The opioid crisis is in full force in the United States. Reportedly, 9% of Americans will abuse opiates in their lifetime. Opioids are highly addictive and easier to get than ever with a prescription. It is also one of the most difficult habits to kick as withdrawal can be brutal on the physical and mental facilities.
Once someone who is addicted to opiates decides to get clean, it is the first step towards a long road of recovery. Although opioid withdrawal is difficult, it isn’t impossible. You can consult the Current state of opiate detox rx for statistics on opioid addiction and detoxing. If your addiction is especially severe, consider going to a professional detox centre for aid.
Knowing what to expect can make the process a bit easier so one can prepare their body and mind, and no one should have to do it alone.
The main reason a drug abuser cannot quit is that of addiction, but also because of the likelihood of relapse. This should be the main concern of someone who is deciding to recover from opioid addiction. Because cells in the brain adjust to the regular effect of opiates during bouts of usage, the body will react to their leaving, in some cases severely.
It is estimated that in the time between 24 and 48 hours, an opiate abuser who is recovering is at the highest risk of relapse. The level of dependence on the drugs will dictate the severity of withdrawal.
Physical and Mental Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal
As soon as 12 hours in, withdrawal symptoms like aggression and irritation can begin. Once withdrawal officially starts, expect symptoms like excessive sweating, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, runny nose, muscle pain and aches, insomnia, severe anxiety, and loss of appetite.
These symptoms may feel unbearable and never-ending. Bear in mind that they will eventually pass. The worst pain will be in the first 1 to 3 days. After a week of withdrawal, the most severe physical symptoms will be over– though shivering, fatigue and minor aches, pains, and cramping can still be present. Allow a month for the physical symptoms to subside.
Keeping Yourself Healthy Through the Withdrawal
A way to alleviate or minimize symptoms is through healthy diet and exercise. Exercise can provide vital serotonin release, which will help with feelings of depression and anxiety.
When appetite returns, consuming healthy and non-processed foods will help the body readjust. Plenty of water will help to make sure dehydration does not worsen the effects of withdrawal.
Keeping comfortable, warm, occupied and clean will help with the withdrawal process. Exercising the mind will also help with feelings of hopelessness. Try reading, watching a favourite film, or another hobby that might bring joy or relief.
The most important way to make it through withdrawal and recovery is through a system of support. Having someone, or many people to turn to can make a significant difference in avoiding relapse and staying in recovery. Withdrawal is terrible, but recovery can save your life.
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