Millions of people are affected by opioid use every day. Generally speaking, people take powerful prescription medication to help aid with their pain relief post-surgery or to treat chronic pain. As a result, they often become addicted to the drugs prescribed to them and seek illegal prescriptions or other ways to achieve the same pain relief and euphoria these type of drugs achieve.
As the body begins to adapt to the use of prescription medication or other narcotics, it becomes more dependent on them. Over time, it takes more and more of the specific drug, used over a shorter amount of time, to feel the same relief. This is because the body builds up a tolerance to the drug and requires more to deliver more. From here, drug dependency and ultimately, addiction sets in.
Does this sound familiar? Are you ready for a change? Do you want to become sober and be rid of your addiction? If you’ve answered “yes,” you’ll first need to go through the withdrawal stage, which comes with painful and uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms typically cause those who wish stop using drugs to relapse because the pain is too unbearable. However, you can overcome it.
Due to the high intensity of narcotics, a slower withdrawal process can help avoid higher levels of pain and discomfort that comes from withdrawal symptoms. It’s difficult to go from taking narcotics one day and then, quitting cold turkey the next. There are steps that must be followed in order to ensure the safest and most comfortable transition.
Withdrawal from narcotics can be challenging, which is why it’s recommended to go through this stage under the care of a treatment facility. This will ensure your health is monitored as your body goes through this significant change. It also means you’ll have access to medical assistance, day and night, as well as emotional support during this crucial period.
The withdrawal period typically lasts for 5-7 days, but in certain cases, the narcotic withdrawal timeline can extend for weeks or possibly, months. This all depends on factors, such as how you long you’ve been suffering from addiction, how much you use daily, your overall health, and age.
Why does all of this matter? A younger person in good health likely has a better a chance to metabolize and move through the detox phase more quickly than someone who has dealt with addiction longer and whose immune system is not as strong. Addiction is a disease that must be medically assessed per individuals to determine timelines and next steps.
Narcotic or opioid addiction has been and continues to be a national epidemic. But there is help to combat it, whenever you’re ready.
Narcotic Withdrawal Side Effects
During the withdrawal process, the side effects may vary from person to person, but typically, they are the most intense for everyone in the first few days. In the earliest stage of withdrawal from narcotics, the body is fighting against what it’s become used to: addiction. It must abruptly adapt to functioning without the pain relief from the narcotics. This results in side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, shaking, profuse sweating, anxiety, and insomnia. You may feel like you’re dealing with the flu because of similar symptoms that are involved. Your body is reacting to the withdrawal and detox of the drugs from your system without replenishment. Although it is often quite painful, it is temporary.
To help you through your withdrawal symptoms, it’s important to stay well hydrated and be as comfortable as possible, which is why monitored treatment is recommended. Withdrawal and detox is tiresome, which makes keeping up your strength even more important. Trained treatment staff can ensure you are getting enough fluids and nutrition. They will also monitor your vitals, so you’ll have a better chance of success reaching the next stage.
Yes, withdrawal from addiction is difficult, but it is doable. The first few days will strongly test your will to continue through the entire detox process, but remember, over time the symptoms should begin to decrease in intensity. Also, when you have the support of others, you’ll be less likely to relapse because temptations won’t be easily accessible as you start your journey toward sobriety.
Receiving Treatment and Preventing Relapse
It is not uncommon to relapse during the withdrawal period, especially if you attempt to go through the process alone. When your body is suffering from addiction, it is in control of your thoughts and actions. While you may think you’ll be able to quit taking narcotics on your own, your body will tell you otherwise. The pain and side effects associated with withdrawal causes many people to relapse.
When you seek the help of others, there will be a plan of action customized for you that will lead you through the different stages of rehabilitation. The withdrawal phase is the first phase of your sobriety path. If relapse does occur, you’ll start back at this stage and begin the treatment process again from the beginning. It’s important for your body to fully detox before advancing to the next step. Your mind and body must be in the healthiest state possible in order for your recovery to be successful.
There are two, main kinds of treatment you may receive to help you regain your health and strength. Inpatient and outpatient care both have similar models and benefits of treatment. The main difference is that those who choose inpatient treatment will reside temporarily at the facility they are receiving care. With outpatient care, you are able to stay in your own home or set up your own lodging accommodations.
It can be even more difficult to go through withdrawals, if you have cravings that can be easily met through outside influences. You don’t have to go through this alone. There is help available to you, which can make all the difference when it comes time to become sober.
Inpatient Care Vs. Outpatient Care: Choosing the Best Environment for You
Finding the right kind of treatment is based solely on what will be the best option for you. What works for one person may not work for another. What kind of environment do you prefer? Would you like to stay close to home or is travel an option for you? These are the kinds of questions you can speak with a specialist about to find the right place and plan for you.
One of the key benefits of inpatient care is that you are able to focus closely on your sobriety without the distraction from your everyday world. This often is a welcome change in environment to separate yourself from possible bad influences, choices, and temptations.
Inpatient care is made up of routine activities, including individual therapy sessions, group counseling, and tools and resources to help you learn coping skills and creative outlets. Through treatment, you’ll learn where the root of your addiction lies and what may pose a trigger to use again. By identifying these things, you’ll have a better understanding of your addiction and how to prevent relapse in the future.
This comprehensive type of care builds toward overcoming your addiction and learning to maintain your sobriety once your treatment is complete. Typically, inpatient care facilities are located in serene environments, away from the hustle and bustle of city traffic and chaos. This type of peaceful setting further aids in the rehabilitation and recovery process. Stays can range from 30-60-90 days depending on the length of care you require.
Outpatient care delivers all of the same benefits as inpatient care, but requires additional inner accountability. Since you are not residing in the place where you are receiving treatment, there is not likely others who are going through the same process as you. It can be tempting to skip outpatient care appointments, since ultimately you are accountable for yourself to show up.
In this case, it can be helpful to find a friend, family member, or colleague who will take you to your appointments. While ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether you are going to receive treatment or not, when someone else is there to help you be accountable, it’s helpful.
Outpatient care may also be used a resource to help you maintain the progress you’ve made through inpatient treatment. It’s also a good option if you’ve gone through inpatient care before and are in need of resources or support groups who can help you. Once you’ve gone through treatment successfully, being sober is a conscious action and there are several routes to get there.
Helping Loved Ones Through Withdrawal
Are you a friend or family member who’s concerned about a loved one’s addiction? One of the best things you can do is be a support system as they go through their rehabilitation. This may mean helping them through withdrawal symptoms at home or encouraging them to receive the treatment they need from professionals who have the resources.
Going through the actual withdrawal process can feel lonely. However, as someone who cares, you can provide support in several ways. First, start by researching treatment facilities and organizing options for your loved one to receive care. Assure them you will be there when treatment is over to help them maintain their sobriety. Speak with an intervention specialist to learn the right ways to approach treatment with your loved one. Provide words of encouragement and strength during the times they need it most.
You can’t make a person decide to receive help for addiction. But what you can do is show up when your friend or family member needs you most. Help them get the help they need to lead a stronger, healthier life.
Actively Maintaining Your Sober Journey
Sobriety is a journey because it doesn’t happen all at once. You must go through stages and lessons to get to a place where you do not rely on drugs to run your life. You can and will get through the withdrawal stage. It may feel like too much to bear at times, but it can be achieved. It’s what you do after that will help you become and stay sober for life.
With treatment, you can address all side of addiction. There is the physical side, which is your body becoming accustomed to functioning with drugs continuously in the system. To detox is to physically rid your body of these toxins for good. Your body is learning how to function normally again without being reliant on drugs.
There is the emotional side of addiction, which is your relationship with it. What are the reasons you feel like you need to take narcotics and what can be done so you don’t have to rely on them anymore? In rehabilitation, you learn how to cope without having drugs be part of the equation. You begin to rebuild your strength and confidence, so you can better fight temptation when it comes calling again. It’s learning how to say goodbye to your old lifestyle and saying hello to your new one.
How can align your body and mind to get on the same healthy page again? The stages of recovery help with that. The detox period is important, but it’s just the beginning. Once you’ve achieved that goal of overcoming your withdrawal symptoms, you are that much closer to where you want to be.
Get through the withdrawal by seeking the help of professionals who are trained to help people with addiction. Understand there may be setbacks, but there’s always a chance to try again. Position yourself in the best possible environment to receive treatment, where you can clear your mind and receive the attention and medical care required. Finally, ensure you are proactive when it comes to your sobriety so you don’t have to return to the withdrawal phase ever again.
If you’re ready to seek help with your addiction, the good news is you can start today. It may not be an easy process, but it will be worth it. You have the opportunity to change your life for the better. We are here to help you through it all.Find hope. Find recovery. Begin a commitment to lifelong recovery today – for yourself, your friend, or for your loved one.