The rise of opiate addiction in the U.S. can be attributed to a number of factors. One of which is the growing practice of self-medication. Whether done for medical or non-medical purposes, it can result in a number of unintentional overdose deaths, primarily due to opioids. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there has been a 2.8-fold increase in the number of deaths due to an overdose of opioid drugs from 2002 to 2015.
Opioids include the popular street drug heroin, as well as prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, fentanyl and morphine. These drugs trigger euphoric effects by spiking the dopamine levels in the brain often resulting in addiction as the user craves more of the drugs to get high.
Because these drugs can be highly addictive and harm the brain, it is important that they are consumed as per the doctor’s advice. However, in case a person has developed an addiction and wants to quit, it is essential that he or she undergo an effective opiate detox program.
As opiates introduce long-term changes in the brain chemistry. Therefore, when they are stopped, a chemical imbalance occurs in the brain causing strong cravings for the drug. Additionally, one is also likely to witness psychological problems such as depression, anxiety and paranoia. By ensuring medically supervised withdrawal from addiction, opiate detox can help the patient in addressing the above problems in a scientific manner.
Some of the tendencies or problems that need to be overcome while undergoing detox are as follows:
- Tolerance: As mentioned above, due to the regular use of opioids, the patient often develops a tolerance to the drug. Over time, they need increased dosages to experience the same psychoactive effects, such as euphoria. However, the increased use can have serious implications for both physical and mental health, and may pose many problems to the patients during the detox process, such as painful withdrawal symptoms, cravings and the probability of overdose in the case of a relapse. The health care practitioner needs to take into account the level of tolerance.
- Other drugs: Many patients tend to combine opiates with other drugs to decrease the sedative effects. Stimulants like amphetamines and cocaine are the common drugs used with opiates. In the case of polydrug, ensuring specific medical care and attention becomes essential.
- Rebound effect: Since opiates are used to manage pain, abruptly stopping them can induce severe pain due to the rebound effect. This along with withdrawal symptoms not only compounds the problem but also causes immense physical discomfort. Detox facilities must offer nonaddictive and medically assisted pain management alternatives for comfort and wellness of the patient.
- Dual diagnosis: Opiate abuse can often accompany serious mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, etc. In the case of any co-occurring mental disorder, the detox facilities must ensure to provide therapeutic care for both mental disorder and opiate addiction to avoid the worsening of the condition.
- Severe withdrawal symptoms: People who have been abusing opiates for long are likely to have comparatively more severe withdrawal symptoms than those who have started recently. In order to ensure faster recovery, the severity of symptoms must be considered while planning detox treatment. In fact, the level of medical intervention in detoxification is directly related to the number and severity of symptoms, drugs of choice, etc.
- Treatment options: There are numerous options, including inpatient and outpatient treatments, for opiate detox. Additionally, one can pace up the recovery process by accessing one of the techniques, such as rapid, medication-assisted and at-home detox. However, it is best to provide an inpatient and more intensive care for patients with severe symptoms.
Recovery road map
Detox, the first step to recovery from addiction, is essential for expunging the stored toxins and enduring the painful withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, one should ensure to choose the best detox programs.
In order to know more about the drug treatment centers in California that offer opiate detox services, connect with the California Detox Helpline. Alternatively, chat online or call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-780-2495.