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A Look at Opiate Withdrawal

Drug detox is an essential component of opiate addiction treatment. The painful and unpleasant symptoms of opiate withdrawal are difficult for an individual to cope with alone, which is why so many opiate addicts relapse. At an inpatient substance abuse center in Maryland, individuals who are struggling with opiate addiction can receive the supportive therapies they need to safely go through drug detox.

Early Withdrawal Symptoms

When an individual becomes physically dependent on an opiate, he or she will experience withdrawal effects after ceasing use or dramatically reducing use. The early symptoms of opiate withdrawal can range from excessive yawning to insomnia and extreme agitation. Other early withdrawal symptoms may include anxiety, muscle aches, runny nose, sweating, and teary eyes.

Late Withdrawal Symptoms

Later in the drug detox process, an individual going through heroin addiction treatment may experience more severe withdrawal effects. These can include painful abdominal cramping, chills, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The duration of these withdrawal effects can vary from person to person, as symptoms will vary depending on the type and amount of opiates used. For some people, withdrawal effects may last for a few weeks.

Withdrawal Complications

Going through detox in a treatment facility is essential, because complications may occur. During opiate withdrawal, an individual might aspirate the contents of the stomach into the lungs, which can result in a lung infection. Persistent vomiting and diarrhea can result in dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Another possible complication that is more likely to occur outside of a drug rehab is the return to drug use, known as relapse.

Withdrawal Treatments

At an addiction treatment facility, individuals who are going through opiate detox can receive supportive therapies to relieve the symptoms of withdrawal and reduce the likelihood of a relapse. In the event that the individual suffers from opioid intoxication, a medical professional can administer intravenous fluids, provide support ventilation if necessary, clear the airway, and support cardiac function. However, most individuals working through opiate withdrawal will require much less intensive care. Your treatment center may recommend a number of therapies to manage detox symptoms and cleanse the body. These include nutritional therapy, exercise and yoga therapy, massage, infrared sauna therapy, and one-on-one counseling. Additionally, medications may be recommended to restore normal brain function and further assist in the process of breaking chemical dependency.

Categories: Opiate Addiction


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