Treating drug addiction is somewhat different from other medical issues. Typically it involves both medical and therapy sessions to wade off the effects of dependency on a patient’s physical and mental state. Withdrawal from opioids is not as severe as heroin, ore even alcohol because opioid addiction is equally not as bad as some of the commonly abused drugs out there.
Drug addiction, however, doesn’t have favorites despite getting other hooked quickly than others. Methadone, for instance, has a dependency period of between 2-4 days from the onset of abuse. For opioids, the symptoms would often peak after a day and wear off on the third day — for mild cases. Severe opiate withdrawal symptoms can last up to 10 days.
Treating patients with opiate addiction is regulated and the use of opioids on outpatient to alleviate symptoms is highly discouraged.
For more than 50 years, methadone has proven to be the most effective treatment for individuals afflicted with opiate addiction.
Methadone treatment success rates range from 60% to 90%, and outcomes improve the longer a patient remains in treatment.
Naturally, withdrawals occur when there is a sudden interruption to the supply of the drug, or reduced intake significantly. The symptoms will depend on the painkiller being abused, tolerance level, and the period of addiction. If a person abuses multiple drugs this will also define the range and severity of the symptoms. Opiate withdrawal symptoms are similar to flu and range from mild to severe.
Some of the common opiate withdrawal symptoms that kicks-in with the first 24 hours after the last ‘hit’ include:
- Abdominal pains
- Runny nose
- Chills and tremors
Though not life-threatening, these symptoms can have an adverse effect on your health — both physical and psychological. Often the intensity of the symptoms is too much that patients on a recovery process relapse just to avoid the feeling that comes with the withdrawal process. This makes the recovery process even hard when there is occasion interruption in the cycle and can lead to major relapse.
Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Medical detox programs are designed in a structured way that fosters a good recovery environment for patients to overcome their symptoms in an eased off process to completely alter their drug dependency state. The symptoms and cravings, however, can be managed with some medications which your doctor has to recommend.
After a successful detox program, a patient is advised to enroll in rehab or therapy center which forms an important phase of the recovery process. It aims to foster long-term sobriety, accountability and reduce chances of relapsing. Most of these programs are offered inside inpatient rehab centers to encourage a smooth transition between the two phases of recovery programs.
Withdrawal from opiates evolves in four stages. Acronym PAWS, anticipatory, early, acute and fully-developed acute, and post-acute stage. The acute withdrawal syndrome is associated with flu-like symptoms much like painkiller withdrawal. The second stage of withdrawal can last up to six months and it’s the most critical phase of recovery where patients are most vulnerable. Relapse is highly in this stage.
After 24 months, the acute symptoms will have ceased but individuals are susceptible to mood changes, anxiety, insomnia, craving, and easily triggered. And this is where rehab sessions are important to complement the first recovery phase.
If you’re looking for a rehab center for your loved one or someone you know, consider inpatient rehabs that are well-equipped and resourceful to addressing the addiction comprehensively. Some of the programs in rehab include cognitive behavioral therapy, personal counseling session, and team activities such as arts and music.
Round-the-clock treatment offered in inpatient rehabs allows individuals to stay active and motivated throughout the detox and rehab program.