Nobody sets out to become addicted to opiates. But unfortunately, the way the body responds to these drugs makes addiction likely for many. And all too often, opiate addiction starts with a prescription from your doctor. Opiate addiction can develop very gradually, and many people who become dependent think they don’t have a problem because their prescription was given to them by a physician.
If you find yourself dependent on opiates after a prescription, you may be blaming yourself.But for reasons that are not fully understood, certain people are much more prone to developing addictions. If you are one of those people, you should know that addiction is not your fault–but there is hope in knowing that you are not powerless to stop it. By taking steps to seek out information, you have begun the important, albeit difficult, work of moving toward wellness.
Of course, if you find yourself developing an opiate dependency after being prescribed painkillers, you may think that you can simply detox yourself. And while this may be possible for some, a medically-supervised detox offers a better foundation for recovery. Even if you aren’t taking high doses of opiates, withdrawal symptoms can be severe. While they vary from person, side effects of opiate withdrawal can involve significant emotional side effects as well as physical side effects. And when you know that even a small amount of your drug of choice can ease those side effects, relapse becomes more likely.
The side effects of withdrawal that you may experience can include the following:
- feeling anxious and agitated
- muscle cramps
When these symptoms are severe, they can make everyday life feel even more difficult. In a supervised detox setting, you will be offered emotional support and medical support if needed. This type of support makes your detox smoother, and the presence of trained professionals means that, should significant complications arise, you will be well cared for.
Confronting an addiction is often frightening. And once that addiction has been confronted, it’s easy to feel paralyzed and unable to do anything about it. For many people, addiction has both a physical and emotional component. In detox, you may feel the pull of both of these connections. But in a supervised detox, you will be given the resources you need to safely come off of opiates. And then, in many cases, you can progress to a rehabilitation program that helps you rebuild your life and find coping mechanisms that don’t involve drugs.
What Happens in Opiate Detox?
If you find yourself in need of opiate detox, you may be unsure of what to expect during the program. Essentially, detox is designed to help your body safely rid itself of opiates and their metabolites. The exact detox plan prescribed will vary from person to person. But below are some general considerations to bear in mind while you think about what to expect.
Medication May Be Used–Or it May Not Be
If you are undergoing detox after opiate use, you and your supervising doctors may decide that medication is the best option for a comfortable and safe detox. In certain cases of opiate detox, patients may be given a drug that helps to ease some of the symptoms of the withdrawal.
Even if you have been taking opiates at prescribed levels, it is still possible to experience withdrawal symptoms. If you are given medication as part of detox, you may also need to detox from the medication after all opiates and their metabolites have cleared your system. However, this second detox will be more mild when it comes to symptoms.
You May Find You Need Emotional Support During Detox
Many detox guides focus on the physical symptoms of withdrawal, and these can be severe, especially if you are trying to detox yourself. But withdrawal often causes strong emotions, and the reason for this is twofold. First, withdrawing from opiates often will cause anxiety, agitation, and similar symptoms. Second, for many users of opiates, just like for users of alcohol and other drugs, part of the reason for the drug and alcohol use is the presence of strong emotions. If you are used to using a drug to help you cope with strong emotions, it may be uncomfortable to face those emotions during detox.
For this reason, many detox centers offer counseling support. Taking the first steps toward sobriety can be daunting, but having the support of trained addiction counselors is often helpful in creating a stable foundation for lasting recovery.
You Will Have Access to Medical Care 24/7
One of the main benefits of a supervised opiate detox is the presence of round-the-clock medical care. While it may be physically possible to detox yourself, if complications do arise, it can be difficult to get the medical help you need. In a detox center, doctors and nurses will monitor you and offer medical help if necessary.
A Professional Will Help You Decide Next Steps
Although detox is challenging, it isn’t the end of the road. Detox removes the last traces of drugs from your body, but in the next step–rehabilitation–you are given the chance to work with professionals and in community with others working toward sobriety. In rehabilitation, you can examine the root causes of addiction and work to develop better coping mechanisms. Once your detox is complete, counselors will speak with you to help you decide whether inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, or a combination of both is your best option.
Finding information is a vital first step to feeling better. If you are struggling with addiction, it may feel as though everything in your life is falling to pieces. Even if you have other problems you need to confront, being clearheaded and drug-free means that you will be better equipped to handle these issues. If you want to schedule a detox stay, or even if you just have questions about detox and want to talk, give our helpful counselors a call! They are available 24/7–give them a call at 866-802-6848 and let us help you today.