Opioid detox is a process. In the wake of the opioid epidemic, there is a high demand for safe detox methods to help people quit using opioids. Unfortunately, many people feel they are better detoxing at home. At home detox for opioid addiction is dangerous. Here’s why.
The First Few Hours
People who are familiar with opioid addiction and opioid withdrawal are familiar with the term “dope sick”. “Dope sick” is what kicks in within just hours of the last time opioids were used, when the body, chemically dependent, rapidly starts to detox. The sickness feels like the flu- in the beginning. As the symptoms continue to intensify, many have reported that sickness turns into the worst flu they have every experienced. Complete with fever, sweating, shaking, and general malic, vomiting starts to take place and eventually so does diarrhea. Opioids are known to cause severe constipation. When the body starts detoxifying the opioid drugs, the body is getting rid of the constipating drugs, causing the stomach to react in extremes. The stomach starts to feel like it is being pulled apart in a hundred directions. More vomiting and diarrhea leads to severe dehydration and weakness which could present a problem in getting rehydrated. Dehydration can cause complications in the kidney and the liver, as well as the heart. Unmanaged, these symptoms can be life-threatening. That’s just the first twelve hours. Insomnia, hallucinations, aggression, physical pain, intolerable illness, and more continue to increase for about a week until they finally start reducing in severity.
The Next Week
After the physical illness and withdrawal has started to relax, there is the onset of psychological symptoms. Throughout the sickness, there will be a battle between the mind and the body. Opioids cause this sickness. Opioids will make this sickness go away. Thus the cycle would continue. Cravings reach their worst in the second week when the psychological symptoms of depression and anxiety set in. For years, opioid abuse has been the answer. Now in the time of trial, the brain is still too used to opioids being the answer.
Coping With Cravings
The body goes through a lot when it detoxes from opioids. Coping with the intense psychological cravings after going through withdrawal poses a particular threat. After the opioids have left the body, the body’s tolerance has decreased. When going back to using opioids becomes the answer again, there is a high risk for overdose. Using the same amount of opioids after a detox as before a detox will be a toxic shock to the body and often leads to a fatal overdose.
Detox should take place in a safe clinical facility where 24/7 trained staff are available to counsel, treat, and attend to medical emergencies in clients withdrawing from opioids. Cottonwood Tucson is a renown co-occurring treatment center, providing critically acclaimed residential treatment to men and women. Call us today for information on our programs and our daily rates: (800) 877-4520