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What To Expect and How Turning Point of Tampa Can Help
Are you considering taking a path to sobriety by seeking an opiate addiction detox? Knowing what to expect during opioid withdrawal can help make the opioid withdrawal symptoms and process more manageable.
Turning Point of Tampa helps those physically dependent to prescription opioids and illicit opioids find solutions in our medical detox program.
Here, we will outline some of the critical components of an opioid use disorder, symptoms of withdrawal, and how to find the right inpatient treatment to safely experience withdrawal symptoms and explain how our medical detox program can help ease your journey through addiction treatment.
What Are Opiates vs Opioids?
Opiates and opioids are used in the medical community and can be prescribed for pain relief, anesthesia, cough suppression, diarrhea suppression, and for treatment of opiate/opioid use disorder.
How opiates and opioids are made is the main difference.
“Opiates and opioids,” are both groups of narcotic drugs. One is derived naturally while the other is synthetic.
When an addict who is dependent on a specific opiate or opioid drug, legally obtained through a prescription or procured illicitly, often they interchange the drug from an opiate or opioid to not experience opioid withdrawal symptoms cause by dependency. Meaning, actually using one opiate or opioid as a substitute can stop withdrawal symptoms. At Turning Point of Tampa we have had patients whose addiction began from taking prescription narcotic drugs, and when the doctor would no longer prescribe them, started using heroin (an opiate) or illicit opioids.
Opiates are pain relievers derived from the poppy plant, typically used in the medical field to treat severe pain and chronic pain.
Commonly Known Opiates Include:
Opium, Morphine, Codeine, Heroin
Synthetic opioids are chemical compounds made in a lab or synthesized. Though a few opioid molecules — hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), hydromorphone (e.g., Dilaudid), oxycodone (e.g., Oxycontin, Percocet) — may be partially synthesized from chemical components of opium, other popularly-used opioid molecules are designed and manufactured in laboratories. (The phrase “synthetic opioid” is considered redundant; nearly all opioids are synthesized.)
–Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission
Commonly Known Opioids Include:
- Dextropropoxyphene (e.g., Darvocet-N, Darvon)
- Loperamide (e.g., Imodium)
- Hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin)
- Oxycodone (e.g., Oxycontin, Percocet)
- Oxymorphone (e.g., Opana)
- Meperidine (e.g., Demerol)
- Methadone (e.g., Dolophine)
- Fentanyl/fentanil (e.g., Ultiva, Sublimaze, Duragesic patch)
- Carfentanyl/carfentanil (e.g., Wildnil, for veterinary use)
Doctors prescribing opioids to assist patients with severe pain warn that despite their therapeutic benefits, opioid use can cause a person to become physically dependent, and if abused, can result in an opioid use disorder diagnosis.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “hospitalization (or some form of 24-hour medical care) is generally the preferred setting for detoxification from opioids, based on principles of safety and humanitarian concerns.”
Opioid addictions are notoriously difficult to overcome and should be avoided at all costs when taking opiates as prescribed by a doctor.
Understanding the risks beforehand will help those seeking pain relief to remain informed and in control during their treatment.
Symptoms of Opioid Use Disorder
When someone begins to misuse or become dependent on opiates, they may experience symptoms such as:
- Intense cravings for the drug
- Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
- Euphoric feelings and intense pleasure when taking the drug
- Nausea and vomiting
- A dramatic decrease in energy levels and alertness
- Lowered immune system
- Depression and anxiety
Behaviors such as stealing, lying, and manipulating are associated with drug use and drug abuse, specifically when physically dependent opioid drugs are needed to not experience symptoms of withdrawal.
Opioid Overdose is a Medical Emergency
Opioid overdose, is a life threatening medical emergency, and a high risk associated with opioid withdrawal and addiction.
Symptoms of an opioid overdose include:
- Slow or shallow breathing
- Pinpoint pupils, confusion
- Blue-tinted skin or fingernails
- Loss of consciousness
If these signs are present, it is crucial to seek immediate medical help by calling 911.
Why Opioid Drugs Are Addictive?
Substance abuse is a pressing issue in today’s society, and a particular problem is opioid epidemic. These drugs are highly addictive because they cause changes in the brain chemistry of those who take them. Opioid medications bind to certain types of receptors in the brain, which causes an individual to experience a high from taking the drug.
Over time, this can lead to addiction as users feel they need more and more of the drug to experience euphoric feelings. This often leads to cravings and other serious consequences, including physical dependence and opioid withdrawal symptoms if use is abruptly discontinued.
Opioid Withdrawal: Treatment Options and Detox Programs
Prescription opioids are potent drugs, and when misused or abused, they can create an intense physical dependence. It’s important to understand the significance of opioid withdrawal to control cravings and withdrawal symptoms that can occur when quitting opioids.
Opioid withdrawal is an essential step for those looking to recover from their substance abuse problems. It involves gradually reducing opiates and most other drugs from one’s system, ultimately making them drug-free. The process is often tricky and requires the person to be in a safe environment under the care of medical staff.
Having strong willpower and motivation is helpful, but going cold turkey outside of a medical setting is dangerous and life threatening.
Opioid withdrawal must be done safely under a doctor’s supervision. Withdrawal symptoms, if not managed properly are dangerous.
Withdrawal signs and withdrawal symptoms that may occur during the detox process include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle aches and pains
- Blood pressure – low or high blood pressure
These symptoms usually occur within 12 hours of the last dose and can last anywhere from several days to a few weeks, depending on the individual’s opioid usage.
What To Expect From Opiate Detox at Turning Point of Tampa
Opiate addiction can be severe and requires professional medical intervention to ensure a safe and successful outcome. The detox process generally lasts for several weeks to months, depending on the severity of the addiction.
Opiate withdrawal symptoms can be harsh and uncomfortable, including nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, sweating, insomnia, and agitation. For this reason, detox should take place in a controlled environment — such as a medically-supervised detox center — to ensure that the patient is monitored and able to manage their symptoms safely.
To give a snapshot of what to expect, here is the typical opiate withdrawal timeline:
- Anticipatory: Three to four hours after the last dose, a patient may experience anticipatory anxiety and cravings for the drug.
- Early acute: In the 8 to 10 hours following your last dose, physical discomfort may increase, such as agitation and sweating. You could experience flu-like symptoms like vomiting, muscle soreness, or difficulty sleeping.
- Fully developed acute: Within 24 to 36 hours of the last dose, physical symptoms may peak, but psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression may become more pronounced.
- Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS): After a few days, physical symptoms will start to wane, while psychological effects can last for weeks or months. Generally, feelings of anxiety and depression can persist as the body continues to recalibrate after using opioids.
While this is just a timeline of what to expect, it’s important to note that the detox process is highly individualized and depends on factors such as the severity of addiction, length of use, and support system.
Detoxing from opioids on one’s own is a highly risky endeavor. Acute withdrawal symptoms can be particularly severe, ranging from headaches to nausea and even convulsions in some cases. The extreme physical pain of opioid withdrawal can also trigger psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia.
Unfortunately, the suffering during detox can be hard to bear without medical support; if not properly managed, individuals may even return to drug use to relieve their symptoms.
The Benefits of a Safe Opioid Withdrawal at Turning Point of Tampa
Many treatments are available to help those who are addicted to opioids and need help overcoming their addiction.
At Turning Point of Tampa we believe in MAT (medication assisted treatment) but we do not believe in using medication that can be abused or that is addictive.
Our medical team goes through a complete medical history to understand the daily dose of alcohol and all other drugs that are being used as well as any medical or mental disorders that have previously been diagnosed.
Our doctors will give the correct diagnosis usually opioid use disorder or substance use disorder once the assessment is completed.
Counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and support groups are all critical components of detox programs.
Reduced or Eliminated Cravings for Opioids
One of the most challenging parts of opioid use disorder is the powerful cravings that make it hard to give up the substance. Fortunately, detoxing from opioids can be a crucial first step in feeling better and eliminating those cravings. With medically supervised opiate withdrawal, patients will slowly reduce their opioid intake until cravings are reduced or eliminated.
At Turning Point of Tampa, when indicated, we start our patients on the medications Vivitrol and Naltrexone to control cravings. These two medications can be used long-term while they are in our care and in the treatment process.
Suboxone and Subutex Abuse
Over the years of experience working with those who have an opioid use disorder we have found that their addiction will justify a way to abuse any medication that has a mood altering impact or effect on them.
We have found with the use of Suboxone and Subutex many have started this protocol with a true desire not to abuse the medication, however, they find themselves abusing this drug. Some may disagree but our doctors and clinicians listen to the drug addicts coming in and telling us how they have been abusing it and that it does make them feel high when they take it.
Many professionals refer to Turning Point because although Subutex might be appropriate for the detox and withdrawal process in our detox unit, it is stopped after the detox is completed. Patients are off all medications including sedatives and benzodiazepines prior to discharge from treatment.
Reduced Risk of Overdose
Detoxing from opioids is a complex process that many struggle with, but the reward of becoming free of the drug is reason enough to keep pushing through even when it is daunting.
With overdose rates at an all-time high due to the opioid epidemic, taking measures to reduce your risk of overdose is essential.
Improved Mental Health and Wellbeing
Mental health is essential to overall well-being, and any opioid addiction can have a serious negative impact. Those addicted to opioids often experience cravings, depression, anxiety, and other psychological effects.
The good news is that recovery is possible with the right detoxing plan focusing on physical and mental care. Those who go through this process can benefit from improved mental health, helping them to be well-balanced and healthy in their daily lives.
Enhanced Quality of Life
Detoxing from opioid addiction is one of the best steps individuals can take to regain their autonomy and improve the overall quality of their lives. Not only does detox help clear the body of opioids, but it also provides an opportunity to make holistic changes by making healthy lifestyle adaptations.
Moreover, sobriety through detox helps individuals restore and strengthen relationships with loved ones, build financial stability, and reduce the risk of legal repercussions associated with long-term opioid abuse. Ultimately, a successful detox gives people back their lives and sets them on a path toward enhanced quality of life.
5 Factors To Consider When Seeking Treatment for Opiate Addiction
When considering treatment for opioid dependence, it is important to consider several factors. Various treatment facilities and programs are available, each offering different approaches and levels of care.
1. Treatment Setting
When considering an opioid withdrawal program, it’s important to pay attention to the setting in which treatment will take place. Will you be able to remain at home and receive outpatient care? Or would a residential or inpatient facility provide a better environment for recovery?
Of course, this depends on your individual needs, budget, and long-term goals. Residential programs provide a higher level of care and support that can prove invaluable in cases of severe addiction. However, outpatient or day treatment may suffice for milder cases and those with a strong support system to help them through the process.
2. Length of Treatment
The treatment length also varies from program to program; you should be aware of this before making your decision. For example, outpatient programs may involve attending counseling sessions once or twice a week for six to eight weeks, while inpatient programs might last for 30 days or more.
This also affects cost, so make sure you have enough financial resources to cover the duration of treatment.
3. Type of Treatment
Most opioid detox programs are based on evidence-based therapies and medications. Depending on your individual needs, these treatments may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family counseling, holistic approaches like yoga or art therapy, and other treatments, depending on the facility.
Some programs may even offer non-traditional treatments such as acupuncture or hypnosis. It’s important to research and understand the range of available treatments before deciding.
4. Aftercare Plans
After the successful completion of a detox program, it’s essential to have an aftercare plan in place to help maintain sobriety. Many treatment providers offer long-term follow-up and support, such as 12-step meetings, group counseling, or individual therapy.
When it comes to budgeting for a detox program, remember that most organizations accept private health insurance plans. If you don’t have one, payment plans and flexible payment scales might be an option.
Many rehabs and detox centers have a financing team that can provide information on cost and payment options.
When someone is addicted to opioids, the biggest hurdle in their recovery is learning how to detox and manage their withdrawal symptoms.
Opioid detoxification requires medical supervision, support, and treatment for an addicted person to address their physical dependence and any underlying mental health issues. While it can be painful and difficult initially, opioid detox provides a clean slate that can allow an individual to begin on their journey of recovery.
If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, call Turning Point of Tampa and we will gladly help when looking for a detox program.
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