Opiate Detox at Wellness Retreat Recovery
Opiates are a class of drugs derived from the opium poppy plant. These substances include legally prescribed painkillers like morphine, oxycodone, and codeine, as well as illicit drugs found on the black market, such as heroin. Opiate detox can be an incredibly difficult process due to the highly addictive nature of this particular class of drugs.
Opiates come in many forms and are used in a myriad of ways. For example, prescription painkillers may be simply ingested, or they can be injected intravenously. No matter the type of opiate or the route of administration, opiate addiction is a serious and potentially deadly condition. It is especially insidious because prescription opiates are often given legally to patients to treat chronic pain.Over time, a patient may become addicted to their medication without realizing just how dependent they have become on a substance.
Types of Opiates
Opiate drugs can be naturally extracted from the poppy plant, like in the case of opium, or they can be synthetically created in labs, such as in the case of drugs like fentanyl. All opiates, whether synthetic or completely natural, have a huge potential for addiction- whether they are prescription medications or bought illegally from a dealer. Examples of opiate drugs- legal and illegal- include:
- Hydrocodone (found in prescription drugs like Vicodin, Lortab, and Norco)
- Hydromorphone (found in the prescription drug Dilaudid)
- Methadone (used in opiate-replacement treatments)
- Buprenorphine (brand name Suboxone, also used in opiate-replacement treatments as well as detox programs)
- Oxycodone (found in the prescription drugs Percocet, OxyContin, Roxicet, etc.)
- Oxymorphone (found in the prescription drug Opana)
- Carfentanil and fentanyl analogs (these are commonly illegally synthesized drugs that are chemically similar to fentanyl but extraordinarily potent and dangerous)
The brain has natural opiate receptors, which are responsible for receiving naturally produced chemicals that can make us have feelings of calm, sedation, and pain relief. For example, when someone scrapes their knee, the brain works to release naturally produced opiate chemicals to provide us with pain relief after the initial shock of the incident wears off. That’s why injuries don’t hurt permanently and start to feel a little bit better over time. However, the opiate-like chemicals that the brain naturally produces are far, far less powerful than opiate drugs. Therefore, when we ingest opiate drugs, they have extreme effects on the brain and body.
Opiates Used in the Medical Field
Some people have prescription opiate medications for post-surgical pain or chronic conditions. Other use illegal opiates or illegally buy prescription drugs to obtain the high that people get from opiates. These drugs produce extreme feelings of euphoria, drowsiness, pain relief, and sedation. However, they can also kill- even from the first dose. Overdoses on opiates kill thousands of people every single year. Even when opiates don’t kill someone, they can have horrific long-term effects on the body, including organ damage and physical and mental addiction.
Opiate detox occurs because these drugs cause the brain to change. When someone takes an unnaturally high dosage of opiates- basically, any opiate drug, because the brain doesn’t naturally produce that level of opiate chemicals on its own- the brain floods with “feel good chemicals.” These chemicals include dopamine and serotonin, the “reward” chemicals that make us feel good about something. These chemicals are also responsible for regulating mood, sleep, and some physical processes. Over time, the brain becomes dependent on opiates to produce high amounts of these chemicals and stops being able to produce them on its own. When the individual stops using opiates, the brain starves of the chemicals it has become dependent on and is unable to make its own dopamine and serotonin. As the result of this, the body and mind experience symptoms of withdrawal.
Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
The withdrawal symptoms associated with opiate detox are extremely uncomfortable. Opiate detox symptoms include:
|Restless leg syndrome||Runny nose||Goosebumps|
|High blood pressure||Rapid heartbeat||Fatigue|
|Poor concentration||Changes in appetite||Mood swings|
The symptoms that come with opiate detox are often so intense that regular users are unable to get through them without relapsing. Both physical and mental, these symptoms can take a significant toll on an individual.
The Importance of Medically Monitored Opiate Detox
Because opiate detox is so uncomfortable, it is exponentially more successful when it’s under medical supervision. In detox facilities, medical professionals are able to monitor opiate detox symptoms, prescribe medications to make the detox more comfortable and far less painful, and provide support for patients. Most people who undergo opiate detox require replacement medications such as buprenorphine to wean their bodies off of the drugs. In these cases, doctors will provide a taper to patients. Or, gradually take them off of opiates and reduce the effects of withdrawal. Other medications, such as non-narcotic pain relievers and blood-pressure medication, provide relief for patients from some of the worst symptoms of opiate detox.
In cases of opiate addiction, the detox process can be made as comfortable as possible. This gives patients a far greater chance of success. Without the worst of the symptoms, patients are able to stop using opiates and begin to work on addressing the biggest factors that caused their addiction. Most recommend the support of medical professionals for anyone who wishes to successfully complete an opiate detox.
Opiate Detox at Wellness Retreat Recovery
Wellness Retreat Recovery offers the highest quality care for patients undergoing opiate detox. Our partner medical physicians assess each client upon admission. This is in order to determine which medications to prescribe and to identify any underlying physical issues that require treatment during the detox process. After the assessment, we make sure clients are as comfortable as possible. Patients can benefit from medication, therapy, and holistic treatments such as acupuncture. Clients undergoing opiate detox at Wellness also have access to state-of-the-art luxury amenities. The partner physicians are on-call 24/7 to assist patients with anything they need and to mitigate symptoms as much as possible.
Throughout the process, assessment is helpful to ensure that a patient’s journey is the most comfortable it can be. We understand that opiate detox is uncomfortable and scary for many people, but with our experienced, compassionate staff and access to the highest-quality care, we can make it as stress-free as possible. At Wellness Retreat Recovery, we guide patients through the opiate detox process at every step of the way. This way, they have the greatest possible chance at recovery from addiction.