For those of you fortunate enough to never have gone through the horrors of opiate detox, the phenomena are difficult to explain accurately by those of us who have. Opiates (heroin, fentanyl, opium, Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin are just a few examples) are a type of drug traditionally used to manage pain but are extremely addicting. As prolonged use of opiates overwhelms natural opioid receptors in the brain, the brain becomes physically dependent on the substance requiring larger and larger doses to properly function. Once without the drug, the withdrawal symptoms begin to take a staggering effect on the body of the user.
Symptoms are usually flu-like but also include depression, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to hot and cold, nausea, diarrhea, and in the most extreme cases opiate detox has been known to cause death.
A Long and Troubling History of Opiate Addiction
The world is suffering from an epidemic of opiate use right now. Especially hard hit are the rural communities of middle and eastern America, where the overprescription of legal opiates has resulted in huge increases in addiction and overdose.
According to the National Institute of Health, drug overdoses in America have increased 225% from 1999 to 2015, and that those who overdose are at a much higher level of risk of suicide after an overdose event (NIH). But the devastating effects upon the lives and bodies and users is no new thing. After widespread opiate addiction spread across China in the late 1700s, officials were forced to ban the importation and production of the drug in 1800 and even banned the smoking of opium in 1813 with harsh physical punishment! The horrors created by the addiction to the drug are ancient and well known.
The First Day of Opiate Detox is the Most Important
Perhaps the most critical junction of kicking an opioid-based drug (whether it’s heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl, or something else) is the first 24 hours after stopping use. This is not only because withdrawal symptoms start to peak (and will continue to peak for the next 3-7 days), but because the integrity of the willpower of the user is at its most vulnerable point. Simply said, it’s near impossible for the user to talk themselves out succumbing to the overwhelming cravings. These cravings combined with withdrawal symptoms and the harsh reality of fresh sobriety, ensure the majority of opiate users who attempt to detox on their own will fail.
Medical Detoxification is Essential for a Safe Opiate Detox
Detoxing from opiates has a much better chance for success when done under the supervision of trained healthcare providers for a multitude of reasons. The first of which is a simple change in environment to help with the psychological transition needed for recovery. Getting away from fellow users, locations and situations are essential to getting clean.
Another huge benefit to detoxing with medical professionals is access to medicines and treatments that greatly reduce the effects of opiate withdrawals, making the process much more tolerable. Lastly, it’s of great assistance to have the emotional support provided by not only the staff of a detox center but also of the fellow addicts in similar situations trying to get clean. Peer reinforcement is integral.
Are You or Someone You Know Suffering from Opiate Dependency?
Opiate dependency is more prevalent than ever and if you or someone you love is suffering from opiate dependency, you are not alone. But it is essential to obtain the help that is needed right now, as the longer addiction continues the more dangerous it becomes. Allure Detox is committed to helping you or your loved one get their life back! It all starts with that first step: safe and effective medical detox.