Withdrawal is one of the hardest parts of moving past a drug addiction. During withdrawal, patients not only face the mental and emotional difficulty of relearning a life without their addiction, but they are also facing a great deal of physical discomfort. Because of this, many addicts who attempt to quit using drugs without seeking professional opiate withdrawal treatment fail within one year.
It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way
Failure does not have to be a guaranteed part of detoxing and rehabilitation from drug use. In fact, with proper treatment and follow-up care, success rates can soar to over sixty percent. How? With the use of medication, medical supervision, safe spaces free from temptation to use drugs and a series of follow-up treatments including group talk therapy, accountability meetings and whatever else a patient needs to succeed. But it all starts with getting through that initial challenge: withdrawal.
How Doctors Help Recovering Addicts
Medical professionals can prescribe medication to help patients alleviate the common symptoms of withdrawal, which include:
- Dizziness and disorientation
- Nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea
- Irritability, confusion and mood
- Insomnia and fatigue
- Sweating, fever, racing heart rate or pulse
- Depression and/or anxiety
This is done not with treatment of individual symptoms, but of the overall condition of withdrawal using medications such as methadone and Suboxone. These medications stimulate the receptors in the brain that are rewarded during opiate use, while also blocking those same receptors from receiving stimulation from actual opiates. This way, the drugs currently in the patient’s system are no longer effective, and the body has time to rid itself of these substances without suffering the discomfort of withdrawal.
Patients who undergo medically-assisted opiate withdrawal treatment are far more successful than those who do not. For more information about treatment options and moving past an addiction safely, Florida residents can visit Addiction Alternatives or consult their local physician.