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What Happens During Opioid Drug Detox?

Opioids are prescription drugs used to treat pain. For those who need them and use them as directed, they can work wonders, but they are highly addictive.

If you stop or cut back on these drugs after heavily using them for weeks or longer, it could lead to devastating withdrawal symptoms. 

As someone uses opioids, even if initially for pain, they lead to physical dependence. As they continue to be used, the person taking them requires more and more of the drug to get the same sensation.

This is both how addiction begins and what risks an overdose. To safely stop taking opioids, it is best to complete a proper drug detox in an accredited facility.

What Happens During Opioid Drug Detox?

Opioid Addiction

When someone becomes addicted to opioids, they will show signs of addiction. Their use of the substance will interfere with their everyday life, and they will not be able to stop taking the medication without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Some signs of opioid addiction to look out for are: 

  • The inability to control opioid use
  • Cravings for the drug
  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased libido
  • Lack of hygiene and change in exercise habits
  • Isolation from family or friends
  • Stealing from family, friends, or businesses
  • New financial difficulties

With opioid addiction, these signs may not be obvious straight away but will develop over time.

Opioids are controlled substances, and when a doctor believes a patient to be dependent, they will reduce or stop their prescription. If someone is addicted, they will likely seek the drug out via illegal means.

This will often lead to danger, risky behavior, and financial struggles. Opioids are expensive, and an addiction to them can lead someone to stop paying their bills or participating in dangerous behaviors to get the drug.

If you or someone you know is displaying any signs of opioid abuse, it is critical to discuss detox and rehab as soon as possible. Continued use of opioids or a sudden stop in opioids without a doctor's guidance can be extremely dangerous.

Opioid Withdrawal

When someone stops taking opioids, they can go into withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, but everyone will react differently.

Depending on someone's medical history, dosage, and time they've been taking the drug, their symptoms can vary.

The most common symptoms of opioid withdrawal include:

  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal cramping and diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea and vomiting

Although these symptoms are not often life-threatening, they warrant a health care professional's supervision.

When withdrawing from opioid use, one can manage these symptoms with medical intervention in a detox facility. This offers the best chance at a safe detox and recovery. Trying other methods, such as the cold turkey approach, is never advisable.

What Happens During Opioid Detox?

Opioid addiction should always be treated with medically assisted drug detox in a proper health facility. It's important to remember that detox is not a cure but is the first step in recovery.

Treatment during opioid detox varies from person to person. Because there are a variety of opioid drugs and some are longer acting than others, treatment differs. This is why it is of the utmost importance to be honest with your health care team about the drugs that were taken. 

For opioid detox, sometimes treatment includes gradual tapering off the drug for a week or so before stopping completely. This lets the body ease into detox.

The Benefits of Medical Detox

Again, although not a cure, this process has numerous benefits, like breaking the physical dependence on the drug. The follow-up with psychological care is critical for success, but detox is critical for follow-up care.

Detox also lessens the physical symptoms of withdrawal while addressing other medical problems. Although withdrawal may be mild, it can interact with other health issues, causing more damage.

Opioid detox is specifically critical for relapse prevention because it leads to a lengthy recovery. During detox, the patient will have access to support and care from trained staff members. This level of care provides them with positivity and hope for the future as well as necessary coping mechanisms for handling stress and triggers.

At the same time, detox introduces people to how their care and treatments will progress and facilitates long-term medication needed for treatment.

As detox is the first step of recovery, it introduces a patient to their long-term care plan. Often during detox, they will begin going to therapy and group meetings at a drug rehab. Without this maintenance treatment, detox will not lead to a lengthy recovery but usually ends in relapse. Detox eases a patient into their individualized care plan.

Opioid Detox Can Be Difficult … But It’s Easier With Professional Detox

As opioid addiction progresses, opioid users may seek out dangerous methods of obtaining the drug leading to financial trouble or legal problems. These intense effects of opioid abuse can begin to resolve with the proper detox and treatment. Detoxing from opioids requires specific attention from a medical provider as each type of the drug can react differently in the body. Someone's treatment plan will be based on a number of factors, including their dosage, health, and the type of opioid used. Throughout detox, the opioids will leave the body with medical assistance that can be long-lasting in order for someone to abstain from using long-term.

Let guide you in the right direction for your treatment. With thousands of detox center listings, finding a drug detox near you has never been easier. Start your journey away from opioid addiction today with today!

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