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Opioid Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs

Opioid addiction has become a national epidemic in the United States. Thousands of individuals struggle daily with opioid addiction, causing untold physical and psychological suffering. Withdrawal symptoms from opioids can vary from mild to severe. This makes it even more difficult for those addicted to receive help, detox, and begin recovery. Recovering from opioid addiction requires a better understanding of opioid withdrawal symptoms. Clinicians must examine the different types of opioids, their effects on the body, and how they can cause withdrawal.

Opioids come in three primary forms. Natural (derived from poppy plants), semi-synthetic (modified morphine derived from opium), and synthetic (produced artificially) like Fentanyl. All opioids contain similar properties that act on the brain and body, producing pain relief and feelings of euphoria. Regular use of opioids can cause a person to become physically dependent. This means they need more of the drug to achieve the same effects. They’ll more easily develop withdrawal symptoms when not using it.

opioid addiction

Fentanyl and opioids are highly addictive drugs that can have serious consequences when abused. Overdose from these powerful narcotics is a growing concern as more people become addicted. Fentanyl, in particular, is up to 100 times stronger than morphine. It has been linked to an alarming number of overdose deaths in recent years. The risk of overdosing on fentanyl or other opioids is further compounded by users often not knowing what they are taking or how strong it is. This lack of information makes it even easier for someone to take too much, unintentionally leading to potentially fatal results.

Opioids act on the reward system in the brain by targeting opioid receptors that are involved in producing feelings of pleasure. When opioid use becomes prolonged, however, it can lead to physical and psychological dependence. The brain’s reward system changes how it processes pleasure, leading to increased tolerance, cravings for opioids, and difficulty feeling pleasure from other activities. This can lead to compulsive behaviors, such as continued opioid use, even in the face of negative consequences. Additionally, prolonged opioid use can cause brain structure and function changes, possibly increasing the risk for addiction.

The most common opioid withdrawal symptoms and signs include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle Aches
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability

Generally, withdrawal symptoms peak within the first 48 hours of stopping use. However, some people may experience withdrawal symptoms for weeks or months after quitting opioids. Opioid addiction is a chronic condition, and treatment should be tailored to each individual’s needs. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, reach out to a healthcare professional for help.

Opioid addiction (1) can have serious long-term effects, including increased risk of overdose, organ damage, and other health complications. Additionally, there are psychological and emotional repercussions to consider as well. People suffering from addiction often experience shame, guilt, and hopelessness. Other mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, can also arise. It is important to get help before the condition gets worse.

Opioid Addiction Treatments

There are various treatments available for opioid addiction. The most effective addiction treatment programs typically include a combination of medication-assisted therapy, counseling, and group therapy. Medication-assisted therapy (MAT) is the most widely used type of treatment and involves taking medications to reduce cravings, lessen withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. Counseling sessions, in the form of individual therapy, with a qualified therapist, can provide emotional support and help individuals identify underlying issues that may have contributed to their addiction. Support groups and group therapy offer additional guidance and social support as people work toward recovery.

No matter which type of treatment an individual chooses, it is important to stick with the plan and attend regular appointments. It can take time for treatment to work, so remaining committed to achieving long-term recovery is essential. Additionally, seeking early help can lead to better outcomes for those with opioid addiction instead of waiting until their condition has worsened.

Opioid Addiction Treatment Medications

Medications like buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone can be prescribed to help manage withdrawal symptoms or reduce cravings. For example, buprenorphine and methadone are opioids that partially activate the brain’s opioid receptors, curbing withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. OAT (Opioid agonist treatment) programs are life-saving, boasting the potential to prevent opioid use, overdoses, and criminal activities. But despite their many benefits, there can be some uncomfortable side effects – particularly with cognitive ability and sexual function – that may cause hesitation among those considering enrollment. Naltrexone, on the other hand, is an opioid antagonist that blocks these same receptors and interrupts the reward mechanism associated with drug abuse.

While medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can be successful for many individuals, various therapeutic options are also available. Professional counseling and behavioral therapies can help individuals develop healthier coping skills and identify triggers for drug abuse. Other forms of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can help individuals learn to recognize and manage their own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors to reduce the urge to use drugs. Support groups like Narcotics Anonymous or SMART Recovery provide a safe environment for people with addictions to connect with others who are also struggling with addiction. Creating a positive environment with healthy activities and relationships can also help individuals avoid drug use.

In addition, various treatments are available to reduce the reward mechanism associated with drug abuse. Exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle changes can influence dopamine levels in the brain, which may decrease cravings for drug use. Additionally, medications such as naltrexone and buprenorphine can be used to reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with substance abuse. Lastly, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals identify triggers for drug use and develop strategies to cope with these triggers more positively.

Opioid Addiction Treatment After Detox

After detoxing from opioids, it is important to receive ongoing treatment to prevent relapse. Treatment may include individual, group, or family therapy; medication-assisted treatment; and lifestyle modifications such as exercise, healthy eating habits, and stress management.

PHP and IOP programs are important components of opioid addiction treatment. These programs provide comprehensive recovery in an outpatient setting, allowing individuals to continue participating daily while receiving the necessary care. They also provide a safe environment for individuals struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) to receive support from peers, professional counselors, and therapists. This support is necessary for long-term recovery, as it can help individuals stay motivated to stay on track with their recovery goals. Additionally, PHP and IOP programs provide a foundation of sobriety that encourages individuals to remain in treatment and avoid a relapse into substance abuse. Doing so helps prevent addiction from becoming an even bigger health issue. Ultimately, PHP and IOP programs provide individuals with the structure, guidance, and support they need to recover fully.

Lastly, these programs are cost-effective compared to residential treatment or inpatient care. With PHP and IOP options, there’s no need for expensive overnight stays in a medical or hospital setting. Treatment is more affordable and accessible, allowing individuals to focus on improving.

opioid addiction Outpatient Opioid Addiction Treatment

PHP and IOP programs offer valuable support for those in recovery from substance abuse. These programs provide the structure and guidance key components of a successful long-term recovery plan. Individuals can receive personalized care at an affordable cost, which makes it easier to focus on their journey toward health and wellness.

It is also important to have a supportive environment with people who understand and can help you cope with the challenges of opioid dependence. In addition, support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous can also benefit those recovering from opioid addiction. With the right treatment and support, individuals can successfully manage their withdrawal symptoms and move forward with their lives in recovery.

Relapse Prevention for Opioid Addiction

It is also important to have a plan in place for relapse prevention. This should include recognizing high-risk situations that may lead to using, learning coping strategies to reduce cravings and triggers, and developing a strong support system of people who can help when things become difficult. Additionally, it is important not to be too hard on yourself and to recognize that relapse is a part of recovery. Remission from opioid use disorder takes time and dedication, but it can be done with the right resources.

Ultimately, finding the best treatment for opioid dependence depends on an individual’s needs and preferences. It is important to speak openly with your healthcare provider about your goals and preferences so that they can find the best treatment plan for you. With perseverance, dedication, and the right resources, lasting remission from opioid use disorder is possible.

Overall, individuals need to stay connected to their family and friends, develop healthy activities or hobbies, and get the necessary treatment to help them reduce drug use. All these strategies can be used together to create a better life free from drugs.

Opioid Addiction Treatment in Florida

At Olympic Behavioral Health, our evidence-based addiction treatment plans are specifically crafted to meet the unique needs of each individual on their road to recovery. In our addiction treatment programs in West Palm Beach, FL, our team of committed, compassionate, dedicated professionals understands that everyone’s journey looks somewhat different. We provide luxury sober living residences for those seeking a safe refuge from the temptations of substance use disorder and flexible outpatient programs tailored towards your specific goals toward success! Whether it’s alcohol or opioid abuse, mental health disorders, or another issue, we can help change your life with personalized care and hope.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Take the first step toward recovery with Olympic Behavior Health in West Palm Beach. Our experienced team will provide various addiction treatment programs tailored to your journey and lifestyle. Don’t wait until it’s too late — call now at (833) 826-9533 or submit our secure form for insurance verification to get started on gaining control over life again!

Adam Siegel
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Adam is the lead addiction therapist at Olympic Behavioral Health and has been in the field of addiction treatment since 2009. Adam earned his associate degree in Applied Science for Chemical Dependency Counseling from Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY, in 2009 and became a Certified Addiction Counselor in 2016. He is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work Program at Florida Atlantic University to obtain his MSW. Adam is also in long term sobriety which allows him to relate with patients on a deeper level.

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If you or a loved one is grappling with addiction, don’t face it alone. Olympic Behavioral Health is here to guide you on the path to recovery. With a compassionate team and a proven approach, we’re dedicated to helping you reclaim your life. Reach out to Olympic Behavioral Health today and take the first step towards a brighter, addiction-free future. Your journey to healing begins with a single call. Please reach out to us today at 561-272-0800 to book your appointment! And start your healing journey at our convenient facility.

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