Opioid drugs are potent drugs. Thousands of people lose their lives each year due to opioid addiction and opioid-related overdose. The journey to overcoming opioid addiction is not always easy. Seeking help at an opioid detox program in Missouri like Grand Falls Recovery can help you put opioid addiction in the past.

What are Opioids?

When people talk about opioids, they generally think of only prescription pain medications or “painkillers.” However, opioids are more than a specific type of drug; they comprise a class of drugs containing various prescription medications. Opioid drugs are used as medications to relieve pain and as part of MAT (medication-assisted treatment programs) in addiction treatment.

The most common prescribed opioids are oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), fentanyl, hydromorphone, codeine, and methadone. It is essential to mention that while all opioid drugs are highly addictive, some, such as fentanyl, are indeed more dangerous than others. Fentanyl is a synthetic (manufactured) opioid sometimes used as part of a treatment program to manage chronic pain.

Although medical providers prescribe fentanyl, it has become a significant contributor to rising opioid overdose and death rates in recent years. Fentanyl is a synthetic drug approximately 50-100 times more potent than morphine. It is widely available as a “street drug.” Since 2015, overdose deaths connected to illicit use of synthetic opioids like fentanyl have increased by more than 500%.

Another dangerous, non-prescription opioid drug is heroin. Heroin is a highly addictive street drug made from morphine. Heroin use provides many of the same effects as many prescription opioids, so many people who struggle with an addiction to prescription painkillers turn to heroin when they can no longer access a prescription drug.

Do Opioid Users Need Detox Programs?

Opioid drugs are powerful medications. When used appropriately, prescription opioids are highly effective components of a comprehensive treatment program. However, the risk of addiction with opioid use is high, and overcoming dependence on or an addiction to opioids is a complex and sometimes dangerous process. Quitting or reducing opioid use leads to withdrawal symptoms due to your brain’s dependency on the effects of the substance.

When you are dependent on an opioid, and you try to quit, powerful side effects called withdrawal symptoms occur. Opioid users need detox programs to help manage withdrawal symptoms which, depending on the severity of your addiction and the substance you use, can be unpleasant and sometimes dangerous and life-threatening. Because it is impossible to predict the severity (or type) of withdrawal symptoms you may experience, seeking help at a medically supported detox program can help you detox in the safest and most comfortable way possible.

What are the Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal?

The type and severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms vary based on several factors. When withdrawing from opioids, your symptoms will depend on the type of drug, the severity of your addiction, and other factors unique to your relationship with substances. Several common opioid withdrawal symptoms may occur regardless of the substance or substances used. Common examples of these include sweating, vomiting, anxiety, agitation, body aches, nausea, and problems sleeping. More severe and potentially dangerous symptoms, including irregular respiration and heart rate, and seizures, may occur in some cases.  

What is the Timeline for Opioid Detox?

Symptoms of opioid detox can begin in as few as six hours after your last use. In some cases, it can take as long as 24 hours. The onset of symptoms depends on whether the opioid used was a short or long-acting drug. For long-acting opioids, it may take longer for symptoms to begin. In most circumstances, early withdrawal symptoms are often less intense than those that appear as detox continues.

The second stage of opioid detox occurs during the 24 to 72 hours after your last dose. During the second stage of detox, many opioid withdrawal symptoms peak. During this time, opioid withdrawal symptoms can range from moderate to overwhelming. For most, opioid withdrawal symptoms will peak and begin to wane after three to four days, ending after about two weeks. However, for some, symptoms may persist longer. This condition is known as PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome).

Are There Opioid Detox Programs Near Me?

With help and support from an opioid detox program, it is possible to find freedom from the hold of opioid addiction. If you are ready to begin your journey to overcoming opioid addiction, our experienced and compassionate treatment team will help you take your first steps. To learn more about opioid detox and addiction treatment near you, contact a member of our treatment team today.

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