Opiates are derived from the poppy plant, which produces opium, and is a highly addictive substance. Opium is used in many narcotic prescription medications and it is the main ingredient in heroin. Opiates are narcotic drugs, which must only be taken under the supervision of a medical doctor. Any other means of obtaining and using opiates is considered illegal and is extremely detrimental to your health.
Opiates travel directly to the body’s natural opioid receptors and change the perception of pain, which also creates euphoria-causing cravings in addicts.
Opiates work on three areas of the brain and nervous system:
- The limbic system - controls emotions.
- The brain stem - controls automatic functions, like breathing.
- The spinal cord - transmits sensations to the body.
Taking more opiates than prescribed or obtaining and using opiates illegally will create physical complications and significant distress in employment, relationships and one’s social life.
Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
Once opiates are removed from the body, the brain’s neurological response is immediate. Within hours, the nervous system responds to the lack of opiates and begins overproducing its own endorphins, sending the body into withdrawal. Opiate withdrawal symptoms begin 48-72 hours after an individual’s last use and can last from one week to two weeks. Withdrawal is based upon frequency and duration of use. Some addicts may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms and psychological withdrawal with some manifestations of physical sickness up to 6 months after the initial physical withdrawal.
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
- Muscle, bone or joint pain
- Abdominal cramping
- Involuntary leg movements
Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms
- Clouded thinking
- Psychosis (in extreme cases)
Opiate detox symptoms can be managed with the proper dispensation of several drugs aimed at minimizing the physical sensations of withdrawal. Some examples include methadone, which may only be administered in a licensed drug addiction treatment center, clonidine, naltrexone, and Suboxone. These medications are merely examples and do not reflect the specific drug that may be used for any individual’s opiate detoxification.
At a licensed medical detox center patients will be fully evaluated and monitored during the opiate detox process. This is crucial because preexisting medical conditions, as well as any psychological issues, will determine the detox treatment program. The addict may receive medication for opiate withdrawal to assist with comfort during opiate detox.
At Lakeview Health, our 24-hour, 7-day-a-week medical staff is available to help you move through the opiate detox process with all the attention you require. Your journey back to recovery begins with the correct detoxification program followed by a drug treatment program.
Opiate Addiction Treatment
Attending drug rehab after opiate detox helps the addict build additional sober time away from his or her home environment. Addressing physiological and psychological issues decreases risks for relapse while allowing the addict to explore underlying issues with addiction treatment trained staff.
Lakeview Health enables you to make a seamless transition from detoxification straight into our inpatient treatment programs. Our programs are custom-tailored to your specific needs and drug addiction. Opiate addiction treatment includes individual and group therapy, 12-Step programs, recreational activities, spiritual activities (if desired) and more. Call 866.704.7692 today.