Those who abuse painkillers to get high, who take more than their doctor prescribes, or who use someone else’s medication can all potentially overdose on these dangerous drugs. However, there is one group who is more vulnerable than any other to painkiller overdose: those who have just detoxed from the drug. Call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? today to find safe, reliable rehab centers where you can recover from addiction and begin your life again.
Post-detox Addicts and Painkiller Overdose
According to the National Library of Medicine, “Most opiate overdose deaths occur in people who have just detoxed.” This is true for several specific reasons.
- Those who have just detoxed have also usually not begun their addiction treatment yet or are very early into said treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states, detox is not a treatment for addiction but is only the beginning of a safe and beneficial recovery program. If an individual has only just detoxed but has not received the full benefits of addiction treatment, this makes them vulnerable to the possibility of relapse.
- Many people who detox do not actually seek addiction treatment afterward. Even those who do are vulnerable, but some believe they are cured of their addiction once their withdrawal symptoms stop. This is untrue and dangerous, as the individual is still addicted to the drug and often doesn’t realize it. Those who attend detox programs and those who detox at home are both vulnerable to the possibility of skipping addiction treatment, which is why it is important for the loved ones of addicts to support the decision to attend treatment.
- Those who do relapse after detoxing from the drug put themselves in an incredibly dangerous position, as their tolerance for opioids will be much lower after detox. They will often attempt to use the same amount they are used to and be more likely to experience an overdose.
This is a very common and serious occurrence. Many addicts have overdosed and died after detox as a result of their relapse, including a number of prominent celebrities. Avoiding this possibility is crucial to a safe recovery from painkiller abuse.
How Can I Avoid ODing After Detox?
There are a number of strategies for avoiding relapse and the high potential for overdose after detox. The most effective one by far is attending a rehab program that will provide you with addiction treatment. Detoxing is not the same as treating your addiction, and once you have stopped experiencing withdrawal symptoms, it is extremely important to seek professional help for your addiction. Many rehab centers actually provide both detox and addiction treatment together, beginning with the former, so as to make the transition seamless (NIDA). If you think there is a possibility that you or your loved one will not attend addiction treatment after detox, seeking one of these programs that provides both is crucial.
There are other ways to avoid relapse as well. If you believe your addiction is so severe that you would be likely to relapse back to painkiller abuse if you were not in a controlled environment, you may want to choose inpatient or residential care for your initial recovery. If you do choose outpatient treatment instead, it could help to have a friend or family member stay with you, especially during the first few months, in order to ensure that you do not return to substance abuse.
Why the Risk for Opioid Overdose May Be Higher than You Think
Other ways to avoid overdose from painkillers and its deadly effects after detox include:
- Keeping a naloxone (Narcan) injection device in your home or on your person is a good way to ensure your safety, even if you do lose control. Make sure your friends and family members understand how to use the device and will be able to administer the medication if you overdose.
- Knowing your triggers is important also. If you know the things that are likely to make you feel the desire to use, you can avoid them more readily. Think about the times when you feel cravings and look for the common aspects that may be causing these feelings.
- Attend support group meetings or choose another program that could help strengthen your recovery in addition to professional treatment.
Seek Treatment for Opiate Addiction Now
Addiction to painkillers is serious, and a person is most likely to overdose after detox. Call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? now to find a program that will provide you with the best options for your needs and protect you from the potential of a serious relapse.