What are Opiates?

After sustaining major injuries from car accidents, workplace accidents, sports injuries, and random encounters, sometimes medical providers will prescribe medication to assist injured victims with their pain. The go-to prescription drugs for treating pain are classified as opioids, which include codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and fentanyl. These drugs are derived from opium, which is found in the poppy plant.

Because of its ability to suppress pain and produce a sense of euphoria, opioids can be highly addictive for some people. Depending on the dosage they’re taking, their bodies can develop a high tolerance and require more to feel the same high. Unfortunately, when this happens, users may partake in illegal activities just to attain more opiates.

Because individuals develop a tolerance to the euphoric effect faster than they develop a tolerance to the dangerous side effects, it’s easy to accidentally overdose on opiates and die from cardiac or respiratory arrest.

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

When individuals are constantly taking high doses of opiates, suddenly stopping can be difficult and often results in withdrawals. Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and strenuous on the body. Not only are symptoms physically exhausting and painful, but they can also be emotionally taxing. For example, individuals may experience low energy, irritability, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, runny nose, watery eyes, muscle pains, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomit, diarrhea, goosebumps, and cold sweats.

Opiate Withdrawal Phases

What to Expect from Opiate WithdrawalsDepending on how long individuals have been taking opiates, withdrawal symptoms can take anywhere from one week to one month to resolve. Withdrawals often occur in two phases. The first phase occurs within twelve hours of taking the last dose. Symptoms usually peak around day three to five and can last up to four weeks. After phase one, post-acute withdrawal occurs (which is considered the second phase) and can last up to two years.

Not everyone experiences the same withdrawal symptoms nor do they experience the same level of intensity. Some individuals may encounter mild symptoms while others experience severe symptoms. The level of intensity can vary depending on an individual’s current health status if they have any mental or behavioral disorders, their family’s history of drug use, how long they were taking the opiates, and how the opiates were administered.

Help with Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Those experiencing withdrawal symptoms should enroll in a medical detox program to assist with the process. Doctors will be able to help patients slowly ease their bodies off of opiates until they are no longer codependent on the substance. Once patients complete the detox program, doctors may advise them to seek further assistance at an inpatient rehab center. Patients can also seek help from an alternative treatment center.

Alternative Treatment Center in Tennessee

At Discovery Place, we provide assistance for those seeking help from an Alternative Treatment Center in Burns, Tennessee. We offer a 30-Day Alternative Residential Addiction Recovery Program and a Long-Term Alternative Addiction Recovery Program depending on our patients’ needs. If you have more questions about our services, contact us today to set up a free consultation at (800) 725-0922.


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