Don’t Let Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms Stop You From Getting Help
In 2015 it was estimated the 20.5 million people in the United States over the age of 12 had a substance use disorder. Two million of these substance use disorders involved prescription pain relievers. Opioid addiction has become a curse, and drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in America. In 2015 alone there were 52,404 drug overdoses that resulted in death, and yet, despite the dangers of opioid addiction, people find it difficult to seek out help. One of the reasons for this reticence is the suffering associated with opiate withdrawal symptoms. If you or someone you love is addicted to opioids, there is help available the could make it possible to get through and regain control of a life. Opiate withdrawal symptoms can be difficult, but there are ways to manage them and medical help that mitigates their severity. Read on to learn everything you need to know about opiate withdrawal symptoms, how treatment for opioid addiction can help, and some things that you can do to make opiate detox easier.
What Are Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms?
If a person uses opioid drugs for a long time, the body gradually becomes desensitized to the effects of the drug. Opioids affect a person in various ways. It causes the brain to experience a high feeling by disrupting the pleasure centers and the reward centers and the way they both respond to and produce hormones. Opioids also affect the emotions, heart rate, blood pressure, and even how fast a person breathes. Over time, the brain becomes accustomed to the effects the opioid and depends upon it to do its job. When the drug is not present in a person’s system, the person does not feel “normal” anymore. The body reacts to what it perceives to be an emergency and symptoms of withdrawal begin. In the first stage, these can include muscle aches, anxiety, agitation, excessive sweating, insomnia, and a general feeling of restlessness. In the second phase of withdrawal, a person experiences diarrhea, cramping, vomiting, and a rapid heartbeat.
What Medical Help Is Available?
While opiate withdrawal symptoms can be severe and difficult to endure, there is medical treatment available to overcome them. For over 50 years, methadone has been used to treat opiate addiction. It has proven to be the most effective treatment in large part because of how much it mitigates the effects of opiate withdrawal symptoms. When people try to go off opioids without medical help, the success rate is typically only 5% to 10%. With methadone treatments, however, success rates improve to 60% to 90% and only get better the longer a person remains with a methadone center and under treatment.
What Can I Do At Home?
While it’s never a good idea to attempt to stop an opioid addiction on your own, there are some things you can do to make yourself more comfortable as you progress through the treatment at a methadone rehab center. It’s important to remain hydrated, especially if you experience any diarrhea or vomiting, so be sure to drink hydrating fluids like water, sports drinks, and even some juice. It’s also a good idea to make sure that you’re getting enough B vitamins, which you can take in supplement form or through eating foods rich in these vitamins. Animal foods, and beef in particular, are the most bioavailable sources for most of the B vitamins for human beings, however certain enzymes necessary for absorbing B6, in particular, are present primarily in plants. A balanced diet with plenty of unprocessed meat and vegetables, with as little sugar and refined grains as possible, will help you feel as good as possible under the circumstances.
If you or someone you love is suffering from an opioid addiction, don’t let a fear of opiate withdrawal symptoms keep you from seeking help. Opiates do not have to control you or your loved one, and there are medical treatments available that can mitigate the severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms and give you support and help you need to get back on track and kick the addiction forever.