Opiates Withdrawal

{Pill} Withdrawal

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Opiates Withdrawal

Authored by Philippa Gold Edited by Hugh Soames

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Opiates Withdrawal


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Opiates Withdrawal

What is Opiates


Opiates is one of the most widely abused drugs in North America and Worldwide. Addiction is nothing now, but what is new is the super worrying trend of increasing deaths due to Opiates overdose. In part, this can be said to be due to a number of factors such as:


  • Lack of education around Opiates
  • Increase in Pharmaceutical Prescriptions generally
  • A failure of Governments worldwide to do enough to stop Opiates addiction and related deaths
  • Societal thinking regarding addicts and Opiates addiction
  • Lack of Harm Reduction methods around Opiates usage
  • Lack of addiction related education in the medical professional


Further reading about Opiates from around the web

An opiate, in classical pharmacology, is a substance derived from opium. In more modern usage, the term opioid is used to designate all substances, both natural and synthetic, that bind to opioid receptors in the brain (including antagonists). Opiates are alkaloid compounds naturally found in the opium poppy plant Papaver somniferum.
The psychoactive compounds found in the opium plant include morphine, codeine, and thebaine. Opiates have long been used for a variety of medical conditions with evidence of opiate trade and use for pain relief as early as the eighth century AD. Opiates are considered drugs with moderate to high abuse potential and are listed on various “Substance-Control Schedules” under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act of the United States of America.

In 2014, between 13 and 20 million people used opiates recreationally (0.3% to 0.4% of the global population between the ages of 15 and 65). According to the CDC, from this population, there were 47,000 deaths, with a total of 500,000 deaths from 2000 to 2014. In 2016, the World Health Organization reported that 27 million people suffer from opioid use disorder. They also reported that in 2015, 450,000 people died as a result of drug use, with between a third and a half of that number being attributed to opioids.

What Are Opiates Withdrawal Symptoms?


Withdrawal from Opiates is a serious matter. The effects on the body from Opiates use is extreme, and because of these effects Opiates withdrawal can very quickly become an acute medical emergency. Withdrawal from Opiates can cause a hypertensive crisis or myocardial infraction. In other words, a stroke or heart attack caused by sudden stoppage in taking Opiates or respiratory distress syndrome whereby your body shuts down from the lungs and respiratory system outwards.  Opiates withdrawal can also lead to serious anxiety and mental health related issues.


Never in any circumstances underestimate the seriousness of Opiates withdrawal1https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2891684/. If you are withdrawing from Opiates it is advisable to seek medical attention and in the case of medical emergency from Opiates withdrawal do not hesitate to head to the nearest Emergency Room.


Opiates withdrawal will vary for everyone and will be affected by several factors. The length and severity of Opiates use with be one of the main predictors of withdrawal symptoms and intensity. With Opiates withdrawal, it’s impossible to accurately predict how an individual will react to withdrawal.


Opiates Withdrawal Timeline


Full Opiates withdrawal often takes seven to fourteen days but sometimes longer, and the Opiates withdrawal symptoms are categorized according to their severity.


There are no minor symptoms of Opiates withdrawal. The first symptoms to exhibit themselves, usually 3-12 hours after Opiates withdrawal starts proper are headaches, tremors, sweating, itching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and total confusion with anxiety or depression.


These are followed relatively quickly by the next stage in Opiates withdrawal timeline by:


  • Insomnia
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Panic attacks
  • Muscle pain
  • Psychosis
  • Delirium tremens
  • Relapse


Worryingly, every time an individual attempts Opiates withdrawal the severity of symptoms tends to increase.


Opiates withdrawal has a mortality rate of between three and 19 per cent, depending on seriousness of Opiates usage.


Withdrawal from Opiates is a physically demanding process, in which the body will utilize every means possible to remove toxins, while creating psychological challenges because of the changes to the individuals brain chemistry.


Opiates Detox Process


The severity of Opiates detox makes it a process that should be approached carefully. Opiates Detox, especially for those with a heavy or long-lasting Opiates dependency, produces a range of symptoms and in extreme cases withdrawal can be fatal. However much they may want to end their addiction to Opiates, it’s vital to seek medical advice and enlist the support of their loved ones.


Opiates Withdrawal at a Rehab


Detoxing from Opiates within a treatment facility ensures medical help if it’s needed during the treatment process. Because Opiates rebound is a significant danger during withdrawal, having medical personnel present 24-hours a day can mean an instant response to any hypertensive or life-threatening crisis that may occur as a professional tapering process lowers the chances of patients experiencing fatal episodes.


Opiates withdrawal and detox begins with an initial medical exam to determine the patient’s physical condition upon entry into the rehab. This pre-detox Opiates withdrawal period can last up to 24 hours, as medical personnel determines both the patient’s general medical condition and drug history.


Detoxification of the patient’s body from Opiates begins after the pre-detox period ends. Medically assisted or tapered withdrawal from Opiates can take up to a few weeks to complete.

Rapid Detox from Opiates


Rapid detox from Opiates is a controversial topic and one that is unlikely to be accepted by everyone for its positive uses. It is a concept that has helped individuals addicted to Opiates and other drugs kick the habit and gain the help they need to live a healthier lifestyle.


A patient undergoing a rapid detox from Opiates is put under anesthesia for up to six hours. During this time, an opioid antagonist drug such as naltrexone is used to remove the Opiates from the patient’s body. Rapid detox can alleviate some of the more distressing symptoms of Opiates withdrawal.


The Opiates rapid detox method is used to stop a patient from feeling the devastating effects of Opiates withdrawal. Sedating the patient and putting them under anaesthesia allows them to “sleep” through the initial heavy Opiates withdrawal and detox process. The hope is that after the rapid detox process, the patient will wake up with their body completely clean of Opiates. The remainder of the withdrawal process will be minimal enabling the person to get on with the rehab process. Throughout rapid detox, the patient is monitored to ensure safety.


Does Opiates Rapid Detox Help Withdrawal Symptoms?


Experts claim that rapid detox from Opiates is a safe way to cleanse the body. It is also more pleasant as individuals who go through Opiates withdrawal can experience shakes, sweats, nausea, and other issues for long periods.


Opiates withdrawal can take weeks to fully complete. However, rapid detox from Opiates can take only a few days to a week at most. While the process of undergoing anaesthesia is just a few hours, Opiates detox patients can be kept in a medical clinic for monitoring afterwards. The process enables a patient to get – for many – the most difficult and frightening part of rehab out of the way. Once completed, patients can focus on the mental and emotional side of recovery.


For most Opiates addicts, the biggest barrier of attending rehab is withdrawal. The pain and distress Opiates withdrawal can have on a person can drive them back to using. Therefore, limiting or stopping a person’s physical Opiates withdrawal symptoms allows them to focus on making a full recovery.


By completing a residential rehab program following rapid detox, individuals can fully recover from their Opiates addiction.

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