Opioids can help relieve pain. It is a type of medicine that is powerful enough to alleviate pain ranging from moderate to severe.
They work by interfering with the way your brain responds to pain. Opioids can lower the number of pain signals that the body sends to the brain. It is commonly prescribed to help patients who are suffering from toothaches, surgical pain, cancer pain, and traumatic pain.
The problem lies not in the medicine, but in its misuse. Some people take opioids recreationally, causing various health problems. Long term abuse of the drug can lead to dependence, tolerance, addiction, and overdose.
If your doctor prescribes an opioid, be sure to follow their instructions carefully. These drugs are quite habit-forming, even at pharmaceutical doses. As for recreational users, they have a much higher risk of getting addicted. Do not take larger doses of this drug, and do not take it for longer than is recommended.
Common kinds of opioid drugs are the following: opium, codeine, hydrocodone, heroin, Fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, methadone, oxymorphone, and tramadol.
Medical benefits aside, there are many reasons why you might want to get this drug out of your system. Today we are going to discuss exactly that. We’ll tackle both short term and long term methods, so you or your loved ones can get back to living a sober life.
Getting Opioids Out of Your System
All opiates are derived from a plant called the opium poppy. Although essential to the medical industry, it may cause harm to those who misuse it.
Though effects may last for several hours, opiates themselves have short half-lives. That means they leave the system quickly. Each opiate is different, and for how long they can be detected by drug tests depends on the substance taken. It is also affected by the method of administration.
For example, prescription opiates often come in pill form. That means taking the drug orally means it will go through the digestive system first. It may take an hour for the effects to kick in—therefore it will also take longer for the drug to exit the system.
Meanwhile, some opiates such as heroin are often injected, snorted, or smoked. These methods create a faster, more intense high. It also allows the drug to pass out of the body sooner.
There are other factors that affect this. The person’s metabolism rate dictates the speed of the drug’s exit. The body mass, body weight, fat content, liver health, kidney health, age, and frequency of drug intake, all have an effect of the individual’s absorption of the opiate.
On top of this, the type of opiate can factor into how long it may be detected in a drug test.
Heroin is a fast-acting drug. It also has a very short half-life. Blood tests work for an average of 6 hours after the last dose. Urine tests are commonly used, as it can detect the presence of heroin for up to 7 days since the last dose. Hair follicle tests are uncommon, but they are the most effective, able to detect heroin for up to 90 days.
Morphine takes longer to work, compared to heroin. The effects also tend to last longer. However, urine tests only work for up to 3 days. Saliva tests are more effective for morphine, detecting traces for up to 4 days. Hair follicle tests can detect it for 90 days.
Codeine is one of the fastest opiates to leave the system. It can be found in blood for only 24 hours, and in urine for up to 2 days. But just like heroin and morphine, codeine can be found in the person’s hair follicles for up to 90 days.
Getting opiates out of your system is done naturally—through abstinence. However, if the person is already addicted to the drug, it is recommended that they quit the drug with medical supervision. Some opiates can cause withdrawal symptoms, and it is important that these effects are managed, as the person is detoxified. Finding the right treatment facility for the patient is important. Look for one that is nearby, convenient, and with a high success rating.
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Rehabilitation is the best way to get opioids out of the body—and make sure it stays that way. The treatment methods will be different for each person. The main goal is the same: keep the person from abusing the drug, manage their withdrawal symptoms, and help them avoid relapsing.
This is typically done via behavioral therapy and counseling. The patient is educated and guided as they readjust to the sober life. Through detox, the drug’s adverse effects are managed while the patient’s intake is gradually lowered.
Group and family counseling sessions are also used sometimes. This depends on the person’s needs.
For their convenience, inpatient and outpatient programs are available. The inpatient treatment allows round the clock care, as well as a safe environment, where the patient can focus on getting better.
Outpatient treatment for opioid addiction involves many hospital visits, but it allows the person to stay with their family throughout the detox. This helps them stay with the people they are comfortable with, while still receiving care and medical support.
While there is no quick and easy way to get opiates out of your system, it is still possible to get sober. One simply has to be dedicated enough to this new goal. Make sure that the opiate-addicted individual gets all the support they need. This challenging stage of their life is sure to be worth conquering.