Prescription opioids are potent pain medications used to treat moderate to severe pain. Sometimes, doctors may also use them to treat cough and other mild symptoms. As the name suggests, these drugs are available only with a doctor’s prescription. This definition does not include illegal drugs, such as heroin.
Common Prescription Opioids Include:
Most users will experience the following effects, usually with 24 hours after the last intake.
Detox or withdrawal symptoms can be mild or severe. The severity depends on the dose and duration of opioid use. Besides, your health, underlying medical condition, and method of use can affect the intensity of the symptoms.
A person develops anxiety or fear anticipating the upcoming withdrawal symptoms. Some people may have increased cravings.
Increased anxiety and restlessness are the hallmarks of this stage. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, sweating, stomach aches, and cravings.
Most symptoms reach their peak, and a person has intense cravings. Additional symptoms can include shaking, muscle spasms, diarrhea, sleep difficulty, and elevated blood pressure.
During this period, most acute symptoms no longer persist. However, one may experience mood swings, cravings, unusual dreams, anxiety, depression, irritability, insomnia, and problems with concentration. Usually, the symptoms are mild, but even a minor trigger can make a person relapse.
Addiction experts recommend medically assisted detox because detoxing on your own is very hard and can sometimes be dangerous. The National Drug and Alcohol Research Center reports that opioid withdrawal can cause death. Fortunately, detoxing under medical supervision dramatically reduces the risk of complications, including death.
Moreover, medications used in prescription opioid detox are available only with a doctor’s prescription and require trained professionals to administer them. As such, at-home detox is not possible in these cases.
It is often your doctor who refers you to an opioid detox center. Detox centers have a medical team assessing your condition and designing a customized detox plan to meet your unique needs. Opioid detox programs involve medications, counseling, and nutritional support. These programs are available in both inpatient and outpatient facilities.
Tapering is a detox technique in which your dose is gradually reduced until you no longer need the drug. Besides, it may be an option if you are maintained on an opioid maintenance drug, such as methadone or buprenorphine. However, tapering should be done only under medical supervision.
Mild withdrawal is usually managed with Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Aspirin (Ascriptin), or Ibuprofen (Advil). You may need to take drugs to control diarrhea and nausea, such as Loperamide (Imodium) and Hydroxyzine (Vistaril). Apart from medicines, it is essential to get enough rest and drink plenty of fluids.
Severe withdrawal requires medical treatment at a facility and can involve the following medicines.
A prescription medication used to treat hypertension, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and sometimes symptoms of withdrawal from certain drugs. It has also been found to be effective in treating opioid addiction by reducing cravings and decreasing the incidence of relapse.
Also known as Subutex, it helps shorten the duration of detox. Like methadone, buprenorphine can also be used for long-term maintenance therapy.
Works by blocking opioid receptors in the brain, making it so that opioids do not produce a high when used. It drastically reduces craving and reduces relapse risk among individuals who have had trouble abstaining from these substances. Studies have also shown that naltrexone can be used safely and effectively for both short-term and long-term medical therapy for those suffering from addiction
Death during prescription opioid detox can occur due to dehydration from persistent diarrhea and vomiting. If untreated, severe dehydration can result in high blood sodium levels and heart failure.
Thus, maintaining proper hydration is key to preventing dehydration and related complications. If you have severe dehydration, you may need intravenous (IV) fluids and salts.
When choosing the most appropriate detox program, it is crucial to consider the required level of care, insurance coverage, and commitment. Silicon Valley Recovery is the most comprehensive opioid detox center to help you at every step of your recovery process.