The opioid epidemic ravaging almost every city and suburb in the United States has been described as a public health emergency. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 12 million people in the U.S reported abusing prescription painkillers in 2010. The increased rate of opioids being prescribed by physicians has resulted in a spike in the level of addiction to both prescription and illicit opioids. Efforts by authorities to curb this epidemic have had little success as these medications are easily accessible in virtually every street corner.
Remarkably, the number of drug detox centers across the US has also soared in recent years. For individuals struggling with opioid addiction, the first step towards recovery could involve medical detoxification under the supervision of addiction professionals.
Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal
If you have ever tried to stop using opioids on your own without any medical help, known as “cold turkey detox”, you probably already know how unsafe and unpleasant the experience was. For many addicts, this is one of the strongest reasons they continue using day in and day out for so long.
Anyone with a history of opioid dependence will likely face severe withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit the habit. The withdrawal symptoms can be so intense that they are difficult to control in an unmonitored environment. Cutting off opioids abruptly could trigger the following physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms:
- Intense anxiety
- Enlarged pupils
- Profuse sweating
- Abdominal cramps
- Runny nose
- Muscle aches
Although these symptoms are not life-threatening by themselves, they could result in further health complications or often a full-blown and dangerous relapse.
What Is Opioid Detoxification?
Opioid detoxification is the process of safely detoxing the body from all opioid-based medication. This is a very risky process that should be supervised by well-trained and experienced addiction experts. Since opioids are some of the most addictive medications routinely prescribed for the management of pain, they have a high tendency to cause dependence.
Abruptly stopping the use of opiates suddenly triggers certain chemical reactions in the brain within a few hours. This leads to a series of predictable signs and symptoms referred to as opioid withdrawal symptoms. The purpose of detoxification is to reduce the impact these withdrawal symptoms have on the individual which allows an opioid addict to cope with these symptoms successfully.
Opioid Detoxification: What Are My Options?
Just as there is a broad spectrum of opioid medication out there, the process of detoxification also varies from one addiction interventionist to another. Detoxification from harmful substances such as prescription opiates and heroin are broadly grouped into two categories:
Natural opioid detox: A form of opioid detox gradually gaining popularity all over the internet is “Natural Opioid Detox.” Although a bit similar in approach to your standard medical detox, this method differs because it recommends self-managed care through the use of natural supplements and vitamins. Many of these herbs and vitamin supplements sold over-the-counter and online are not FDA-approved, therefore their effectiveness is not tested.
While it is true that they supply the body with vital nutrients that may have been depleted by opiate addiction, many of these products have not been subjected to clinical trials. Mental health experts at the Mayo Clinic report that some of these products such as Kratom may even lead to addiction and trigger withdrawal symptoms. This could put you in harm’s way as vital body functions such as heart rate, breathing and blood pressure can be negatively impacted. Without the presence of a trained addiction therapist, the consequences can be grave. The fact that a product is labeled as “natural” doesn’t necessarily make it safe.
Medical Detoxification: Medical detox is a carefully managed process carried out in a monitored environment. Since detoxification from any Central Nervous System depressant carries a measure of risk, the process is only undertaken by experienced addiction therapists and clinicians. Certain medications are often administered to help ease your discomfort during the medical detox process. Three of the common FDA-approved medications typically used for treating opioid dependence are Buprenorphine, Methadone, and Naltrexone. These medications help reduce your withdrawal symptoms to the barest minimum.
Here at Allure Detox, we have been very successful in the treatment of opioid addition through a combination of medication-assisted detox and behavioral therapy. After your medical detox program is completed, our addiction experts may determine that you require therapy, and will recommend for you complete an inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab or a partial hospitalization program (PHP).
Safe and Effective Opioid Detox
All opioid detox approaches are not the same. There is a right and wrong way to detox from opioid dependence. Medical detox carried out in a rehab facility has the benefit of offering a safe environment for opiate withdrawal as well as providing access to professional supervision and support.
Successfully beating opioid addiction involves more than just discontinuing the use of opiates. Many individuals have attempted detoxification in the past, only to return to their old ways due to lack of aftercare from addiction therapists. Evidence suggests that the safest way to detox successfully from any chemical dependence is by completing a Medical Detoxification. At Allure Detox, we offer the most comfortable, effective, and advanced solutions for managing your opioid withdrawal symptoms.