If you’re struggling with the burden of opioid addiction and looking for a way out, help is at hand. You may have heard that the process is dangerous, or you may have tried to do it alone, but it was too painful and difficult. You’re not alone. It’s one of the hardest things you could try to do. Opiates hijack your brain and trick your mind and body into thinking you need them. With professional help, there’s a way to minimize withdrawal symptoms and get back on track to realizing your dreams.
Early Withdrawal Symptoms
If you’ve been using short-acting opiates, such as morphine sulfate, heroin (diamorphine), hydromorphone or codeine, the onset of withdrawal symptoms is usually within six to 12 hours. For longer-acting ones, such as methadone, fentanyl, hydrocodone and extended-release versions of all opiates, the onset in within 30 hours. These initial symptoms can include:
- Racing heart
- High blood pressure
- Runny nose
- Excessive yawning
- Insomnia and sleep disturbances
- Muscle aches
- Teary eyes
Late Withdrawal Symptoms
Within 72 hours, you’ll begin to feel late-stage withdrawal symptoms. These last a week, on average, but can be longer depending on the severity and duration of the addiction. This part of the process can be the most difficult, and we don’t recommend trying to do it alone. With medical support, you can receive medication and 24-hour supervision and take part in activities in a safe and clean space. Some of these symptoms include:
- Intense cravings
- Stomach cramps
- A sense of hopelessness
- Vomiting and nausea
- Inability to focus
Methods of Coping with the Detox Process
When you take part in a modern rehabilitation program, the first step of the process should always be detoxification. This means purging the body of the toxins that are causing it harm. There are many ways to help manage the symptoms that go along with detox, but most of them can only be administered in a clinical setting. A recovery network, in which you’re recovering side by side with like-minded people, can also be a hugely valuable force for good.
At a time like this, you need friends who understand what you’re going through and plenty of options for activities to keep you busy. Some of the benefits of attending a treatment program are professional assistance, holistic activities and psychological support.
In residential rehab, you have round-the-clock access to care and support during the time you need it most. Experienced addiction specialists are on hand to offer you guidance, advice and, if necessary, medication. Medication-assisted treatment is often provided when withdrawal symptoms are severe. Non-narcotic doses of medicine are given and gradually tapered off as your body adapts to not having opioids in your system.
There are several alternative therapies and activities you can take part in while you’re going through detoxification, which can promote relaxation and relieve any residual pain. Some of these include:
- Group meetings
- Breathing exercises
- Art therapy
- Listening to music
- Mild exercise
- Riding out the crave wave
- Cold showers
- Healthy fruits and vegetables
- Chiropractic treatment
- Drinking lots of fluids with electrolytes
- Surrounding yourself with kind, supportive people
If you’ve had enough of living your life around your addiction, speak to someone who cares. Contact Valley Recovery Center at 866-986-2486 for advice or more information about opiate detox and rehab.