Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
Opiates are a group of drugs that are used to mostly treat pain. Opiates are also known as opioids or narcotics. These types of drugs are known to produce a sense of euphoria and give a person a feel good feeling.
The most common opiates that are prescribed are:
- Oxycontin / Percocet
The problem behind these medications is that while it is used to treat the users pains, the user may develop a tolerance to the drug. Once a tolerance has been developed, they will need to use more of the drug to get the same effect and then lead them into a full addiction. When the user wants to stop taking the drug, they may experience some opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Common Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
Opiate withdrawal symptoms are typically not life threatening if you don’t combine the drug with another controlled substance. If an opiate is mixed with alcohol or a drug such as benzodiazepine, the users symptoms can be dangerous and even fatal. Opiate withdrawal is extremely uncomfortable and can make the detoxification period miserable.
When a person is withdrawing from an opiate, their energy level will tend to go down drastically. They may want to do nothing but lay around and not exert much energy. They may not sleep, since another common opiate withdrawal symptom is insomnia. Typically a user will experience sleep problems that include not staying asleep or even going to sleep at all.
Anxiety / Panic Attacks
Since the brain has lost the drug that is has become dependent on, it is typical that the person will experience anxiety and or panic attacks. The attacks can come on all of a sudden and be drastic in many different situations.
Excessive Body Fluid Drainage
Sweating, runny nose and teary eyes are very common opiate withdrawal symptoms that many people during this process experience. In some cases, these symptoms can be extreme and last for several days to months during the recovery process.
Other symptoms that are common for a person going through opiate withdrawal to experience are abdominal cramping, pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Some symptoms can be more severe than others and each can be treated with medication.
Medication To Treat Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
There are treatment options available for a person going through opiate withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine is the most common medication used to treat withdrawal symptoms. This medication can shorten the length of time the person will need to go through detox. Buprenorphine can be used on a long term basis when it is treating the withdrawal symptoms for methadone. It has been proven to help reduce the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms.
Therapy / Support Groups
Another form of treatment is support groups and therapy sessions. A couple of the support groups that are available are SMART Recovery, and Narcotics Anonymous. When a person is able to use the support from other people in their situation, they often have a faster recovery time. Also, there are outpatient counseling, intensive day treatment and inpatient treatment centers available.