Opiates are highly addictive—often dangerous—substances, whether illegal or medically prescribed. They are typically prescribed for pain management, however, regular use of these medications can lead to dependence. Dependence can result in addiction which can cause overdose amongst other severe consequences. Given that the nation is in an opioid crisis, it is essential that opiate detox centers such as Brentwood Springs in Nashville are available and ready to help those in need.
The detox process consists of people ridding their bodies of all drugs and toxins. This rejuvenating process is usually one of the first steps in an individual’s recovery journey. This step can be difficult due to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. The supervision and support of medical professionals are essential in making sure that opiate detox is executed safely and successfully—preparing individuals for their next step in recovery.
Effects of Opiate Use
Opiates are abused because they often give people a deep sense of pleasure or “euphoria.” It occurs when opiates bind to opioid receptors in the brain and trigger the release of dopamine. This is a double-edged sword as it makes opiates an effective way to treat pain, but can also cause overuse and dependency. Overuse leads to tolerance, meaning people gradually increase their dose so that they can achieve the same “high.” Opiates might bring about good feelings temporarily, but they also have many negative effects, including the following:
- Slowed breathing rate
- Nausea/upset stomach
- Brain damage
- Infectious diseases from sharing needles (HIV)
Types of Opiates
Opiates refer to drugs naturally derived from the opium poppy plant. Some opiates are illicit while others can be prescribed for severe ailments or injuries. These are also often obtained illegally or abused. Each type of opiate can cause slightly different effects and withdrawal symptoms can vary. Many, however, overlap in how they affect people during their high and throughout the detoxification process. Types of opiates include:
Opiate Detox Withdrawal Symptoms
Your body naturally creates opioids. The amounts are not dangerous and are not created in strong enough concentrations to ease severe pain. When opiates are overused, the brain halts its natural opioid production as it appears not to be needed. This can cause issues during withdrawal, making the process harder. This is why it is important that you are detoxing in a secure environment with trained professionals. Other withdrawal symptoms are also common. The severity of which depends on the person, the number of opiates they have been using, the type of opiates being used, and the amount of time they have been using. These symptoms include:
- Change in sleeping patterns
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Hunger pains
- Uncontrollable movements
- Pain in the bones and muscles
How Long Do Opiate Withdrawals Last?
The length of withdrawal depends on the person and the type of substance they are using. Factors such as how often and how long a person is using can also influence the withdrawal period. Withdrawal symptoms from short-acting opiates such as morphine, and immediate-release versions of opiate tablets can last for up to ten days and most likely surface in the first 8-24 hours after the last dose. Long-acting opiates—such as extended-release versions of opiate tablets and methadone—typically cause withdrawal symptoms that last for up to 14 days. These take longer to surface, usually not occurring until 36 hours after the last dose.
Medication-Assisted Therapy in Opiate Detox Centers
Certain medications can be used in order to lessen the side effects of opiate withdrawal. These medications are administered by a professional staff member and doses are closely monitored and regulated. Medication types include:
- Methadone. This tricks your brain into thinking you are still using which eases your withdrawal symptoms without getting you high.
- Buprenorphine. Used for long-term relapse prevention, this medication works similarly to methadone but is less potent.
- Clonidine. This medication eases symptoms of withdrawal such as stomach pain, anxiety, body aches, excessive sweating, and runny nose. It is not used to lessen cravings.
- Naltrexone. This non-addictive substance aids in preventing relapse. If you use while on this medication, you will not get high and will actually experience a brief bout of intense withdrawal symptoms. It accomplishes this by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain.
Benefits of Inpatient Opiate Detox Centers
Since detox can be a dangerous process, having medical attention available 24/7 is very beneficial. Inpatient opiate detox centers provide a safe space for individuals to come down as comfortably as possible. Opiate detox centers offer many services and do more than just get clients through detoxification. Other services provided include:
- Drug testing
- Blood testing
- EKG testing
- Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT)
- Residential Rehab
Opiate Detox Center in Nashville, TN
Your addiction to opiates is interfering with your ability to live a happy, fulfilling life. It’s time to get help. Brentwood Springs Detox center in Nashville, TN is committed to getting you through the withdrawal process safely and successfully. You can rest assured that we will take care of you throughout the entirety of this uncomfortable process. You are capable, and sobriety is well-within reach. Get started today by giving us a call or visiting our admissions page. We offer support in other cities in Tennessee, like Columbia and Murfreesboro, and are eager to answer any questions or concerns you may have on your road to recovery.