Opiates are drugs that originate from the opium poppy plant. Codeine and morphine are natural derivatives and are present in prescription pain meds. Heroin is also a natural product of the opium plant. People can develop an opiate addiction to any of these drugs, and battling the disease can be a challenge.
How Opiate Addiction Develops
Opiates relieve pain by attaching to opioid receptors throughout the body, including the brain and spinal cord. However, they also reduce stress, making people feel relaxed. When they abuse opiates, they experience a state of euphoria. Most of the time, their only goal is to achieve these effects.
However, many people don’t start abusing opiates until after they’ve used a legitimate prescription. In some cases, they build a tolerance while taking the prescription as their doctors instructed. The tolerance makes their bodies need higher doses to experience the same effects. When doctors revoke the prescriptions, the patients turn to the streets for a fix and usually can find heroin.
Recognizing the Signs
The best way to battle opiate addiction is to recognize when there’s a problem. It can be difficult to identify if someone has an opiate abuse problem or addiction. It’s even harder when that person is good at hiding it. However, the signs can be behavioral, mental and physical.
For people who abuse opiates, not being able to stop using drugs is a clear sign of a problem. It’s also an issue when they can’t limit their usage. Sudden weight loss is another obvious indication that something isn’t right.
For others, secretive behavior, changes in overall appearance and financial trouble are signs of an opiate addiction. People who use these drugs also may have bloodshot eyes, pinpoint pupils, extreme drowsiness and lack of motivation. In addition, others may notice poor coordination, slow or shallow breathing, poor decisions, and neglected obligations.
If you who know the signs of opiate abuse you can get help to keep an addiction from developing.
Starting An Opiate Detox
Treating an addiction to opiates starts with detox and managing withdrawal symptoms. Detox from opiates involves not taking the drugs so that the body can get rid of the toxins. However, not taking them causes withdrawal, which has some painful symptoms.
In general, people require a medical detox to complete the process because the symptoms are so uncomfortable. Without help, they relapse by taking more opiates to eliminate the symptoms. Detox centers prevent that by providing medicines, a holistic approach to care, and therapy.
The symptoms and duration of an opiate detox vary depending on several patient-related factors. However, codeine, morphine, and heroin have slightly different half-lives. On their own, they cause somewhat different symptoms and varied detox timelines.
The initial symptoms of codeine detox occur over the first four days, and they’re typically very intense. These include muscle pain, headaches, vomiting, sweating, diarrhea, and insomnia. Depression can develop during the fifth and seventh days just as the physical effects fade. By the eighth to the 30th day, most of the symptoms subside, but depression and cravings can remain for months.
Morphine detox symptoms usually start in six to 14 hours and include anxiety, cravings and mood swings. By the second day, the symptoms peak. People have flu-like symptoms and may experience rapid heartbeat, trouble sleeping, irritability, nausea, and vomiting.
On days three to five, the physical symptoms starts to fade. However, mental effects such as anxiety and depression can continue for several weeks to months. Cravings usually persist as well.
The symptoms of heroin detox can start within six hours. People often experience muscle pain, anxiety, insomnia, diarrhea, panic attacks and shaking during the first two days. Withdrawal is at its peak from days three to five, causing abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, shivers, and sweating. Patients start to feel more normal by day six or seven. However, they can experience anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue, and irritability for months.
Addiction Help Is Available at Serenity House Detox
It’s hard to admit that you have an opiate addiction. When you’re ready to get treatment, Serenity House Detox is ready to support you. We can treat addiction to any opiate and offer several detox options, including:
- Alcohol detox
- Cocaine detox
- Heroin detox
- Detox program for women
- Detox program for men
- Medical detox
Serenity House Detox will base your treatment plan on your drug history, personal health and emotional well-being. Our detox services and programs also prepare you for continued recovery in rehab.
Don’t let opiates dictate how you live your life. Choose a detox center that provides comfort and safety for your recovery. Contact Serenity House Detox today at 866-294-5306.