opiate withdrawal

Opiate Detox – Breaking Free From the Fear of Withdrawal

Heroin withdrawal, pain pill withdrawal, suboxone withdrawal, methadone withdrawal….

You want to break free from the deadly cycle of addiction, but the fear of opiate withdrawal during the detox period may be holding you back. Maybe you’ve already detoxed more times than you can count, and you’re afraid that the psychological and physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal will be too difficult for you to handle this time around.

You’re not alone. Almost every individual struggling with opiate addiction feels the same way. The journey out of opiate addiction is not an easy one, but it is the path you need to take to get to the other side: a life of peace, fulfillment and freedom.

“I was scared to death of heroin withdrawal, but I knew with every passing second that I’d never have to return to this place in my life again.” -Ex Opiate Addict

Many people think bravery is the absence of fear. It really isn’t. Bravery is being scared to death and doing it anyway. Bravery is taking a deep breath and plunging into that fear, knowing that when you reach the other side, you’ll be so much better because of it.

Withdrawal from opiates can be overwhelming if you don’t have help. Overcoming the fear begins with understanding what you’ll experience, knowing how to relieve some of the most painful symptoms and going through detox in a safe, structured environment with compassionate professionals.

Opiate Detox: Symptoms of Withdrawal

There are two difference phases of withdrawal from opiates and other drugs: acute and post acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS.) The first stage, acute withdrawal, happens when the body suddenly feels the absence of the drugs it has relied so heavily upon in the past. Symptoms vary and often include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Tearing up
  • High level of anxiousness
  • Racing heart
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Agitation (mild to severe)
  • Muscle aches that feel like they are gripping you to the core of your bones
  • Twitching, muscle spasms
  • Sweats
  • Excessive yawning
  • Fever

Opiate withdrawal symptoms typically begin six to 12 hours after taking a short-acting opiate and up to 30 hours after taking a long-acting opiate. At about 72 hours, your symptoms will peak and you’ll experience PAWS, which usually include:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Goosebumps
  • Depression
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cravings

Most PAWS symptoms last only a week, though the psychological symptoms, like depression, may last longer. Many individuals feel this phase of withdrawal leaves them feeling like they’re on an emotional roller coaster and wandering through a mental fog. This is often when people relapse, simply because they aren’t aware that their withdrawal symptoms are not over, and they begin feeling as if they are failing.

Spiritual side note: It is important to also add that many individuals experiencing opiate withdrawal symptoms may feel as if they are in a spiritually dark, lonely place. There are many faces of withdrawal, and this spiritual emptiness is definitely one of them. Reaching out to the God of your understanding is always a good idea. You don’t have to go through this time feeling internally bankrupt and abandoned.

Opiate Detox: Overcoming Withdrawal Symptoms

If you’re ready to be free from drug addiction, Gracious Care Recovery Solutions is here to help. Our opiate detox (detoxification treatment process) will support you while also while reducing  the impact of withdrawal symptoms —both the acute and PAWS stages of withdrawal. Our opiate detox process can include medications to minimize side effects (medical detox), providing balanced and nutritional meals to help replenish and rebalance your starved brain, educational and support groups to help you understand addiction and access to trained staff and therapists.

There are also steps you can take to minimize opiate withdrawal symptoms.

These steps include:

  • Prayer, which according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, can help increase melatonin and serotonin levels in the body
  • Listening to upbeat, positive music
  • Spending time outdoors in the sunshine
  • Meditation
  • Exercise (one you are past the worst of the flu symptoms, exercise and sweating help the detox process)
  • Hot baths

The fear of withdrawal isn’t something most of us can overcome on our own. That’s why Gracious Care Recovery Solutions provides opiate detox as an introduction (or first step) to treatment.  This support can ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce your chances of relapse. In addition to getting help, knowing what to expect and some simple ways you can reduce symptoms yourself can help you overcome fear and take that first step toward recovery.

If you or someone you love is struggling with heroin addiction or is addicted to pain medication, give us a call now. Our recovery staff is waiting to help.

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