Opiate is a derivative of opioids that are natural or synthetic forms of pain relievers and healers from the medical perspective. What is a natural opiate? It is the derivative from the opium poppy plant. There are different forms of opiate-like morphine, thebaine, and many others used for medical treatments. However, the treatments can lead to addiction and subsequent opiate withdrawal problems.
Opiate for Treatments – Healing of Pain and Trauma
The primary use of opiate was to suppress chronic pain in the body of recovering patients from surgery, trauma, and chronic diseases like cancer. It is not only for the healing of pain from the wounds and internal injuries, but also to disconnect the feeling of pain from the brain cells. The purpose is to protect the side effects of traumatic pain like paralysis and probable permanent disability.
The main benefits of opiate as medication during treatments come from its ability to block the neurotransmitters from carrying the signals of pain from the affected parts to the brain. The benefits can be as follow.
- Blocking of opioid receptors
- Reliable and long-lasting healing
- Cure for mild pain to chronic traumatic conditions
Opioid Addiction – Probable Causes and Symptoms
The lie between medication and addiction can be very thin when it comes to opioid drugs. They come in different forms like morphine, tramadol, methadone, and heroin, etc. The FDA approved physicians and psychiatrists may have the license from state and federal governments to administer the FDA certified pain drugs to the patients within a limited dosage for a finite period.
Opiate Addiction Timeline – Variable Factors of Influence
Pain healing opiates like morphine and heroin can have psychoactive ingredients that give a deep sense of euphoria to the brain cells called the dopamine, Mu-Opioid, and other connecting neurotransmitters. The binding can begin within the first few minutes, few hours, or a few days of ingestion. The volume and concentration of the drug can have varying effects on the mind and body of the patient.
Post Treatment Addiction – Street Drugs Replace Prescription Medications
When the patient comes out of the opiate treatment center, he may be still hooked to opioids like heroin. He may switch over to the street drugs from the prescription medications to keep his addiction alive. Since drug addiction is a progressive disease, it may not take much time for him to hit the rock bottom.
Addiction takes its toll on his body and minds sooner than his expectations. Some of the most commonly visible effects on the patient’s body and mind could be
- Abnormal weight loss
- Frequent feverish conditions
- Loss of appetite
- Fear, anxiety, and restlessness
These symptoms could intensify overtime when the medication slowly turns into an addiction. At some point, the patient’s body may become so weak that it cannot take any more of the substance. Self-control has utterly failed him and he stands defeated. At this time he may think of stopping his addictions for a lifetime. He may opt for treatments from his physician who may prescribe some sort of sedatives or other temporary craving blockers. His battle with the opiate withdrawal symptoms is about to start now.
Opiate withdrawal Symptoms – Drawing the Battle Lines
Abstaining from opioids can result in several symptoms that could be temporary or long-lasting. The addict’s abnormal body starts showing some of the symptoms like
- Consistent muscle pain
- Frequent palpitations
- Tremors in the nervous system and muscles
- Constant stomach irritation and nausea
- Inability to eat food
The psychological opiate withdrawal symptoms can be more severe than the physical symptoms since they can result in relapses. Some of the most prominent ones could be
- Anxiety and fear
At this stage, he may make several resolutions to quit his addiction forever. But unfortunately, he is unable to make any firm decisions. His will has become so weak that a small disturbance in his mind can send him to the rock bottom of relapse once again.
Fear Factors – Battling the Unknown Enemy within
Most of the addicts may fall prey to an unknown fear of the future during the opiate withdrawal period. They are not sure whether they want to stay sober or go back to using it. They know addiction can kill them or turn them into the doors of insanity. But they can’t live without the substance in their body and the euphoria it gives them within seconds.
Discontentment in Life – Aimless Wandering of Mind
Life becomes colorless, hopeless, and meaningless without the substance. The more he tries to resist the temptation, the greater is its impact on his mind. He may start to change jobs, places, situations, and conditions around him. He hopes to restart using the substance at another place without falling back to old ways of addiction. Every time he attempts, he faces yet another failure and hits the rock bottom over and again.
Opioid withdrawal Treatments – from Detox to Rehab
Beaten and thrashed physically and mentally he may at last knock on the doors of an opiate withdrawal treatment center. Here, he hopes to find a new ray of hope in his dark life.
Opioid withdrawal treatments start with complete body Detox because he has to overcome the physical craving that is beyond the control of his mind. A typical Detox program may take five to ten days with IVs, pills, and treatments.
Removal of physical craving is only the beginning of a long term recovery program. He has to regain his lost health and hygiene once again. Most of the Detox centers may also have a rehab center for the Opioid addiction recovery program. A typical rehab program may last for 26 to 40 days, depending on his existing physical health and medical conditions.
He may stay sober as long as he is within the Detox and rehab centers. But his mental craving may be still active deep in his subconscious mind. Psychotherapy can be helpful as long as he is willing to keep his sobriety alive for the next 24 hours.
The real acid test of his sobriety awaits his arrival into the world outside the rehab center where there is no control over his wandering mind. It could be the right time for him to enter the 12-steps recovery program willing to stay sober one day at a time.