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Opiate Detox

With the U.S. currently mired in an opiate abuse epidemic, there is a lot of focus being given to the opiate addiction treatment process. This has been necessary because of the toll opiate addictions have been taking on addiction sufferers, the family and friends of addiction sufferers, and local communities in general.

As we as a country focus on how to treat people who end up addicted to opiate substances like prescription painkillers, heroin, and the ever-dangerous fentanyl, we need to make sure people are getting good information. Why? The lack of good information is oftentimes the reason why people don’t reach out for help. It’s their fear of the unknown that keeps them on the sidelines, abusing opiates and watching their lives fall apart.

One of the key components of opiate addiction treatment is the use of detox programs. Honestly, the potential withdrawal symptom related to the sudden cessation of opiates can put the drug abuser in a very dangerous situation. After viewing the following list of potential opiate withdrawal symptoms, you will likely realize exactly why the experts don’t want you to suddenly stop using your favorite opiate substance “cold turkey” without help. Here is the list:

  • The onset of respiratory problems
  • A sudden dangerous increase in blood pressure
  • A sudden dangerous increase in heart rate
  • Horrifying auditory and visual hallucinations
  • Severe muscle cramping in the mid section
  • Tremors in the extremities, arms and legs
  • Body convulsions
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Inability to control motor function

Clearly, there is danger lurking when someone decides to suddenly stop using their opiate of choice. Given the danger associated with this detox process, every addiction sufferer would be well advised to get assistance with the opiate detox process.

The best place to get assistance would be through a professional detox program. Programs are available through stand-alone detox facilities and full-service drug and alcohol rehab centers.

As each client enters rehab, they will go through an intake interview. During the interview, the rehab facility’s intake personnel will be looking for information they can use to determine the right course of treatment. If a client enters rehab with an addiction to opiates, it’s a good bet the rehab facility’s administrators will prescribe a detox program.

The goals of a good detox problem are twofold. First, detox programs exist to give clients plenty of time to detox before taking on the rigors of therapy. Therapists strongly prefer delivering therapy to clients who can completely commit and focus on the treatment process. That means each client needs to start therapy with a clear mind and body.

The other goal of a good detox program is to provide safety. At all costs, it is necessary to make sure clients are safe and secure as they go through withdrawal. While addiction treatment professionals would like to see every client detox with little to no medical intervention, that is seldom the case with opiate addiction sufferers. They almost always need some kind of medical intervention to keep them safe during the worst days of withdrawal.

As for how long people should expect to stay in the detox facility, that will depend largely on the extent of the client’s addiction. With a mild addiction, it would be reasonable for clients to anticipate taking part in a detox program for up to seven days.

If someone enters rehab with a severe addiction to opiate substances, it’s a real game-changer. At that point, the medical staff might decide to intervene with a drug tapering program. In such programs, the client would start taking tapering drugs like suboxone, an opiate substance without the addictive qualities of high-end opiate drugs.

Doctors prescribe tapering drugs to trick the client’s brain and body into thinking they are getting the opiates they need. In reality, they are getting a substitute that is easy to dispense in lesser amounts until the user’s dependence on opiates diminishes enough that a normal detox process becomes possible.

After successfully completing a detox program, clients are ready to start in earnest with therapy.

Detoxing off opiate substances is very serious business. We hope you find this information useful, and now understand why detox programs serve such an important function in the addiction treatment process. We also hope you will use this information to squash any further concerns you have about reaching out to a rehab facility for the help you need.

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