Opiate Withdrawal

2011
04.15

Opiate Withdrawal

Opiate withdrawal invariably speaks to the numerous symptoms that are associated with cessation of opiate use. This article will examine the causes, signs, and treatment which relate to opiate withdrawal.

Opiate Addiction

Opiates include drugs like codeine, methadone, heroin, and morphine, to name a few. In order to experience opiate withdrawal, opiates first have to be taken over a period of time. Opiates are taken for various reasons; some are prescribed by doctors – like codeine, methadone, and oxycontin – while others are taken for recreational reasons – like heroin.

Codeine is usually prescribed by doctors to give relief from mild or moderate pain (since it is also an analgesic), and combined with other medications to reduce coughing, because it is also an antitussive. In order to treat pain, codeine changes the way that the body experiences pain sensations. Codeine reduces coughing by lessening the activity in that part of the brain that induces coughing. It can be found in many cough medications, and should be taken only as prescribed.

Methadone, which is also an opiate analgesic, is prescribed for use when pain relievers that are non-narcotic have not been able to relieve moderate or severe pain. It is also given to patients formerly addicted to opiate drugs, in an effort to prevent the withdrawal symptoms associated with those drugs in those patients. As a treatment for pain, methadone changes the brain and nervous system’s response to pain, while it substitutes for abused opiate drugs by producing effects similar to those of the drug, thereby preventing the symptoms of withdrawal in persons who have stopped taking those drugs.

The opiate, heroin, which is derived from another opiate, morphine, is a central nervous system depressant that can be smoked, snorted, injected, or taken orally. This drug is used for recreational purposes, and is powerfully addictive, dangerous and illegal. It can travel quickly to the brain, especially when it is injected. On reaching the brain, the heroin is converted to morphine, and attaches itself to the opioid receptors responsible for the body’s pleasure system and pain perception.

Withdrawal occurs when persons who have been using these drugs for a time, and so have become dependent on them, stop using the drugs. The longer the period of use, the greater the dependence on the drug, but this differs for each individual. Discontinuation or reduction of usage after prolonged use is the trigger for withdrawal, since the body has to recover from the cessation or reduction, and it needs time to do so.

Doctors invariably test the patient’s blood or urine, to confirm that an opiate has been used. After physically examining and questioning the patient about drug use and medical history, the doctor is usually able to diagnose and determine that opiate withdrawal is occurring.

Treatment for opiate withdrawal involves medications and very supportive care giving. The medication that is used commonly is clonidine, which causes a reduction of anxiety, sweating, muscle aches, and cramping, which are some of the symptoms of withdrawal. Other medications are used in the treatment of vomiting and diarrhea. Still others are used to reduce the detoxification period. One drug, however, namely methadone, requires long-term maintenance. This is because methadone is used as a substitute for other opiate drugs in the withdrawal program, where the dosage is decreased gradually over time, to reduce the strength of the withdrawal symptoms.

Opiate AddictionThere is a treatment program known as the Waismann Method of Rapid Detox, which has safely and successfully revolutionized the treatment of opiate withdrawal over the last decade. The treatment for addiction, which has a high success rate with a proven track record, is humane, safe, and medically supervised, and is done in a hospital. During Rapid Detox, patients are placed under a light anesthetic while special medications are used to cleanse the drugs from their bodies. The procedure requires only a few days of treatment, after which patients are returned to their normal lives. Withdrawal symptoms which are accelerated are treated within hours, and the patients are not physically dependent on opiates any longer. Methadone is not used at all in this procedure, as it is not necessary to replace an opiate treatment or provide a substitute for a legal dependency.

Opiate Addiction | Cocaine Withdrawal | Heroin Withdrawal | Vicodin Addiction | Pain Killer Addiction

Your Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.