There is an opioid addiction crisis that has been affecting the United States for a few years now. There were over 16,000 overdoses that involved some form of opioid in 2020.
With so many Americans dying from this preventable disease, it has become more important than ever before to educate ourselves about the dangers and symptoms of opioid addiction.
Let’s take a look at what symptoms are associated with opioid withdrawal
What Is Opioid Addiction
Opioid addiction is a serious medical condition that occurs as the product of a person becoming physically and psychologically dependent on opioids.
Opioids are a class of drugs that includes heroin, fentanyl, codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine, which are legal pain relievers available by prescription such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and OxyContin.
Opioid addiction can be treated successfully by using medications as well as through behavioral therapies and recovery support services.
Over 16% of all 932,000 drug overdose deaths in the US since 1999 were caused by opioids in 2020.
Those are large numbers, and they show that the opioid addiction problem is a serious one and of concern to health officials and family members.
What Are Opioid Withdrawals
After prolonged use of opioids, patients develop a physical dependency on the drug. This means their bodies have become used to having the drug in their system and will react negatively when their systems are cleansed of it.
These negative effects are called withdrawals, and they can be life-threatening if not treated properly.
Withdrawals are the main reason addicts attend detox, as they need pharmacological support and medical supervision to detoxify their bodies.
What Are the Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal
Understanding what symptoms are associated with opioid withdrawal is the first step in identifying the severity of opioid addiction.
The severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on factors such as how long and how much of the drug was taken.
While certain symptoms may be mild and not life-threatening, others—such as depression and autonomic hyperactivity—can be fatal.
Prior to detoxing from opioids, you should speak with a recovery specialist.
It’s also critical that addicts or their loved ones contact their healthcare provider or call 911 if the addict experiences any of the signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawals.
Some of the common symptoms of opioid withdrawal include:
- Excessive flow of tears
- Muscle aches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dilated pupils
- Eye discomfort in bright lights
- Trouble sleeping
- Autonomic hyperactivity
- Irritable moods
- Depression and suicidal thoughts
How to Detox Safely
Treatment for opioid withdrawals is available to anyone who needs it in the form of outpatient and inpatient.
Outpatient treatment is when a patient receives treatment and then is released to go back home the same day. Inpatient treatment means the patient stays in the facility for the entire duration of their treatment.
Pharmacological management in the form of a detox program is offered in both settings. There are three main medication choices to treat the addiction at this stage: Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone.
Medications like Clonidine may also be prescribed to reduce blood pressure in order to relieve withdrawal symptoms.
Recovery experts will prescribe these medicines along with counseling to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and restore health to the addict.
Contacting a recovery specialist or consulting with a medical professional is the best way to determine if a patient requires specialized treatment.
How to Get Help?
Now that you know what symptoms are associated with opioid withdrawal, it’s time to take action.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms can hinder recovery by keeping addicts from wanting to stop using, they can be dangerous and life-threatening if not dealt with adequately.
If you or one of your loved ones is suffering from opioid withdrawals then you must act now!
Outpatient LA is a premiere outpatient drug treatment center in Los Angeles, California that offers opioid addiction treatment.
Contact Outpatient LA today for an assessment on how we can help you or your loved ones manage an opioid withdrawal.