Understanding Opiate Addiction
Opiates are a family of drugs that are designed to relieve pain. Derived from the opium poppy plant, they have proven enormously effective in the treatment of severe pain; but have also proven to be highly addictive. There are both legitimate forms of opiates, such as morphine and prescription painkillers, and illegitimate types such as heroin. These drugs are extremely potent and often cause users to be addicted after only a very short time.
Opiate users develop addiction through a variety of different circumstances. Some start taking their legitimate medication in a manner inconsistent with their physicians’ orders and some simply start abusing them recreationally and become hooked. In 2013 between, approximately 20 million people across the globe used opiates recreationally.
The Time for Opiate Detox
Once it is established that a person is abusing opiates, whether it’s heroin or prescription painkillers, they have a very narrow window before abuse turns to addiction. When addiction forms, it’s critical that users seek help from a quality, medically supervised opiate detox facility. Recovering opiate users will always experience some level of withdrawal during their detox period, and often for a long time after. While each user’s withdrawal period depends on how long they’ve been using and their level of addiction, the process is never pain-free.
Common opiate withdrawal symptoms include:
Some of the symptoms develop very shortly after opiate abuse begins.
The Professional Opiate Detox Advantage
Withdrawal can range from mild to moderate to severe to life-threatening. While it may be possible for those who have just started abusing opiates to detox on their own, these symptoms are much more easily managed with the help of a qualified and reputable professional detox program. A professional detox facility is staffed with experienced and compassionate professionals who are trained in opiate withdrawal management and can provide symptom relief during the most difficult points of the withdrawal period. Many are staffed with doctors that can provide medical assistance in the event of an emergency.
Once opiate addiction develops, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to detox without help. A professional program can help soften the withdrawal process, and give patients the energy and focus they need to move on to the next stage of treatment. The relapse rates for opiate addicts who try to quit on their own are extremely high. This is often because withdrawal proves to be too much to handle.