What To Expect When Detoxing from Opiates
September 10, 2018
Listen, we all know that detoxing from opiates is no joke. It is definitely not something that people ever assume they will have to go through until push comes to shove and bad decision comes to bad decision comes to addiction. The discussion here is no longer if addiction is a disease or if only “bad people” become addicts because as we have seen proven over the last 5 years or so, anyone can fall victim to an opiate addiction.
So now that got that out of the way, the next step is, how can you get sober and what can you expect when detoxing from opiates?
Well, if you haven’t done it or tried it on your own yet, it’s not a fun process. However, it is a relatively short process if you can keep yourself safe and away from a relapse for the duration of your detox. The best bet is always to detox in a medical setting, but for some people, that isn’t an option. So we will talk, in this article, not only about what detoxing from opiates will be like in a medical setting, but also what it will be like if you are detoxing at home.
Here are some of the most common side effects associated with detoxing from opiates:
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Restless legs and muscle cramps
- Stomach pains and body aches
- Cold sweats
- Runny nose and eyes
- Anxiety and Irritability
- Extreme fatigue and lethargy
- Cravings for opiates
First of all, Can you Get into a Medical Detox?
If the answer is yes, consider yourself lucky. Medically detoxing in a facility is still no walk in the park, but it is a heck of a lot better than cold turkeying on your couch. Here is the thing, in a medical detox, not only is there zero option of you being able to relapse but there is also a lot of nice amenities that come with it.
For example, at a medical detox, you have medical staff there 24/7 to keep you safe and check your vitals and to do all the things. They make sure you are staying hydrated and they even prescribed some medications that can help ease the withdrawal process, such as helping with sleep, anxiety, and restless legs.
There is also food made for you, friends to make, and meetings to attend. My very first 12 step meeting ever was in detox, and while I don’t remember a single word that was said, I vividly remember the woman who came in to tell her story.
If you are lucky enough to have health insurance that enables you to be placed in a medical treatment facility, they are definitely a much safer bet when you decide to detox from opiates. A word of advice though, just because the withdrawal process is a bummer, doesn’t mean that you need to immediately go onto a substitute medication, more on that later!
Medication Assisted Therapy
Many people have tried to kick opioids time and time again, but have found that they just can’t seem to stay stopped. This resorts a lot of people to trying out a medication-assisted therapy routine for detoxing from opiates, meaning they get a prescription for suboxone or methadone to help with the withdrawal process.
Let me be frank with you, the opiate detox process is 3-5 days max, for the hard part. A Suboxone or methadone withdrawal process can take anywhere from two weeks to two months. A lot of people are not aware that these withdrawals are just as painful as opioids, and take a heck of a lot longer to detox from the system.
I’m not saying that a very short suboxone taper over two weeks is a bad decision, and it has helped a lot of people avoid a relapse into opioids. What I am saying, is that these drugs are also extremely addictive, and the withdrawal is way worse.
The final story here is, if you can kick dope, you can pretty much do anything. Why not take 3-5 days of suffering, join a recovery program, and never have to do it again?
Do You Need Treatment?
Even though a significant amount of controversy still surrounds addiction, whether it pertains to how it’s being treated or what money should go where, if you are currently addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, you can get help.
Contact the professionals at our residential treatment facility right now. We can help you address the mental, physical, and emotional aspects of your addiction in ways that guide you towards long-term, successful recovery. You do not need to keep using – you have the power to make the decision to get help. Call us today.