Opiate Withdrawal: How does it feel?
- Is Withdrawal Painful?
- How Does It Affect People Emotionally?
- What is the best way to Deal with Withdrawal?
When a person becomes physically dependent on opiates, it is inevitable for them to experience withdrawal. Just like with any other drug, withdrawal occurs when a drug dependent individual attempts to quit or abruptly stops their drug intake.
Any time that the body feels like it’s not receiving enough opiates, it will go into withdrawal. That is what dependence does. It makes you feel like you need the substance in order to function normally. And in a way, that’s true. The continuous intake of drugs has caused the body to adapt to its presence.
Quitting the substance at this point is very difficult—and it could even be dangerous when done on your own. But it is possible to recover from addiction and dependence. You just need to make sure you’re doing it right.
The combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy is perhaps the best way to deal with substance abuse. It is also the safest.
But because the addicted individual will have to deal with withdrawal during this elaborate process, we need to discuss what that feels like. Today we are going to talk about the withdrawal experience: how it affects a person physically and mentally.
Is Withdrawal Painful?
Generally, we can say that withdrawal is a painful experience, if not a very uncomfortable one. The severity of withdrawal depends on a number of factors such as the patient’s age, their gender, their health condition, and their drug history.
How long have they been taking opiates? What were the opiates prescribed for? Are there co-occurring disorders? These factors may affect how intense withdrawal is.
Those who have been abusing opiates for a long time may have a harder time dealing with withdrawal. Even the duration of the withdrawal period may vary from person to person.
But one thing is for sure, withdrawal is unpleasant. That is why it needs to be managed with the help of medical professionals.
Opiates in particular are normally used for treating pain. When a person’s body is used to its effects, they may experience intense muscle and bone pain when they remove the substance from their system. Some people experience stomach aches, cramps, and pain in the joints.
This physical pain is one of the reasons why many people who are struggling with opiate addiction refuse to stop taking opiates. The drugs gave them limited tolerance for physical pain.
Other common physical symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, agitation, goosebumps, chills, dehydration, and flu-like effects.
How Does It Affect People Emotionally?
Opiate addiction affects a person physically and mentally. It’s no surprise that the mind is also affected during withdrawal.
Those who are struggling with withdrawal may find themselves depressed as this is the most common symptom that affects the mind. They are used to feeling euphoria, relaxation, and joy, so taking opiates away may make them feel empty.
Additionally, they may find it hard to sleep. They will experience restlessness, fatigue, and general discomfort. Users are also prone to becoming anxious after quitting the drug.
What is the best way to Deal with Withdrawal?
Medical professionals should be able to create a proper treatment plan based on the patient’s needs after an initial examination. The process of detoxification is designed to gradually lower their opiate intake in order to make withdrawal easier to manage.
Medications such as buprenorphine may be used as a replacement opiate for the time being.
Meanwhile, behavioral therapy can help the patient learn how to adjust to the sober life. The journey towards a cleaner you can start today. Look for a rehab facility near you!
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