. Furthermore, it blocks the effects that come from opioids.
- Methadone helps ease the pain during withdrawal while blocking the euphoria associated with opioids.
- Naltrexone blocks the effect of opioids on the brain and reduces cravings.
Talk therapy can be an effective way to treat many symptoms of opioid use disorder not addressed by medicine. When used in combination with medication, psychotherapy has been found helpful for preventing relapses and helping people recover from their addiction. Your counselors may use one or more of the following psychotherapy approaches:
- Contingency Management (CM). CM aims to reward positive behavioral changes in a drug user.
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is the most common behavioral therapy for addiction, helping users replace negative, drug-related thoughts with positive thoughts.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT teaches you to accept your flaws rather than run away from them.
Death during prescription opioid detox can occur due to dehydration from persistent diarrhea and vomiting. If untreated, severe dehydration may result in high blood sodium levels or heart failure; thus, proper hydration is key to preventing these complications.
If you have developed an addiction that affects your kidney function, it’s essential to monitor how much fluid intake exceeds output.
Additionally, long-term addiction often causes a lot of damage to a person’s health due to a lack of proper nutrition. Nutritional Support is a great way to help a person heal.