Over 2 million Americans misuse prescription opioids and heroin. Meanwhile, about 15 million people worldwide struggle with opiate addiction as well.
Today, drug overdoses are the leading cause of death in the US for adults under the age of 50. In fact, opioids account for over half of all drug overdose deaths.
Do you struggle with opiate addiction? Maybe you know a loved one who needs help instead. Either way, opiate addiction treatment is essential.
Otherwise, there’s a risk the addiction could lead to an overdose.
Keep reading to discover the signs of opiate addiction, withdrawals, and treatment options. With this guide, you can make a smarter choice for yourself or a loved one. Read on to learn more!
Signs of Opiate Addiction
Most opioids are designed to treat pain symptoms. Some are prescription pain medications, including codeine, oxycodone, and morphine. Others, like heroin, are illegal.
Why? Namely, opioids are extremely addictive. Taking more than the prescribed amount could cause an addiction.
You can take opioids in different forms. For example, some medications are oral. You can also inhale, smoke, or inject opioids straight into a vein.
Before you can understand the signs of opiate addiction, it helps to understand what this drug does. Opioids primarily influence the brain. Users will feel a temporary sensation of extreme pleasure.
They might experience mental symptoms, such as increased risk-taking behaviors.
Some opiate symptoms are physical as well. In the case of addiction, the user will start experiencing cravings.
In addition to reducing pain symptoms, opioids can also numb the mind and body. They can help ease anxiety, too. In higher doses, people experience drowsiness and euphoria.
The high is short-lived, though.
Signs of Abuse and Addiction
Other signs of opiate addiction can include:
- Slow breathing rate
- Weakened immunity
- Increased risk of choking
- Collapsed veins
- Clogged blood vessels
- Increased risk of HIV, hepatitis, or an infectious disease
Over time, a tolerance can develop. An addict might start to use more, which can cause more intense symptoms.
In addition to developing a tolerance, an addict might find it difficult to stop. If they do stop, they could begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
They might decide to continue using opioids even as their symptoms cause serious health issues.
Many people spend all their time and money focused on getting more drugs. It can impact their quality of life and relationships. Some people lose their jobs and quit school, too.
There’s even the risk they’ll start stealing or other criminal activities to get more.
Signs of Opiate Withdrawal
Some drug users recognize their reckless behavior and decide to quit on their own. Unfortunately, they might start to experience opiate withdrawal as a result. Seeking professional opiate addiction treatment can help a user quit safely.
Potential withdrawal symptoms include:
- Mental and physical discomfort
- Muscle aches
The opiate withdrawal symptoms an addict experiences can differ based on the type of opioid they used. How long the addiction lasted and the amount of each dose can have an impact, too.
A long-time addict should seek opiate treatment services before quitting on their own.
Stages of Withdrawal
How long does opioid withdrawal last? It can depend on the severity of the user’s addiction.
You can break the withdrawal process into four stages. An addict might enter the anticipatory stage around four hours after their last dose. During this stage, they’ll experience fear or anxiety.
Many people experience cravings during this stage as well.
About eight hours after their last dose, they’ll enter the early stage. They might experience flu-like symptoms like sweating, vomiting, nausea, and aches. Their cravings can persist as well.
Between one and three days after the last dose, addicts entire the fully-developed acute stage.
Symptoms will reach their worst point. Addicts might experience increased blood pressure, insomnia, tremors, spasms, and diarrhea. Their cravings will intensify.
The final stage, PAWS, occurs up to 24 months after the last dose. Symptoms can include:
- Poor concentration
- Drug dreams
- Mood swings
It’s important to avoid triggers at this stage. Opiate addiction counseling can help addicts maintain their sobriety through this process.
Medications Used for Treatment
There are some medications that can ease opiate withdrawal symptoms. By choosing opiate rehab, a patient can get the support they need to handle their symptoms. The medications can differ based on the symptoms they experience.
For example, methadone is used to help patients ease off their drug of choice. It can also help patients with chronic opiate addiction.
Clonidine helps with anxiety, stress, and high blood pressure.
Requesting opiate addiction treatment can ensure the patient gets the right combination of medications they need.
Two in every three drug overdose deaths in a single year involved an opioid. Today, more than 1.27 million Americans are now receiving medication-assisted treatment.
There are different treatment options available, including:
- One-on-one opiate addiction counseling
- Group counseling
- Cognitive behavior therapy
- 12-step programs
- Creative expression therapies (art, music, etc.)
An inpatient opioid rehab can also ensure patients determine the root cause of their addiction.
There are alternative therapies to consider, too. For example, regular exercise is a great way to distract patients from their cravings. It also gives the body a chance to heal from addiction.
Acupuncture, meditation, and hypnosis might help as well.
Choosing opiate addiction treatment can ensure patients get the help they need. These treatment programs cover all facets of addiction. They also equip addicts with the tools they need to avoid relapsing once they’re on their own.
With these various opiate treatment services, more people are able to overcome their opioid addiction and stay clean.
Opiate Addiction Treatment: The Road to Recovery Starts Here
Opiate addiction doesn’t have to end someone’s life. Instead, consider these opiate addiction treatment options. By seeking treatment, you or your loved one can get the help you need.
Make sure to consult a professional if you decide to quit and begin your opiate detox.
Ready to get started? Begin your opiate rehab today!
Recovery starts here.