Addiction is one of the hardest things for you or a loved one to go through. There’s an opioid epidemic in the United States; thousands of people succumb to this epidemic every year. If you or someone you know is addicted to opiates, it’s important to reach out for help as soon as possible. But the amount of information available can be overwhelming. How do you know which detox center is right for you? How can you be sure that you or your loved one is receiving the best treatment to fit your unique circumstances?
Detox centers vary from place to place. Some detox centers only offer medically supervised detox, while others are part of larger treatment facilities. Some detox centers offer different forms of medical management. To find the center that’s right for you, you’ll need to research the policies of different detox centers. You can call for information, but it helps to know the right questions to ask.
What Should I Ask About a Medically Supervised Detox?
Medically supervised detoxes are facilities that are observed by healthcare professionals. Most of the time, some kind of medication will be administered to help with the detox. The patient will be monitored both for their reaction to the medication and for documentation of their withdrawal symptoms.
Opiate addiction is one of the most serious addictions a person can have, both because of the withdrawal symptoms and because of the physical dependency. For this reason, you should always have a medically supervised detox instead of trying to quit cold turkey by yourself. Withdrawal symptoms from opioids can be dangerous, especially if a person fails to complete the detox and accidentally overdoses.
When you call the detox center, the following questions may help you:
- What medications do you administer for relief from opiate withdrawal symptoms?
- What natural remedies do you use for relief from opiate withdrawal symptoms?
- Do your treatment plans extend beyond the initial detox?
- How much supervision is a patient given during the initial detox process?
The answers to these questions can help you determine whether a particular detox center is the right one for you.
What Symptoms Can I Expect to See?
When you or a loved one begins detoxing from opiates, you’ll see a number of frustrating physical symptoms. The less dangerous symptoms include sweating, yawning, agitation, and muscle aches. You might also see digestive discomfort, restless leg syndrome, a runny noise, nausea, and vomiting.
The symptoms of opioid withdrawal tend to mimic a particularly bad flu. Like the flu, you can usually weather it with mild discomfort; also like the flu, it has the potential to be deadly if not taken care of by a medical professional.
Sleeping will be difficult during the detox process, and you may need to get a sedative from your doctor. This is another reason a medically supervised detox is essential. You need to sleep for your body to heal from the damage the opiates have done.
How Can I Manage Detox Symptoms?
It cannot be stressed enough that you should seek medical treatment for an opioid detox. However, information about how to manage detox symptoms is helpful should you or your loved one unexpectedly find yourself detoxing without the means to get to a detox center.
Some symptoms can be alleviated by taking vitamin supplements and engaging in healthy eating behaviors. Oftentimes during addiction, the body doesn’t have access to the nutrients it needs. It’s also common for people to become malnourished during the detoxification process because of the nausea and vomiting.
You should also make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and fluids. Opiate withdrawal comes with sweating and diarrhea, both of which will dehydrate you very quickly. Dehydration will add to your discomfort, and severe dehydration can be dangerous. You might find that sports drinks with electrolytes help in addition to the water.
Taking a hot bath can also help with withdrawal symptoms. Soaking in hot water will help to relax your muscles, diminish headaches, and lessen back pain. If you add Epsom salts to the water, you’ll further soothe your sore muscles. You should not take a bath, however, if you’re running a fever. When running a fever, you can use a heating pad to relax your sore muscles.
Finally, it helps to entertain yourself. You shouldn’t do anything physically strenuous, and you should probably avoid stressful movies and TV shows. But relaxing in front of a comedy or reading up on funny news stories is a good way to distract your mind from the discomfort of withdrawal. It’ll also distract you from the potential temptation to relapse.
Using Medications to Prevent Relapse
Prescribing medications for opiate addiction may seem counterproductive; you’re addicted to prescription medication, so your doctor is going to add more prescription medication? But understanding how these medications work is essential to understanding the detoxification process.
Many medical professionals will prescribe an opiate antagonist. Opiate antagonists are medications which block the opioid receptors in the body, thereby reducing cravings for opiates. This treatment method is actually the most effective method for getting a patient through the detox process and preventing a relapse.
The most commonly used medication assistants are Suboxone and Naltrexone. The biggest drawback of Suboxone is that it must be ingested orally every day. The biggest drawback of Naltrexone is that it cannot be used until after the withdrawal process is over.
You might use other medications to cope with your withdrawal. Some of the symptoms of withdrawal can be alleviated with over-the-counter medications. You might find ibuprofen or aspirin helps for pain, and anti-nausea medicines might help as well. You should talk to your doctor before you start any new medications, though, whether they were purchased over-the-counter or not.
To take the next step in your recovery, call 888-380-0342. Nobody should have to suffer alone, and our addiction specialist counselors are available twenty-four hours a day.