Asking a drug addict to stop using their drug of choice is a request that can save their life. This request is going to involve some of the most difficult moments they’ve ever faced, so it’s important every addict have help along the way.
The withdrawal process is not for the faint of heart. An addict is going to fight back, demanding their fix by any means necessary.
When seeking out withdrawal help from opioids, here are a few important things to keep in mind.
1. Each Withdrawal Experience Is Unique
No two cases of opioid withdrawal are the same. Many different factors play into the individual’s experience.
The severity of pain and duration of symptoms is dependent on whether it’s a short-acting or longer-acting opioid. Short-acting opioids can bring about withdrawal symptoms within 12 hours. Longer-acting opioids can require up to 30 hours for withdrawal symptoms to show.
Additionally, the experience will vary based on which opioid was chosen, what dosage was used, how often it was taken, and more. Each day will be different, presenting new challenging sensations for the body and mind.
2. Medications Are Available for Withdrawal Help
Replacing an opioid with another drug is not a permanent solution for long-term health. But it can be a useful step in the right direction. Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are all FDA approved for help with the withdrawal process.
The medical community has embraced and recommended methadone as a short-term detox drug for treating opioid addiction since 1947. Doctors prefer their patients use methadone for its long-acting opioid characteristics.
All three approved active ingredients have their own successful uses. Consult with your medical professional to decide which option is best for your case.
3. A Relapse Is Always Possible
The United States has the highest rate of opioid use per capita in the world. As a nation, we consume 80% of the world’s opioid supply.
A former addict is likely to know how to find a fix. They may relapse at any given point in their new life. Saying no to temptation is a choice they will need to make every day for the rest of their lives.
For this reason, in addition to controlled medication, behavioral treatment is often prescribed. Family and loved ones will be highly influential in keeping a former addict accountable for their new, clean lifestyle.
Side effects from withdrawal can manifest from the body’s former dependence on the opioid to function. Removing the opioid means the body is forced to relearn its independence from the opioid–and that is not a fast process.
Awareness Is Key
Further education on this topic is needed if you or someone you know needs withdrawal help. It’s not an easy process, but with the right help, you can be successful.
Consult with a medical professional about how to approach the addict in your life.
You’re also free to contact us for suggestions on who you can speak with. We also invite you to visit some of our other articles on similar topics.