Opiates: Understanding Effects and Addiction Symptoms

The opiate drug class is derived from the opium poppy, a plant commonly found in heroin and many other pain-reducing medications. The problem with prescribing and taking an opiate is the chance and risk of forming an addiction. Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin are three prime examples of opiate drugs. As an individual takes an opiate consistently or over the prescribed amount, a hazardous and harmful addiction can form. Subsequently, opiate addiction can increase the individual’s dosage to avoid pain and withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal Symptoms Associated with Opiates

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches or Migraines
  • Tremors
  • Cramping
  • Runny Nose
  • Flu-like Symptoms

When detoxing from opiates, these symptoms could and should be expected initially. Depending on the addiction severity, opiate detox withdrawal symptoms will vary; the more severe, the longer the withdrawal symptoms will persist. Because of the painful and uncomfortable journey one endures during an opiate detox, the help of a detox program and facility is ideal for helping people get through it successfully.

Opiate Detox

A proper opiate detox program involves the direction and aid of trained medical staff. At Holy Land Rehab, our team is here, ready to provide every patient with the necessary care and guidance through the detox journey. During an opiate detox, a common medication is clonidine, which aids in reducing pain, flu-like symptoms, and anxiety. In addition, medicines may be used to prevent other withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting.

Buprenorphine (Subutex) is a very effective medication used to treat several, if not all, opiate withdrawal symptoms. This medication has been shown to provide relief and may shorten the length of the detox. One specific doctor, Dr. Ronald Schwerzler of Serenity Lane, commented in an article about Buprenorphine stating, “When administered to the patient undergoing opiate withdrawal symptoms, it rapidly reduces and often eliminates those symptoms within an hour…patients instead can almost immediately begin attending recovery groups and practicing the non-pharmacologic techniques of stretching, deep-breathing, visualization, and meditation, which become dramatically more effective in the slowly detoxing, non-sedated, newly motivated patient.”

An effective way of detoxing from opiates is of detoxing under anesthesia. This detox program includes being placed under anesthesia and injecting necessary medication to speed up the detoxing and rehabilitation process.

Final Thoughts

Although opiate detox is a very promising addiction recovery and rehabilitation method, it may not be a guaranteed method for all addicts to choose. Some may find it more beneficial to decrease the dosage over time rather than undergo a treatment plan such as detoxing. Whatever method is taken, maintenance must follow, and ongoing recovery and rehabilitation efforts must be continued. There are several solutions, but taking the initiative to contact and research detox programs are the best option and a step in the right direction. Contact us at Holy Land Rehab to learn more about our opiate detox programs here in Israel.

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