Opiates are drugs made from or containing opium, including codeine, morphine, and heroin. They are most often used to treat pain or induce sleep. Opiates are particularly addictive because they bind to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Opiate addiction is more common than ever before. Opioids and opiates contribute to a significant portion of overdose deaths in the United States today. If you or someone you love is dependent on opiates, an opiate addiction treatment program can help.
We have extensive experience successfully treating opiate addiction at Oceanfront Recovery. Our clients can depend on the highest quality care and most effective evidence-based treatments available. In addition, we are LGBTQ+ friendly and prioritize clients’ privacy. Don’t wait; reach out to us at (877) 296-7477.
Recognizing Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
Opiate withdrawal can be especially dangerous due to the way that opiates bind to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Opiates quickly create physiological dependence, so unsupported withdrawal can be very dangerous, even after a short period of use. When detoxing from opiates, it’s essential to do so with support, supervision, and, ideally, the care of a medical professional.
Some distinguishing characteristics of Opiate withdrawal include:
- Intense anxiety
- Body aches
- Digestive issues and intense stomach cramps
- Constipation followed by diarrhea and vomiting
- Excessive sweating
- Chills and hot flashes
- Dilated pupils
- Dangerously high blood pressure
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Seizures and shaking
- Restlessness and agitation
In terms of timeline, early withdrawal symptoms begin 6-12 hours after the last dose of an opiate. Early withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable but usually easy to manage with medical support.
During peak withdrawal, usually 36-48 hours after the last dose, a person will experience the most discomfort and potential danger depending on various factors, including how much they’d taken and overall health. This phase poses the highest risk for relapse, as it is the most painful to withstand.
After 48 hours, withdrawal symptoms should begin to subside, becoming gradually less severe and less frequent over the course of a week or so. After a week, some anxiety, residual body pain, and craving may persist, but these will become gradually easier to manage with therapy and medication.
While it may seem daunting, there are many benefits that come with detoxing from opiates. With some medical care and support, withdrawal can be managed and leveraged to begin the recovery process.
Addressing Opiate Abuse in a Loved One
If you believe that a loved one is abusing opiates, establishing a support network for yourself is the most important thing to do. Al-Anon groups and recovery centers are great places to find people in similar situations.
Often, when a loved one is suffering from an addiction, people tend to put their own well-being to the side and focus on the person amid addiction. This can lead to unhealthy and unsustainable outcomes, including enabling. A support group will provide the skills and network necessary to fortify your own well-being. This will allow you to be maximally supportive during your loved one’s recovery.
When the time comes to address opiate abuse with your loved one, know it’s possible to be loving while still maintaining firm boundaries and avoiding enabling behaviors yourself. Know that your loved one may not be capable of reasoning or making sound decisions. It may be necessary to do the legwork of connecting with and setting up treatment yourself, but do remember that forcing things may make matters worse. It’s only possible to truly help someone who wants to help themselves.
Heal Opiate Addiction with Oceanfront Recovery
At Oceanfront Recovery, we support people in recovery as well as their families. We understand that addiction is a community disease, one that affects everyone involved. In addition to detox, residential, and outpatient treatment, we offer a wealth of resources for families, including family therapy.