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An opiate is a drug that is derived from the opium poppy plant. Opiates can be illicit drugs, but opiates are also often prescribed by physicians to manage pain. Opiates are very addicting and can quickly lead to dependence. It is often difficult to stop using opiates once dependence begins, and professional help, like that provided by My Recovery Helper, is often necessary.
The United States has seen a huge increase in the past ten years in the number of individuals that were prescribed opiates for pain management. While many individuals continue to use and benefit from these medications being used properly, many others abuse the drugs and become addicted to them. According to the National Institutes of Health’s Medline Plus, about 9% of the U.S. population is believed to misuse opiates over the course of their lifetime, including illegal drugs like heroin and prescription pain medications such as Oxycontin.
Opiate users experience withdrawal symptoms shortly after they stop using their drug. However, this is a necessary process to go through in order to fully recover from a prescription drug or opiate addiction. Detoxing from opiates can be categorized into three phases: Phase 1 or Early Phase; Phase 2 or Late Phase; and Phase 3 or Post Withdrawal Phase.
Phase 1 of Opiate Detox
Phase 1 can begin within 12 hours of the last opiate use, and usually lasts for a total of five days. Individuals going through the early phase of opiate detox will often experience muscle aches, insomnia, anxiety, nausea, abdominal cramps, and depression. In general, this phase feels to the user like they have the flu. Also during this time, the person going through withdrawal will crave their substance, and may want to return to using in order to ease their symptoms.
During Phase 1, the individual receiving treatment in a detox facility will be monitored closely, and can be provided with medication to ease anxiety, achiness, and agitation, and to manage the vomiting and diarrhea. Treatment staff will work to keep the patient comfortable and provide psychological support during this time. Some facilities make use of natural means for detox, such as a focus on diet, meditation, and acupuncture to ease withdrawal symptoms. Patients will be encouraged to exercise, eat right, drink plenty of water, and get proper sleep in order to combat the symptoms of withdrawal.
Phase 1 Withdrawal Symptoms:
- Abdominal cramps
- Muscle aches
- Increased tear production
- Runny Nose
Phase 2 of Opiate Detox
Withdrawal symptoms continue into Phase 2, which usually starts five days after the last opiate use, and lasts about two weeks. Patients going through Phase 2 withdrawal usually experience abdominal cramping, dilated pupils, Goosebumps, chills, and leg cramps as the substance continues to work its way out of the body.
During Phase 2 of opiate detox, treatment staff will continue to offer supportive care. While these symptoms are uncomfortable, they are not life-threatening, and can be managed with some rest and basic care. During this phase of opiate detox, however, it is also important that the patient receive psychological help to manage the cravings to use.
Phase 2 Withdrawal Symptoms:
- Abdominal cramps
- Dilated pupils
- Muscle cramps
Phase 3 of Opiate Detox
Phase 3 of opiate detox is the longest phase, and usually lasts from one week to two months. However, the symptoms of this phase are much milder than the first two phases, usually consisting of restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia.
Individuals in the final stage of opiate detox will usually be fully engaged in a treatment program. It is during this time that the person must focus on long term sobriety, learn to manage triggers, and reconstruct a healthy life. Treatment providers will continue throughout this phase of withdrawal to help the client understand their addiction and the reasons behind it, and establish a support system that can help them remain sober. Support groups like Narcotics Anonymous are a helpful tool for individuals to receive encouragement to stay clean, even long after their treatment program is complete.
Phase 3 Withdrawal Symptoms:
Opiate Detox Programs
Opiate withdrawal can be difficult, but is rarely life-threatening, and with the right kind of help, can be just a short step to the longer task of recovery. My Recovery Helper can provide resources to individuals and families looking for a prescription drug or opiate detox program. We work with caring, compassionate staff members that have the patient’s best interests in mind. Our treatment professionals offer individualized care to every client, and help ensure the person’s needs and goals are met.
My Recovery Helper partners with treatment centers that offer the highest level of care to clients. The professionals at our centers understand the process of opiate detox, and caringly work with clients to provide encouragement and tools to remain sober. We believe therapy and counseling can be very beneficial during withdrawal, and our therapists assist during this time, as well as after detox is complete.
Help is just a phone call away. Let us help you put your opiate addiction behind you. Contact us at 1.844.867.6835 to learn more about our treatment facilities, and to find out how we can help.