23 Apr Unique Approaches in Treating Opiate Addiction
When someone says “drug addiction,” dependence on prescription painkillers probably isn’t the first thing to enter your mind. However, an addiction to opiates or opioids can be just as dangerous as an addiction to illicit drugs or alcohol. Those suffering from addiction to painkillers exhibit both a physical and physiological addiction, and suddenly stopping use of them after a long period of heavy use can lead to painful withdrawal symptoms. The unique toll that opiate abuse can take on the body calls for a specialized treatment process to help minimize withdrawal symptoms and prevent an easily accidental slip into relapse.
Withdrawal symptoms associated with opiate dependency
Those suffering from opiate addiction have a unique set of challenges to deal with when ceasing opiate use. Physical symptoms of withdrawal include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, muscle pains, insomnia, hot and cold sweats, a runny nose, and watery eyes. Mentally, those undergoing withdrawal can experience anxiety, confusion, irritability, and agitation. These symptoms can last anywhere from one week to one month depending on a particular addict’s circumstances.
Specialized detox for opiate dependency
The detox process for opiate addiction is best carried out in a medical detox facility. Medical detox in this case involves gradually decreasing doses of an opiate substitute like buprenorphine, tapered down over approximately a 10-day timespan. The addict during this time will also be under the supervision of trained medical professionals who know how to treat opiate withdrawal symptoms. When medical detox isn’t possible, a special type of self detox is another option. In this type of self detox, a physician prescribes the recovering opiate addict with an opiate-substitute medication, and often the recovering addict will take this medication while undergoing residential care treatment instead of at a medical detox facility.
Relapse prevention for recovering opiate addicts also involves special medications designed to ease the transition from opiate abuse to addiction-free life. They can help recovering addicts regain mental stability after going through the ups and downs of opiate withdrawal. There are two forms of medications available here: oral and extended-release injection. Naltrexone is a common type of oral medication used to treat opiate dependency, and it comes in pill form. It must be taken every 1 to 3 days in order to be effective. The other option, extended-release injection, tends to be more widely recommended because it requires less diligence on the side of the patient in keeping up with medication. With an extended-release injection, a physician will inject the medication into the buttocks, and its opioid-blocking effects last for about a month without interruption.
If you’re struggling with opiate addiction and are seeking to eliminate it from your life, don’t hesitate to contact Therapia today. Our specialized programs for both men and women are designed to arm you with the tools and mental stamina needed to withstand the trials of addiction recovery.
Author: Chastity Edwards