Opiate Withdrawal – Its Nature, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Opiates are a class of drugs that are commonly prescribed to patients to treat pain. However, these drugs are highly addictive and it is very common to see people who get hooked on its use because their bodies have become dependent on it due to prolonged use and misuse of the medication.

Opiate withdrawal refers to the symptoms that an addict would experience if they stop or reduce the dosage of opiate drugs that their bodies take in after prolonged and heavy use of the drug. Our body’s system and processes are directly altered when heavy doses of opiates enter it for a prolonged period. And as one attempts to detox from opiates, withdrawal symptoms surface as an indication that the body is trying to get its natural balance back after substance abuse.

What causes opiate withdrawal?

As mentioned, opiates are highly addictive. Aside from this, prolonged use makes the body physically dependent and would require a dose for it to function normally. Over time, the body also becomes tolerant to the opiate and will require a larger dose for it to achieve the same level of euphoria.

In the absence of the opiate, the body will need time to recover and function normally and its recovery results to withdrawal symptoms. As soon as the dosage of opiates is reduced or removed, the body goes through opiate withdrawal.

What are the symptoms of opiate withdrawal?

The symptoms of withdrawal vary from person to person but the timeline for the progression of symptoms is typically the same. The length of time that the drugs remain in your system depends on the type of opiate that you are addicted to. Withdrawal symptoms would usually start to surface within 12-24 hours from when the last dose was taken. Early symptoms of withdrawal will include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Excessive sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Increased eye lacrimation
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety and agitation

After the first 24 hours until after 1 to 2 weeks, you will still feel withdrawal symptoms to appear which should start to subside after 72 hours, and they will include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Goosebumps
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure

Is there treatment available for opiate withdrawal?

Your focus, as you go through withdrawal, is to make yourself as comfortable as possible as your body goes through detox.

There are medical facilities available that provide round the clock medical supervision and care for those going through opiate withdrawal and it is highly recommended to long term opiate users to opt for this treatment program and not manage the symptoms themselves.

If you are experiencing mild withdrawal symptoms, taking acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and loperamide can help minimize the discomfort of your symptoms. Also make sure that you get plenty of rest and take in a lot of fluids to replenish what your body has lost and to help flush out the toxins in your body.

You will find a number of full-spectrum supplements in the market that are designed to provide relief for withdrawal symptoms. The one that I have found to be most effective in providing relief for opiate withdrawal is Elimidrol. Elimidrol is sold exclusively online through the company’s website. The range of ingredients, doses, delivery method, and guarantee that Elimidrol provides all make it stand out from its competitors.

Those who are suffering from more intense withdrawal symptoms may want to consider taking medications that are prescribed specially for those going through opiate withdrawal. Drugs such as Clonidine, Suboxone, and Methadone are designed to manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce the appearance of its symptoms.

Is Methadone Really a Solution?

Methadone maintenance therapy has been administered in the United States for more than 50 years now as treatment for opiate addiction. Although this is the case there is a lot of controversy on its effectiveness and many are discouraging recovering addicts from using methadone to help alleviate their withdrawal symptoms because of the accompanied risks.

Methadone is classified as a Schedule II Narcotic. This means that methadone can only be obtained from methadone clinics and hospitals. If you are undergoing methadone therapy, you will be required to show up in either of these places every day in order to get your daily dose of treatment.

Recovering addicts are becoming dependent on its use because they are unaware that like opiates, methadone can be very addictive. Many of those who fail to follow the program end up substituting methadone for their previous addiction. Methadone is more addictive than other opiates like heroin and its effect on the body is even more dangerous when misused.

However, studies have shown that when methadone treatment is followed to the letter it is actually effective in helping a drug addict to recovery. Long term use of methadone and following the scheduled doses that is coupled with psychological and behavioral treatments have had huge success in helping addicts start a drug-free life.

Many, who have tried other methods of treatments and failed, swear to the effectiveness of the methadone therapy. Methadone therapy has also decreased the incidence of HIV and Hepatitis among drug addicts.

The focus of both medical practitioners and government agencies concerned should be in the close monitoring of the administration of methadone for those who are under the maintenance program as well as providing behavioral treatments for these recovering addicts, otherwise, these efforts will all be in vain.