Signs of Opiate Addiction, Withdrawal Symptoms, and How to Detox with Drug Rehab & Treatment

Another widely used, although illegal, opioid drug is heroin. With its highly addictive nature, along with euphoric side-effects of pleasure and pain relief, opioids are so commonly abused that the U.S. has launched many programs to try to mitigate the “Opioid Crisis” the country is faced with today. In fact, the abuse is so widespread that misuse of prescription opioids and heroin affects more than 2 million Americans and an estimated 15 million people worldwide each year. Unfortunately, these numbers are steadily increasing. 

Fortunately, however, there is hope for someone suffering from opioid addiction. Through therapy, drug treatment rehab, and guidance from a medically trained professional, one has the ability to successfully walk on the path of lifelong sobriety.

Signs of Opiate Addiction and How to Know if Drug Rehab is Needed for Detox

Opioid addiction is characterized by a strong, compulsive urge to use the drug, even when it’s no longer deemed medically necessary. Unfortunately, even when someone innocently takes the drug as prescribed, the risk of addiction is high because of the way opioids change the chemistry of the brain. When someone takes an opiate, the reward system in the brain is triggered and an extreme rush of dopamine is fired off. Dopamine signals feelings of pleasure or excitement to the neurons in the body, producing what many people would describe as a “high”.  As the opioid changes the way the brain functions, drug tolerance will set in, requiring more of the drug to feel the same effects. Once addiction sets in, the user will start to prioritize getting the drug over other activities in their life, even activities they once valued, and personal and professional relationships may suffer. Furthermore, opioid use over an extended period of time will lead to dependence, causing the person to suffer from physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. 

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Signs that drug rehab for opiate addiction are needed may include:

  • Increased general anxiety/anxiety attacks
  • Depression
  • Poor coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor decision-making abilities
  • Irritability
  • Changes in mood/behavior
  • Decreased appetite
  • Trouble sleeping/insomnia
  • Taking more than prescribed (painkillers)
  • Avoiding people that may suspect drug abuse
  • Abandoning daily obligations 
  • Seeking opiates, even if it puts the user at risk of physical or legal harm

Drug Rehab for Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Opioid addiction can cause serious life-threatening health problems, and as such, it is essential that one does not attempt to quit using opioids cold-turkey. Thus, seeking the help of a medical professional is vital in ensuring that the user detoxes safely, mitigating unpleasurable withdrawal symptoms.

Some common withdrawal symptoms experienced early on (within the 6-12 hours for the shorter-acting opiates to 30 hours for the longer-acting opiates) of opioid withdrawal include: 

  • Muscle aches
  • Tearing up
  • Agitation
  • Excessive yawning
  • Trouble falling and staying asleep
  • Anxiety
  • Nose running
  • Sweats
  • Racing heart
  • Hypertension
  • Fever

Some late withdrawal symptoms, usually peaking around 72 hours and lasting for a week or more, include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps
  • Stomach cramps
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings

Withdrawal symptoms experienced range from mild to severe depending on the severity of the addiction, the type of drug taken, how the drug was taken, and any underlying medical conditions. Some of the psychological withdrawal symptoms experienced, such as depression, may last longer than a week and, therefore, is suggested that the user to seek therapy with a clinical professional, especially through a drug treatment center.

How to Detox off Opioids in a Drug Rehab

There are many ways to detox off opioids, although some methods will provide a more comprehensive and safer way than others. For instance, medically-assisted detox is under the close supervision of a medical professional, giving the user the ability to detox in a safe environment. And while some people may be able to detox off opioids in an outpatient setting (only going to a facility for scheduled appointments), it is highly recommended that one seek an inpatient drug treatment center where medical help is staffed 24/7 and the user has all distractions eliminated, thus increasing their chances of lifelong sobriety upon leaving treatment. However, if detoxing in an inpatient setting is not feasible, outpatient treatment can, and does, work for many people. The key is just to start moving in the direction of sobriety as soon as possible.

Drug Rehab Treatment Center Options for Opioid Addiction

Since drug addiction is complex, it is imperative that the issue be addressed on multiple levels, particularly both physically and psychologically. At Infinite Recovery, we have the clinical and medical professionals needed to address the complexity of this addiction in order to ensure you, or a loved one, gets the help needed and deserved. With individual, group, and family counseling, along with support groups, we take a comprehensive and holistic approach to healing. Furthermore, we know that each person is unique and thus take the time to custom-tailor treatment plans according to individual needs. Please reach out to our friendly staff today so that you can get on the path of sobriety and start living the life you are worthy of.