Detoxing from Opioids: What to Expect During Treatment
Recovery is not just a task you check off your to-do list; it’s something much more. It can be seen as an arduous journey of self-improvement, during which those who suffer from substance abuse problems learn how to live soberly and successfully while maintaining healthy lifestyles for life ahead. For many individuals, the path to recovery begins with detoxification.
Opiates are notoriously one of the hardest drugs to stop using. Opioids are a class of drugs that are commonly prescribed for pain relief. They work by attaching to specific receptors in the brain that reduce our pain perception. Opioids produce feelings of euphoria and relaxation, commonly leading to their misuse and addiction. The body soon begins to rely on these drugs to function. When we stop using our drug of choice (DOC), our body starts to go through withdrawal symptoms. This first step in quitting a drug addiction is called detoxification (detox). Overusing prescription opioids has been a major contributor to the current “opioid epidemic.”
Detoxing from opioids is a necessary step towards a safe and stable road to recovery from opioid addiction. We will discuss the issues you will face when getting into treatment for opioid abuse and what to expect during detox.
The Detox Process
Detoxing from opioids is the process of removing these substances from the body. This process can be very difficult, as the body has become dependent on the drug. Common symptoms of opioid withdrawal include nausea, muscle aches, insomnia, anxiety, and more, depending on the severity of your addiction. Medical professionals should be present to supervise your detox. It is not recommended to quit any drug “cold turkey.” A slow tapering off of the drug could help with withdrawal symptoms, or medication may be prescribed, such as clonidine or clonidine. This is also known as another form of treatment, commonly combined with others, called MAT.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines medication with counseling and behavioral therapy. Common medications used during MAT include buprenorphine, clonidine, clonidine, and methadone. These medications bind to the same receptors in the brain that opioids bind to, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It is a good idea to talk with your doctor and therapist to see what medicine (if any) is right for your treatment process. As we often say, not everyone gets sober in the same way. Whatever works for you, work it.
Therapy and support groups can be used to help individuals during opioid detox and addiction treatment. Therapy can address the psychological aspects of addiction, such as triggers and coping mechanisms. Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, can provide a community of individuals going through similar experiences and emotional support.
According to a study done in 2011, “AA is the most commonly sought source of help for alcohol addiction and alcohol-related problems in the United States and has been shown to help people attain and maintain long-term recovery,” says study leader John F. Kelly, associate director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Addiction Medicine, a Harvard affiliate.
Aftercare planning is an important part of opioid addiction treatment. It involves creating a plan for continued treatment and support after detox. This can include ongoing therapy, support groups, and medical management. Aftercare planning can help individuals maintain their sobriety and prevent relapse.
Our relationship with our clients at LA Valley Recovery does not stop when they leave our facility. This is because treatment does not end when you leave our facility, some say that leaving is just when you are starting out on your recovery journey.
Detoxing from opioids will be very challenging, but it is an essential step toward recovery. Medical professionals can help manage withdrawal symptoms with medication, and MAT can reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Therapy and support groups can address the psychological aspects of addiction, and aftercare planning can help individuals maintain their sobriety. If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, seek professional help to start the journey toward recovery.