Opiate Withdrawal Should Never Be Done at Home

Be Safe and Successful Insteadopioid addiction

Opiate is a term used to describe a drug derived from the opium poppy plant. These are typically called natural opiates to distinguish them from semi-synthetic or synthetic drugs that have similar effects. In broader pharmacological classification, opiates belong to a larger group of drugs known as opioids. Opioids include all drugs that act upon the body’s opioid receptors. Opioid receptors are naturally occurring in the brain and nervous system. They serve to relay pain signals from the body to the brain.

Opiates (and all opioids) block the transmission of pain signals by binding to the opioid receptors. Consequently, one feels relief from pain, an overall sense of relaxation, well-being and euphoria. As the body adapts to having these drugs in the system, physical addiction occurs. Also, psychologically one comes to rely upon them for their mental and emotional effects. All drugs in this category carry a dangerous risk of physical and psychological addiction, other serious health consequences and lethal overdose.

There are many drugs in the broader classification of opioids and these include prescription pain pills such as those containing oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone and fentanyl. Those considered strictly opiates, derived from the opium poppy, are morphine, opium, heroin and codeine.

Opiate is a term used to describe a drug derived from the opium poppy plant. These are typically called natural opiates to distinguish them from semi-synthetic or synthetic drugs that have similar effects. In broader pharmacological classification, opiates belong to a larger group of drugs known as opioids. Opioids include all drugs that act upon the body’s opioid receptors. Opioid receptors are naturally occurring in the brain and nervous system. They serve to relay pain signals from the body to the brain. Opiates (and all opioids) block the transmission of pain signals by binding to the opioid receptors. Consequently, one feels relief from pain, an overall sense of relaxation, well-being and euphoria.

As the body adapts to having these drugs in the system, physical addiction occurs. Also, psychologically one comes to rely upon them for their mental and emotional effects. All drugs in this category carry a dangerous risk of physical and psychological addiction, other serious health consequences and lethal overdose.

There are many drugs in the broader classification of opioids and these include prescription pain pills such as those containing oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone and fentanyl. Those considered strictly opiates, derived from the opium poppy, are morphine, opium, heroin and codeine.

The Discomfort and Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal

Withdrawal from any of these substances requires medical supervision for success and safety. The withdrawal symptoms from opiates and opioids can be severe, causing a medical crisis and even death. Withdrawal from opiates can be mild, moderate, moderately severe and severe. There is a medical protocol for monitoring the severity of symptoms. This protocol helps determine the type of treatment necessary for medical safety during opiate withdrawal. All symptoms of withdrawal can be medically managed to reduce discomfort and to safeguard against medical crisis.

Symptoms of opiate withdrawal can be categorized as early symptoms and peak symptoms. Early symptoms of opiate withdrawal typically occur within hours after the last dose. The onset of symptoms varies, depending upon whether the drug taken is fast-acting or long-acting. Withdrawal from fast-acting opiates and opioids can begin within 6-12 hours after the last dose. For longer acting drugs, withdrawal can begin after 24-30 hours because the drug takes longer to process out of the body. Full withdrawal generally occurs within one week after the last dose. Early symptoms of opiate withdrawal include:

  • Watery Stool
  • Sniffles
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Yawning
  • Achiness
  • Sweating
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Fever

Peak symptoms of opiate withdrawal typically begin within 72 hours after the last opiate dose. They include:

  • GI distress—Stomach Cramps, Nausea, Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps
  • Cravings
  • Hyperventilation
  • Depression

If You or a Loved One is Addicted to an Opiate

If you or a loved one is addicted to an opiate, there is effective and safe treatment available for withdrawal, detox and preparation to lead a successful opiate-free life after rehab. You should always consult a medical professional trained in the treatment of addiction prior to beginning withdrawal from an opiate. And, you should never attempt withdrawal at home.

If it is time for you or your addicted loved one to stop using an opiate, give us a call today. Our services are free. We can help you identify specific treatment needs and find an appropriate rehab to meet those. We will also help clarify insurance coverage, making our recommendations right for you or your loved one in every way we can.