Opioid Withdrawal and Addiction

No one is ever safe from developing an addiction to heroin. If you happen to be hooked onto a certain food, activity, or another illicit substance like alcohol or drugs, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You tend to crave it during the day no matter what you’re doing, and the thought of going cold turkey with the opioid withdrawal symptoms makes your skin crawl already. The worst part about being addicted to drugs, however, is that the withdrawal symptoms are much more intense and sometimes painful to go through alone. Across our country, thousands of people are experience withdrawal symptoms from being addicted to prescribed or recreational opioids. 

Opioids are designated as its own class of drugs working which are often given by doctors in every field to relieve severe muscle or bone pain. Typically the process for a patient to receive these drugs is easy, but the effects of their long term usage can be devastating if they aren’t educated on its risks. Opioids are present in popular medications like painkillers and heroin to date. Once a patient realizes they feel pleasure or no longer have the pain they can’t stand experiencing, they turn to opioids weekly, daily and sometimes multiple times a day to cope. With the numbers of patients checking into rehab centers with opioid addictions climbing each day, it’s crucial to know how they work and what risks there are if you see being prescribed the drug in the future. With the current opioid overdose epidemic affecting every community in our country right now, you don’t want one with the numbers. 

It can be difficult to deal with opioid addiction.

How Do Opioids Work?

Naturally derived from the opium poppy plant we can find in nature, opium blocks any types of pain receptors and communicate “pain” to us in our body. This is why most patients suffering from traumatic injuries, are healing from an extremely invasive surgery, or are experiencing a severe disease are given opioids by doctors to cope. 

On the flip side, opioids also help patients feel more happy or satisfied with their surrounds in the “high” they come on to. This pleasurable effect is proven by research to be highly addictive and is hard to come off of if it is used in large doses too often. 

If a patient is using opioids for a very large period of time, they may start to experience more erratic or slower breathing patterns, an irritable bowel or constipation issues, feelings of vomiting, dizziness or lack of focus, and drowsiness throughout the day. For a person that needs to keep up an active lifestyle or has a large workload, this can be extremely detrimental to their daily functionality. In addition, opioids can completely restrict your ability to breathe at a dangerously high dose which can lead to a fatal overdose. 

While some opioids are known as narcotics and help with patient’s pain, these are not the exact same type of drugs as one like Tylenol. You might have heard about drugs like Vicodin, OxyContin, fentanyl, and heroin which are illegal in all states in the country. For someone abusing these substances frequently, they may show signs of lack of hygiene, loss of control of their responsibilities, changes in their weight, eating, or sleeping habits, signs of irritability, and a newfound financial crisis. Some people are highly skilled in covering up their opioid addiction while others may find their habit slips through the cracks  Someone who takes notice of their own withdrawal symptoms persistence should seek therapy as soon as possible so they can prevent future damage. 

Keeping Up With Opioid Addiction

While there is immediate cure for a patient who has opioid withdrawal symptoms, they need to know that they must stay committed to maintain a sober mind and body. If you happen to be suffering from opioid withdrawal symptoms and don’t know how to cope, don’t get too nervous. The first action to take is to check yourself into a detox facility to first rid your body of any traces of the substance in a relaxed and controlled manner. This won’t be any kind of horror-esque rehab facility or a similar type of therapy you may be thinking of if you’re a fan of scary movies. You will be treated by employees who truly care about you and will lead your hand every step of the way so you minimize your levels of discomfort.  

If you were initially addicted to a dose of opioids nearly every day are drastically tapering your use, make sure you ask questions about how your body will react. You may have difficulty concentrating or have lower energy levels at first from the withdrawal. Make sure you read your reviews before attending a facility to start your treatment just in case there’s anything you should know more about. 

Finishing Strong

After you have detoxified your system, take the steps to organize a battle plan for getting over relapse and conquering sobriety. With the help of a counselor that may be recommended to you through the detox facility, you will gain ample education and emotional support about dealing with your opioid addiction. It is important that every patient understands that you might feel like a failure or feel hopeless in the beginning. This is completely normal and is not a sign of your potential in the end of treatment.

Yet, with enough emotional support from your counselor, potential support group, close friends, and your family members who are informed about your treatment, you will be armed with enough motivation to push through the journey. We all can use consistent encouragement and positive thinking from our loved ones so we get through the harder days during treatment!

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