Dispelling Myths About Opiate Withdrawal

Anyone addicted to opiates has experienced the challenges of withdrawal to some extent or another. The longer the addicted person goes without the use of an opiate the more significant the opiate withdrawal symptoms he or she will experience.

While not typically life threatening, it is still an extremely difficult time for the individual as the chemical withdrawal occurs in both the brain and the body. The longer the person has used opiates and the higher the amount, the more difficult withdrawal will be. However, even for someone with a very limited history of use, the withdrawal symptoms can be significant, triggering a relapse to simply stop feeling so sick.

To help individuals and their loved ones understand some common myths about opiate withdrawal, here are two important myths to consider. Talking with an addiction specialist will be very important in understanding the detoxification process and the steps in recovery.

Myth 1: Cold Turkey Works

While it is possible to simply stop using some prescription or illegal drugs “cold turkey,” it is almost impossible with opiates. The most significant symptoms can include vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, depression, muscle cramps, anxiety and extreme cravings.

The use of prescribed and carefully controlled drugs such as buprenorphine or Suboxone can help to minimize the withdrawal symptoms to prevent a relapse in the critical first 72 hours to one week after stopping use.

Myth 2: You Can Detox and Stop Using Without Help

Ending addiction to Heroin and/or prescription opiates is more than just having willpower or having the ability to make the right personal choices. Overcoming any type of addiction takes support, caring and compassion and the ability to address the underlying causes of the addiction.

By seeking professional help from an experienced team offering both medical and mental health support, the recovery rate is significantly higher with a lower rate of relapse. To learn more about how opiate withdrawal can occur on an outpatient basis at The Drug and Alcohol Detox Clinic of South Mississippi, give us a call today at 601-261-9101.

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