According to the National Institutes of Health there is an estimated 9% of people nationwide who currently abuse opiate drugs such as heroin, Oxycontin and codeine. We do know that abusing these drugs can cause a physical dependence on that drug and, over continued use and abuse, these people will develop a tolerance that requires additional dosing at increasingly higher levels. The time it takes for a person to become physically dependent will vary from person to person, we don’t know why but drug tolerance affects each person differently. Once the person has stopped or cut back on taking the drug, they begin withdrawal from the opiate. It is important to understand how to cope with the withdrawal process and how to deal with it best for your situation.
Withdrawal at a Treatment Center
If you have checked into a treatment center to assist, the detox process will have many options to help you cope with the symptoms. They will have a staff of professionals on hand at all times to get you through this difficult time. The treatment center will be able to provide you with round the clock supportive care and medications to ease the symptoms. Some of the more commonly used medications will help with reducing such symptoms as anxiety, agitation, muscle aches, sweating, runny nose, cramping, vomiting and diarrhea.
What Types of Medications are Used during Detox?
Buprenorphine (Subutex) is a very popular medication that has been used to treat opiate withdrawal. This drug can also help shorten your detox due to its effect on your body, which makes the process a bit better to cope with. Subutex has also been effective in long-term use and can be compared to methadone.
There are some treatment programs that have a procedure that is used for opiate withdrawal called detox under anesthesia or rapid opiate detox. With this treatment the addict is placed under anesthesia and large doses of opiate-blocking drugs are injected into the body. The goal is to ease the symptoms of withdrawal on the body as it speeds through the system. This process does not makes the symptoms disappear immediately but it does help some with the intense symptoms opiate withdrawal can produce. If this procedure is not done in a clinical setting is could result in sudden death.
Supportive care is one of the major factors in coping with opiate withdrawal. The support of your family and friends who will encourage you through this process is so important. It may also be very wise to consider professional assistance, as they know what to expect and can prove to be one of your most important assets during this time. Support groups and individual counseling are something you will want to consider as they will be able to assist you as you work towards you long-term goal of recovery