Opioid withdrawals can be so overwhelming that many find themselves continuously using no matter how strong the will to quit is. Opioid abuse and addiction is a growing epidemic. People across the globe suffer from addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin. Many people become highly dependent and addicted to opioid-based painkillers, without intent and under the guise that because they were prescribed the medication continuous use is harmless. Prolonged Opioid use can progress to an unmanageable addiction, causing turmoil in almost all aspects of their life. Even with the realization that there is a problem the success of quitting is greatly hindered by the agonizing opioid withdrawals that occur.
Opium is a strong painkilling component of the poppy plant. It is the basis to many prescription drugs on the market for chronic pain management. Opium is also the basis of heroin. A prescription painkiller addiction is as equally serious as a heroin addiction. Taking prescription painkillers can greatly increase the risk of developing a dependence and addiction.
Common Opioid Painkillers Include:
- Lorcet and Lortab
- OxyContin and OxyCodone
- Percocet and Percodan
Prolonged use of Opioids can build a tolerance. Overdose is a scary reality for people who build a tolerance to opioids. As a tolerance builds the need to increase dosage to obtain the same effect puts the patient at a high risk of overdosing. It can be unclear whether an addiction is present particularly with prescription pain medications. The most apparent sign of addiction is the inability to quit using. The inability to quit is usually a result of opioid withdrawal symptoms and the cravings to use.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
Opioid withdrawal symptoms can begin within 6 hours of the last dose and may take as long as a week to secede. An opioid withdrawal is the process of detoxing the body of opiates. The mind will begin craving or obsessing for the drug. Additionally the body will begin showing symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Depending on the period and usage of opioids, the intensity of withdrawals will vary.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms Include:
- Cold sweats or excessive sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increase or Decrease of appetite
- Irritability and Agitation
- Depression and Anxiety
- Muscle Aches and Pains
Heavy opioid users may experience severe opioid withdrawals that can lead to seizures, severe pain, chronic insomnia, dehydration and depression or suicidal thoughts. An overwhelming feeling of hopelessness is the defeating state that opioid withdrawals can trigger. Many find themselves relapsing during the withdrawal stage due to the severity of the symptoms.
Treatment for Opioid Addiction
It is highly recommended that detoxing from opioid withdrawals be supervised by a medical staff, a detox clinic, or with a doctors prescribed addiction treatment medication, like Suboxone. Addiction treatment medications decrease the effects of opioid withdrawals by tapering opioids out of the system. Although physical symptoms may no longer occur the emotional dependency and obsession may continue. Treatment for opioid addiction can address core issues that may be the catalyst for continuing to use opioids. Through therapy, support and medical supervision overcoming addiction can be accomplished.