The thought of going through detox can be incredibly intimidating. Not only are the withdrawal symptoms unpleasant, but the thought of abstaining from drugs may fill you with fear.

However, recovery is possible. Many people complete detox and live a healthy and happy future free from drugs every day.

When it comes to handling opiate detox, making sure that you are prepared can be extremely helpful. This is because preparing for any possible challenges or situations that may be encountered during this difficult time will help you maintain your recovery. See our 4 Tips for Handling Opiate Detox.

What Are Opiates?

Opiates are prescription and non-prescription drugs that relieve chronic pain and help many people relax. In technical terms, opiates occur naturally from the poppy plant, and opioids are synthetic and made in a laboratory. However, throughout this article, the term opiates will encompass both types of the drug, as they interact similarly in the brain.

When administered, opiates increase pleasure and alleviate feelings of pain as they attach themselves to the opioid receptors in the brain. This can cause feelings of euphoria to be encountered, which makes these particular drugs addictive. Unbeknown to many, even when a medical professional prescribes opiates, they can be highly addictive if not consumed as advised.

Typically, opiates are prescribed post-surgery. As noted above, they are also prescribed to manage ongoing pain. However, opiates are frequently produced and consumed illegally.

Some of the most common opiates are:

  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl

Heroin and fentanyl are particularly dangerous. Fentanyl works similarly to morphine, but it is fifty to one hundred times more potent. Due to being extremely addictive, heroin is never used as a form of medical treatment.

How Can I Handle Opiate Detox?

Whether you are currently progressing through detox or are considering obtaining treatment, here are four tips for handling opiate detox.

Seek Professional Support

Attempting to detox alone is extremely dangerous and can be fatal. For this very reason, you must seek the support of a medical professional via an inpatient or outpatient treatment center.

Some of the side effects of withdrawal can be highly unpleasant and even dangerous. As a result, liaising with a professional to ensure your detox is as safe as possible will maximize your recovery success.

Should you choose to attend an inpatient center to complete opiate detox, you will encounter immersive twenty-four-hour care. During this time, you will also be closely monitored by health professionals. This is the safest detox option as it will help you refrain from social and environmental triggers which could otherwise trigger you to relapse.

If you cannot afford inpatient treatment or have commitments, such as caring for a child, it may be possible to detox at home. However, as noted above, going through this alone is not safe, nor is it recommended. If you decide to detox at home or via an outpatient center, health professionals are on hand to assist you.

Build a Support System

Having a support system in place when you detox from opiates is essential. This is because a support system will help you every step of the way, motivate you, encourage you to maintain your sobriety, and provide a listening ear when you need someone to talk to.

Support systems usually include friends, family members, or a sober support group such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

Having people around you that you can talk to and that will encourage you in your journey will essentially reduce your risk of relapse, as emotional support is a significant source of comfort while battling tough times.

Be Prepared

It’s good to be prepared for detox. Making sure that you have plenty of activities to do, such as watching movies or reading books, will help take your mind off any withdrawal symptoms you may experience. Activities will also help reduce the risk of relapse.

Stocking up on fluids, especially those which contain electrolytes, can be very useful to avoid dehydration. Over-the-counter medications can also help reduce the severity of common withdrawal symptoms. If you require any medication to assist your detox, medical professionals will provide this.

Think About Your Long-Term Recovery

Detox is only the start of your recovery journey. For this very reason, considering and implementing measures that will minimize your risk of relapse is beneficial. Attending therapy sessions, such as one-to-one therapy and group therapy, is also recommended. 

Attending therapy sessions will see you supported by a therapist who will help you to stay focused. They will also provide any advice or guidance you may need. Finding a sober support group can also help you stay on track after detoxing.

As daunting as it may feel, opiate detox is a challenge that you can overcome if you have support structures in place. With the help of medical professionals and your loved ones, opiate detox will help you take the first step towards achieving a future free from substances.

If you or a loved one is suffering from Opiate Addiction, contact us for help and more information.