The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2011 that there over 38,000 people in the United States that died from overdosing on opiate prescriptions. This number has more than tripled in the last two decades and the organized says that drug overdose is the reason that at least 100 people die every single day in the United States. More than 100 individuals die each day in incidents that are related to drugs in one way or another.
What Exactly Is an Opiate?
An opiate is a certain type of drug medication that comes from an opium poppy plant. These drugs are available in the United States. They are legal, but only by prescription. However, they can be obtained on the street illegally and with ease. Examples of opiate drugs are oxycontin, heroin, dilaudid and methadone. The drug works by attaching to the receptors in the spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract and brain. When the opiate does this, it is able to alter the sensation of pain and changes the pain to a feeling of contentment and euphoria.
Long-term users of opiates are at a serious risk of developing a dependency on the medication. A tolerance can develop for the drug, which eventually creates a hazard of health risks and long-term consequences. For that reason, many users will come to Shadow Mountain Recovery for medical detox treatment.
Signs and Symptoms Associated with Misuse of Opiates
There are a wide number of side effects that opiate users may experience when on the drug, which will likely begin with a stomachache and constipate. Some others could include fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, euphoria, drowsiness, constricted pupils, low blood pressure, depression, insomnia and tremors. Some of the more serious side effects include clammy skin, circulatory collapse, cardiac arrest and coma. When opiate users decide to stop use of the drug abruptly, it can have dangerous and damaging withdrawal effects depending on the length and amount of daily use.
Opiate Medical Detoxification
The withdrawal symptoms associated with discontinuing opiate use can be pretty severe. The side effects can be anxiety, agitation, insomnia, muscle pain, bone pain, runny nose, sweating, uncontrollable extremity movement, vomiting, stomach cramps and chills. These can start within just a few hours of the last dose that the user takes and last for as last as several days. The symptoms can often mimic symptoms that you would experience when sick with the flu, except they are often worse in severity.
For the detoxification process, opiate users have a couple of options at their disposal. There are outpatient clinics that allow at-home detoxing. This allows patients to self-report to the clinic, receive detoxing drugs and to maintain daily routines. However, for some users, this is ineffective and many do not follow through and complete the entire process. Inpatient medical detox may be a better alternative, as it utilizes IV therapy to ensure that toxins in the body’s system are removed and medication is administered and adjusted as necessary to manage any withdrawal symptoms that crop up throughout the detoxification process, which help to increase the patient’s comfort and the efficiency of the therapy as a whole.
Behavioral Programs After Detoxing
Once you have detoxed from opiates, you may want to enroll in one of our facility’s programs that will provide you with the necessary tools to achieve a life of success that does not include drugs. We can help you reevaluate your choices and thoughts so that you can reinforce positive and productive habits and behaviors that will help you build and lead a life that doesn’t involve opiates or other drugs.