Opiates are substances that derive from the opium chemical found in certain kinds of plants. They’re used in prescription medications prescribed in several different situations to treat pain. This includes oxycodone, codeine, and morphine, among others. The term “opiate” is also used interchangeably with “opioid,” which refers to synthetic substances that are meant to mimic the effects of opium. Opioids may or may not include natural opium along with the synthetic, but the substances have largely the same effect. Opiates and opioids are highly addictive and carry with them significant dangers. Ceasing or slowing your use on your own can result in serious opiate withdrawal symptoms.
If you’re struggling with opiate abuse, the best thing you can do for yourself is to find a reputable opiate addiction treatment program. A well-maintained and professional treatment plan will allow you to take control of your addiction and find lasting sobriety. When you’re under medical care, the detox process can be safer and less difficult than if you were on your own. After detox, a treatment program will give you the tools you need to heal from your substance abuse disorder, including coping mechanisms and how to recognize and avoid your triggers.
Treating Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
Your symptoms will likely be minor and manageable at the beginning of withdrawal. Cravings will spike, and this may make you agitated or irritable. Insomnia, fatigue, and anxiety are common too. You may start sweating and find that your muscles are sore. Some people experience a runny nose in the first few hours of withdrawal. Later in the withdrawal process, you may feel nauseous or experience diarrhea or stomach cramping. Your pupils may also dilate. These symptoms will be very uncomfortable but manageable when you’re working with a prescription drug addiction treatment program.
Attempting to go through withdrawal on your own can be not only difficult but dangerous. Relapse is more likely, and you could overdose if relapse occurs since your tolerance drops as you experience withdrawals. In a professional setting, withdrawal can be managed with a variety of different medications:
- Methadone is a medication that can ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and it’s used often in medical detoxification.
- Clonidine can treat some of the withdrawal symptoms on its own, although it doesn’t affect your cravings. It can reduce anxiety, runny nose, sweating, agitation, and muscle aches.
- Buprenorphine is also commonly used in detox processes to treat withdrawal symptoms and shorten the length of detox.
Effects of Opiate Abuse
Opiate abuse and addiction are becoming more common each year. Plenty of people develop a dependency on opiates without meaning to; a doctor prescribes a pain medication, and the patient slowly becomes addicted to it as their tolerance grows and they begin needing more of the substance to combat their pain. Opiate addiction can quickly take control of your life once it takes root.
The effects of opiate abuse include legal troubles, work problems, and more. An addiction will erode your relationships with those closest to you, and it has the potential to get you fired or evicted. If your opiate use concerns you, don’t wait to seek help.
Get Treatment for Painkiller Addiction
When using a painkiller as directed becomes abusing a drug, it isn’t easy to know where to turn. The best way to move forward and put your addiction behind you is to get treatment. Oxycodone addiction treatment can be the difference between a lifetime of subservience to a substance and a life that’s yours to do what you want with it. The road to sobriety can be long and difficult, but it can be easier with the help of a treatment program behind you.