Drug detox (as it is more commonly known) gives the individual a chance to cleanse their body of the toxins found in the opiates that they have taking for so long. During this time, however, the individual is likely to go through opiate addiction withdrawal. Before an individual who is addicted to opiates can begin drug rehab, they must first go through the process of detoxification.
Why Does Opiate Withdrawal Occur?
Opiate-based drugs such as heroin, Hydrocodone (Vicodin), OxyContin and opium all impact the pleasure centers of the brain. They stimulate these areas so much that when the individual stops taking the drug in question, they are unable to produce pleasurable sensations on their own. As a result, the individual experiences a significant amount of discomfort as the brain and body learn to perform their duties without the opiate present.
How Long Does Withdrawal Last?
Although it depends upon the individual, and the severity of their opiate addiction, most cases of opiate withdrawal generally last between one and two weeks. During this time, the individual is likely to experience a series of withdrawal symptoms as their body reacts to longer having the drug in its system.
What are the Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms?
Every person reacts differently to opiates, but the most common forms of opiate addiction withdrawal include:
- Sweats and chills – Two of the least dangerous withdrawal symptoms are also among the most common.
- Sleeplessness – When denied opiates, many individuals find it extremely difficult to sleep through the night, and often wake up highly agitated.
- Pain – Muscle cramps, aches and pains and joint stiffness are all common among those going through the initial phases of withdrawal. These symptoms do not last long (perhaps no more than a few days) but they can be debilitating when they do occur.
- Anxiety -Individuals going through withdrawal may seem agitated or uneasy.
- Depression – Negative, downbeat feelings are extremely common during withdrawal from opiate addiction.
- Relapse – One of the most serious withdrawal symptoms during opiate addiction is a relapse into using the drug itself. Many individuals are unable to tolerate the intensity of their withdrawal symptoms and as a result return to their original drug-related behaviors.
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What Makes Opiate Withdrawal Dangerous?
As mentioned above, the withdrawal symptoms associated with opiate addiction are rarely life-threatening in and of themselves, but there are potential problems. For example, an individual going through withdrawal symptoms may relapse, which can always lead to overdose and other problems. Also, individuals who experience serious depression during withdrawal are at a higher risk for suicide. For these reasons, and others, it is absolutely essential that the recovering opiate addict go through withdrawal while in the care of a doctor or other healthcare professional.
Michael’s House is a residential drug treatment facility that helps individuals move from opiate addiction withdrawal all the way through to recovery. Contact the helpful staff at Michael’s House at 1-877-345-8494 for more information about their cutting-edge drug treatment programs.