Getting help for a prescription opiate addiction begins with the detox and withdrawal process. During detoxification the body expels the drug’s residual chemicals while the brain attempts to stabilize in the absence of the drug. Someone anticipating going through this detox process may rightly ask what helps with opiate withdrawal symptoms. After all, during detoxification, highly uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms will come into play, challenging even the most committed person to actually complete the detox process.
Thankfully, there are medications available that can help reduce the withdrawal symptoms and help the individual successfully complete this important first step in recovery. During a residential detox, specialists are trained in what helps with opiate withdrawal symptoms and will offer both medical and psychological support to minimize discomfort and safely guide the individual through the process.
Prescription opiates are powerful synthetic opiate with very high addictive properties, thus the Schedule II controlled substance classification. Some prescription medications often contain both the core analgesic, opiates, combined with either ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
These drugs work to suppress the effects of physical pain by modifying the signaling in the central nervous system through the body’s opioid receptors. By blocking the pain signals, the perception of experiencing pain is altered, allowing the patient to endure post-operative discomfort. Used appropriately and for a specified period, prescription opiates can advantageous for pain relief due to surgery or injury. Unfortunately, extended use of these drugs can result in addiction or chemical dependency.
Prescription Opiate Detox and Withdrawal
Opioid withdrawal can be a painful process, so one should not attempt to go through it without medical support. Within 6-12 hours following the last dose of prescription opiates, withdrawal symptoms will emerge. The length of the detox period as well as the severity of the withdrawal symptoms will depend on the severity of the opiate addiction. Generally symptoms peak on days 2-3 and begin to subside on day 5. The total withdrawal timeline can last from 7-28 days.
Opiate withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle aches and pain
- Increased pain sensitivity
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Excessive yawning
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sleep disturbances
- Drug cravings
What Helps with Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
A residential detox and withdrawal will involve close supervision of vital signs and withdrawal symptoms. The detox team will know what helps with opiate withdrawal symptoms and can ease much of the discomfort with a variety of interventions.
Clonidine can help reduce anxiety, muscle aches, cramping, runny nose, and agitation. Over-the-counter medications can help with muscle aches, stomach discomfort, and diarrhea. Detox medications can help mitigate some of the withdrawal discomfort, and support early recovery.
Psychological support is also an important aspect of the detox support efforts. The withdrawal symptoms often include depression, anxiety, and may even induce suicidal thoughts. The emotional support efforts can help to persuade the individual to continue on and complete the detox.
Comprehensive Treatment for Opiate Dependency
Following the detoxification process, the individual will now be in a much better place to enter into active treatment for the addiction. Detox without addiction treatment is likely to result in nearly immediate relapse, so treatment should always be the goal when initiating the recovery process. Addiction treatment programs use assorted therapies and activities that work in tandem to help break the addict reflex behaviors.
Treatment elements in Opiate Addiction recovery include:
- Medication can help the individual transition slowly off of the opioid, reduce cravings, and thereby reducing the risk of relapse.
- Individual psychotherapy sessions. During these one-on-one sessions the psychotherapist helps the client identify underlying factors that might be driving the dependence on prescription opiates, such as using it to self-medicate a mood disorder or a difficult emotional event or trauma. Cognitive behavioral therapy can guide individuals in shifting disordered thought and behavior patterns.
- Group counseling sessions. Group therapy provides the important social support component in recovery. Members of the group, under the facilitation of a therapist, can share their personal experiences and struggles, while gaining each other’s support.
- Complimentary therapies. These might include family therapy, couples therapy, mindfulness training, yoga, and art therapy can augment treatment results and improve recovery success rates.
Ken Seeley Communities Recovery Services for Prescription Opiate Addiction
Ken Seeley Communities is an addiction and dual diagnosis treatment program. It is understandable why someone would want to know in advance what helps with prescription opiate withdrawal symptoms. Rest assured that at Ken Seeley Communities all clients will be carefully monitored during detox and withdrawal, with our residential detox team providing every measure available to reduce withdrawal discomforts. Our goal is to transition the client safely through detox and into treatment. If you are ready to change your life for the better, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502. Our team is here to help make that happen.