The Opioid Crisis

The United States is facing an opioid crisis that sees millions of people becoming addicted every year. Typically used for pain relief and their calming effects, opioids can be incredibly harmful, habit-forming, and even life-threatening.

Opioids cause physical withdrawal symptoms that can be excruciating if unmedicated. However, a medical detox can treat most symptoms and make the transition into sobriety safer and easier. Fear of withdrawals need no longer be a barrier to recovery when you reach out for help.

NP Addiction Clinic can help with long-term opioid dependence and provide safe, effective, and personalized medical care for withdrawal symptoms and provide the long-term support you need to maintain your sobriety.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a type of drug that can help with moderate or severe pain. They work by interacting with the natural opioid receptors in the brain and body to provide pain relief and feelings of pleasure. In 2019, the National Institute of Drug Abuse confirmed that over 50,000 people died of opioid-related overdoses in the United States.

Commonly available through prescriptions, opioids are prescribed to those suffering from chronic pain. However, overprescription is extremely common, and there is a substantial problem with people becoming addicted to them. 
Although opioids are highly regulated and controlled by doctors, they can also be purchased illegally.

Purchasing illegal opiates is extremely dangerous as you have no way of knowing what is in the product. In recent years, illicit tablets pressed with fentanyl have killed unwitting users who thought they were taking something much weaker.
Opioid Detoxification at NP Addiction Recovery Center

What Is the Difference Between Opioids and Opiates?

While the effects of both opioids and opiates are the same, there is a subtle difference between the two. Derived from nature, opiates originate from the opium poppy and include morphine, codeine, and heroin. Opioids, on the other hand, are synthetic and include drugs such as fentanyl and oxycodone. Both provide intense pain relief and feelings of joy when taken.

However, there is no real difference between prescription opioids and opiates such as heroin when going through detox. Symptoms of withdrawal are just as severe, and it is equally important to get treatment for both.
The Opioid Crisis
The Opioid Crisis

Common opioid and opiates include:

  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl (Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic, Subsys, Abstral, and Lazanda)
  • Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Roxicodone, Percocet)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, Lortab)
  • Codeine
  • Morphine (MS Contin, Kadian)
  • Tramadol
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
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Opioid Detoxification at NP Addiction Recovery Center

Why Are Opiates So Addictive?

Whether prescribed or bought illegally, opiates are highly addictive. This is because they provide a rush of endorphins, which provide powerful pain relief and promote feelings of wellbeing. The body has natural opioid receptors which opioids bind to, making the user feel high.

We use our natural, or endogenous, opioids to regulate our digestion, our mood, temperature, and many other functions. Taking opiates means our body stops producing these chemicals of its own accord. Suddenly stopping causes a massive shock to the system and results in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

To relieve these symptoms, people take more opioids which results in a vicious cycle of building tolerance, stronger withdrawals, and increased opioid use.

Symptoms of Opioid Dependence

The symptoms of opioid dependence are different for everyone, but they commonly include:

  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities
  • Experiencing mood swings
  • Abandoning responsibilities
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Physical restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping or drastic changes in sleeping patterns
  • Missing work, school, or appointments
  • Financial and legal issues

Substance abuse can be different for everyone. People may not think they have a physical dependence on opioids, especially if prescribed by a doctor. Still, they may be addicted without realizing it. If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, opioid dependence treatment could be beneficial.

Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal

When detoxing from opioids, people can experience a range of physical symptoms within just a few hours. These include:

  • Aching muscles
  • Excessive sweating
  • Restlessness and anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated heart rate

Taking the step to stop using opioids may seem daunting, but the road to recovery is worth it to see the improvements in your physical and mental health.

Opioid Detoxification at NP Addiction Recovery Center

How Opioid Addiction Is Treated

Throughout an opioid detox program, medications can be used to reduce the risk of serious health complications. These include:

  • Methadone - Used as long-term medication to help with opioid use disorder, methadone is prescribed as a controlled replacement for opioids. Over time, the dose is decreased to reduce the intensity of withdrawal.
  • Naltrexone - This treatment works to prevent the effects opioids have on the brain, reducing the desire to consume the drugs. It can’t be taken with any other treatment such as methadone.
  • Buprenorphine - Sold under the brand name Subutex, this treatment is similar to methadone. It acts as a maintenance drug to replace opioids. Buprenorphine also helps to shorten the effects of opioid withdrawal.

Medication for opioid withdrawal is very effective and helps clients cope with the physical and mental effects. The most effective treatment for opioid dependence combines medication with therapy to target the root causes of addiction.

When an individual completes detox at NP Addiction Clinic, we provide around-the-clock care and medication tailored to each client to help relieve withdrawal symptoms. We support people every step of the way through their detox to reduce the risk of serious health complications and relapses after treatment.

Opioid Withdrawal Timeline

Opioid withdrawal will look different for everyone and depends on various elements. Factors that can affect the timeline and symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • The severity of substance abuse
  • The length of substance abuse
  • The number of opioids in your system at the time of withdrawal
  • The medication used during withdrawal

There are often around three stages:

  • Stage One - This stage typically arises six to thirty hours after opioids were last used. Symptoms can begin at any time and include muscle aches, tiredness, sweating, and trouble sleeping.
  • Stage Two - Arising seventy-two hours after withdrawal begins, withdrawal tends to be the worst at this stage. People often experience chills, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ache.
  • Stage Three - After a week, the severe symptoms of opioid withdrawal begin to subside. However, long-term symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, and irritability may persist.

Medicated withdrawal in a detox program at NP Addiction Clinic is safer than doing it alone. We provide constant support throughout and have access to medication and follow-up treatment to support your mental health at all times.

Benefits of Inpatient Opioid Detox

Inpatient treatment centers and detox programs are ideal for those wanting to overcome opioid dependence. Some of the benefits include:

  • Twenty-four-hour care
  • Community support
  • Individualized treatment programs
  • Comprehensive aftercare
  • Safe, non-addictive medications

Detoxing alone is hard, which is why NP Addiction Clinic provides a warm, friendly environment with constant support from staff to set clients up for a successful recovery.

Though overcoming opioid dependence can be challenging, we tailor our recovery plans to each person to provide the best environment for recovery.

Contact us today if you are ready to regain control of your life with an NP Addiction Clinic detox program.

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