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Dealing with opiate addiction is not a walk in the park. There are so many problems that need to be addressed: the physical effects, the behavioral changes, the financial burden, and even the legal ramifications of abusing a substance.

With all these issues hounding an individual, it’s easy to see how they could just relapse instead of reclaiming their sober lifestyle. How can they resist the drug when they are experiencing withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings?

This is part of the reason why opiate addiction remains a big problem in the United States, as well as the rest of the world. And beyond these adverse effects, opiate abuse can also lead to fatal overdose.

As tough as opiate addiction may be, you can still recover from it. You only need to do it properly. The only way to safely get the opiates out of your system is through the process of detoxification.

On this article we will be talking about what detox is, how it works, and what you should expect from it.

What are Opiates?

Before we can learn how to detox from opiate abuse, we need to know what opiates are first. Opiates are substances that are naturally derived from the opium poppy plant. They have painkilling properties.

Because of this, they are often prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. They can be prescribed for conditions such as cancer pain, post-surgical pain, and traumatic pain.

As prescription drugs, they are legal as long as they are given by a licensed physician and used strictly according to the prescribed dosage. Misusing the drug is illegal. And because opiates are very potent, abusing them can be dangerous. Still, some people take them recreationally because of the euphoric high they produce.

Opioids are similar to opiates, except these are the synthetic and semi-synthetic derivatives of the same poppy plant. The words “opioid” and “opiate” are used interchangeably in common usage because of how similar they are. Both classifications are also considered narcotics.

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How Does Opiate Detox Work?

Opiates are easier for illicit users to abuse because they can be obtained via prescription. Common examples are methadone, morphine, oxycodone, and codeine.

But just because they are prescription drugs doesn’t mean they are perfectly safe to misuse. And if you ever get addicted to one of these substances, you need to seek medical treatment.

Opiate misuse may lead to addiction, which is the compulsive need to take a certain drug. You will keep taking opiates even when you’re already suffering from its adverse effects.

It can also lead to physical dependence. This means that your body has already adjusted to the presence of opiates. You will start to crave for more and more of the drug just to get the same effects.

If you attempt to quit, you will experience withdrawal symptoms—most of which range from uncomfortable to life-threatening.

This is where medical detox comes in. It is a gradual process that involves lowering your intake slowly. This will help wean you off the drug. It will help make withdrawal easier to manage. Medical professionals will be able to handle all the withdrawal symptoms that do manifest.

So when it comes to opiate abuse and medical detox, you can expect that it won’t be instantaneous. You won’t be forced to quit right away because this is dangerous for you. Instead, you will gradually get the opiates out of your system.

This process can be done as an inpatient or outpatient program. Regardless, you may also undergo behavioral therapy so you can learn how to adjust to the sober life.

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