Opiates are prescribed as painkillers for conditions ranging from moderate to severe. However, opiates are also known for causing adverse health effects for those who abuse them. In fact, opiate addiction remains a big problem in the United States, and even the rest of the world.
Despite their medical benefits, opiates can be quite dangerous and addictive when taken recreationally. They can even cause withdrawal.
Now the question is: why do opiates cause withdrawal? On this article we are going to talk about what withdrawal is, and how opiates cause it.
Before we can understand what withdrawal is and what it entails, we have to take a look at the nature of addiction first.
Most opiates are prescription painkillers. Some, including heroin, are completely illegal. Regardless, people take opiates in order to experience a sense of wellbeing and euphoria. This “feel good” effect can be quite addictive.
Although these drugs are legitimately used for treating pain, they can also be misused due to their relaxing qualities. Even those who only take opiates for pain relieving effects may find that the drugs are habit-forming. If your doctor gives you this type of substance, you need to stick with their prescription very carefully and report any side effect you encounter.
A high dose of opiates can be addictive. Do not take opiates more often than you’re supposed to. Misusing opiates can lead to a fatal overdose, among other adverse effects.
An addicted individual will experience intense cravings, even when they are already suffering from the adverse effects. This intense craving will force the person to relapse and take the drug again. Becoming drug tolerant means that they’ll need to take more opiates to get the same euphoric effects.
They will begin to obsessively think about getting more opiates. They may even engage in illegal activities just to do so.
Opiate Dependence and Withdrawal
At some point, the user will become physically dependent on opiates. This means that their body has already adapted to the drug’s presence. It will be extremely uncomfortable for them if they try to quit taking the drug now.
This is what withdrawal is all about.
Withdrawal is the uncomfortable period that follows soon after you’ve quit a certain substance. This applies to all addictive drugs; not just opiates. If you’ve become dependent on your prescription painkillers, then you wouldn’t be able to quit on your own. And you shouldn’t attempt to self-regulate anyway.
Some withdrawal symptoms are simply undesirable—while others can be very dangerous.
Common Opiate Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms, just like adverse effects, may vary depending on the drug. Codeine, methadone, morphine, and oxycodone abuse will produce different results.
Regardless of drug, a person in withdrawal may experience symptoms like exhaustion, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The duration of these effects vary from person to person. It depends on a number of factors such as drug habits, health condition, and substance abuse history.
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The only way to stop opiate addiction is to stop taking the drug. This means an addicted individual will inevitably go through some form of withdrawal. This is why rehabilitation is necessary. Medical professionals can help the user get through withdrawal safely.
The process of medical detox involves gradually lowering a person’s intake, so that their symptoms become easier to manage.
Withdrawal also has some psychological effects (and these often last longer than the physical ones), so the person also needs counseling. Through behavioral therapy, the patient can learn how to stay sober and cope with the drug-free lifestyle.
Addiction treatment can be done either as an inpatient or an outpatient program. This will depend on your condition. You will need lots of patience and commitment in order to get over your addiction. Remember that relapse is a common thing, but you can overcome this challenge.
Do not face this problem alone.
Seek professional treatment today. Look for an addiction treatment center near you.