In the United States, opiate addiction is an epidemic. Drugs like heroin and opioid painkillers are highly addictive, cause severe health problems, and can lead to overdose. True recovery means breaking free from an opioid dependence and learning to maintain lifelong sobriety. This starts with opiate withdrawal and leads to ongoing rehab and recovery.
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Deciding That You’re Ready for Recovery
The first step to better health and sobriety is acknowledging your opiate addiction. Sadly, many people struggling with drug addiction can’t admit they have a problem. However, recognizing an addiction is the catalyst for the recovery process.
If you’re not sure whether you have an addiction, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I use opiates regularly?
- Do I feel like I need opiates to get through the day?
- Do I spend a lot of time thinking about opiates or using them?
- Have my work or school performance suffered because of my opiate use?
- Do I continue to use opiates despite negative consequences, like losing a job or relationship?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to seek help for your addiction.
Once you’ve acknowledged opiate use is difficult to overcome, you’re ready to move on. Typically, the recovery process starts with a medically supervised detox, which is the drug withdrawal process. After detox, patients transition to a rehab program that establishes a foundation for freedom from addiction.
Timeline for an Opiate Detox
The first step in opiate withdrawal is detoxification, or detox. This is when you stop using opiates and allow your body to rid itself of the drug. Detox can be uncomfortable, and in some cases, dangerous. That’s why it’s important to detox under medical supervision.
Overall, opiates are one of the most challenging drugs to detox from. Withdrawal causes various painful symptoms, however, detox itself is relatively short. On average, most patients withdrawal from drugs or alcohol within a week.
Typically, withdrawal symptoms appear six to eight hours after your last dose. However, symptom severity might not begin until 24 hours after use ends, especially for those who use extended-release opioid painkillers. These initial symptoms are mild and most individuals are already familiar with them.
However, about 72 hours into the withdrawal, symptoms begin to peak. Once you get through this period, you’ll begin gradually feeling better until withdrawal symptoms cease.
What to Expect During Withdrawal
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of concern surrounding opiate withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, many people are apprehensive about treatment. While these can be unpleasant, resources are available to reduce pain and discomfort.
During withdrawal, prospective patients should expect some intestinal discomfort. Generally, opiates cause diarrhea, nausea, and cramping. Dehydration, depression, muscle aches, anxiety, and an increased heart rate are also common. Additionally, it’s normal to have trouble sleeping or experience changes in appetite as well.
What Comes After Opiate Withdrawal?
Once withdrawal is complete, patients start working toward lasting recovery. Opiate addiction rehab comes in different forms, and provides the necessary tools and resources for lifelong sobriety.
For example, residential care is a popular option because it offers 24/7 support and accountability. Patients live and stay overnight, creating a completely safe and secure recovery environment. A full 90-day program is another great option for those who are serious about permanently ending addiction.
An additional approach, or a step down after residential care, is intensive outpatient care. This program allows patients to return home every night while attending therapy and treatment sessions during the day. Afterwards, aftercare options offer continual relapse prevention.
Find Support at San Antonio Recovery Center
At San Antonio Recovery Center, you’ll find the necessary help for overcoming an opiate addiction. We offer diverse treatment methods that cover a full spectrum of care. Our methods include:
- Family therapy
- Dual diagnosis therapy
- Nutritional therapy
- 12-Step meetings and group therapy
- Behavioral therapy
- Yoga and fitness therapies
After opiate withdrawal, rehabilitation is absolutely necessary. At San Antonio Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, you’ll find effective programs to conquer your addiction. Call to start living the life you deserve.