Opiate withdrawal occurs when an individual addicted to opiates suddenly stops taking or drastically reduces intake of the drug after using it for an extended period. Opiates are narcotic drugs that act as a depressant in the body. Opiates are used as pain relievers and include heroin, morphine, codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. Most of these are prescription medications and addiction to these drugs is serious and potentially life threatening. The individual may need professional help while going through withdrawal, and to prevent a relapse. A treatment center offers its clients professional and supportive care during the withdrawal process, and offers extended care while the body heals from long-term drug use.
Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
Opiate withdrawal symptoms range from mild to severe. At the beginning stages, usually within 12-30 hours after the last use, the client may experience mild opiate withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include agitation or nervousness, muscle and joint aches, and insomnia. Later more severe symptoms may occur. These include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, chills, dilated pupils, and hallucinations. These opiate withdrawal symptoms, while extremely difficult to experience, usually are not life threatening but should be monitored by skilled trained individuals in case care is needed.
Getting Help for Opiate Withdrawal
Once the client has gone through opiate withdrawal, a stay at the opiate addiction treatment center is a safe environment away from temptations until the client is educated on how to overcome these temptations once they return home. Long-term care increases the likelihood for success and prevention of a relapse. Opiate withdrawal can be a difficult experience, but once the body is drug free the client can look forward to a healthier and happier life.