All You Need To Know About Opiate Detox
January 4, 2019
All You Need To Know About Opiate Detox
Opioid and opiate abuse has been a national crisis since the 1980s. Various efforts have been put in place to address this situation. Nowadays, most youths are introduced to drugs at a tender age. It is important that the society realizes this and addresses it before it gets out of hand. One of the methods set up to remedy this situation is improving treatment used for opiate addiction, getting of drug addiction starts with detoxification. Thus, detoxification is an area of focus.
Take note that there is no ideal strategy for detoxing from opiates. This is because most detoxification centers prefer to have customized approaches since they know that relapse can occur after or even during the detox program. Patients who have enough resources are able to get formal treatment to help them deal with this, but those who do not either get worse or succumb to their addiction.
When it comes to opiate treatment, the MAT method is employed. MAT stands for Medication-assisted treatment. This means that the treatment and detoxification program uses a drug to aid the behavioral therapies that go on during the program. It is commonly used for opioids such as painkillers and opiates such as heroin. Detox is not really a form of treatment. However, it does play a big role when it comes to aiding the evidence-based program by making it more comprehensive. It treats the whole person by making him or she heals in all aspects of their life. Most doctors have very little knowledge with respect to treating addictions this is because they focus on substance‐related issues such as diseases that are infectious. Thus, they have no knowledge of how to treat a substance-use disorder.
There are three main service options available today for opiate addicts. This read seeks to categorize the services into three and analyze them to help you figure out which one works best for you. So many opiate detox services address the main goal, which is freedom from addiction. They all fit in these three main categories of services.
- Residential services that are non-medicated: This detoxification option is not common today. As the name suggests, it does not use any form of medication. This is because it recognizes that the patient is already addicted to a drug and is very likely to form a dependency to the detox medication. This method is likely to be faster in comparison to the rest in achieving the goal of ending addiction. The patient stops using the opiate abruptly causing them to experience discomfort but for a short period. It is worth it in the end. This method takes a few weeks to wean the addict off the opiate making them ready to go through behavioral therapy. This last form of therapy takes care of psychological dependence and opiate craving. The therapy could be the group or individual counseling whichever the patient is most comfortable with.
- Residential treatment that is medicated: This is the most common form of detox treatment. These treatment agents are actually more available for opiate detox than for detox programs of other drugs. Take note that they are not curative. These medications are used to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. They can also block the effects of opiates. The FDA in the United States to treat opioid addiction has approved some medications. These approved medications can only be given via an OTP that stands for a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration-certified opioid treatment program.
These three types of medication include
- Antagonists- Medication in this category blocks the receptors of opioids and alters the reward effects of the drug.
- Partial antagonists- Medication in this category activate the receptors of opioids but make sure that the response is minimal.
- Agonists- Medication in this category activates the receptors of the opioids.
Examples of commonly used drugs include naltrexone, buprenorphine with naloxone, buprenorphine, levo-alpha acetyl methadol (LAAM), and Methadone. They help people who treat opiates that are short acting such as codeine, morphine and heroin; and semi-synthetic opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone. Very many factors contribute to giving a patient the right medication such as their individual needs. These drugs could be ingested for months, years or even an entire lifetime. Altering or not following through with a prescription could be very harmful to the person’s health. Make sure you consult your doctor before you make any prescription alterations. Most laws that appreciate OTP acknowledge the inclusion of services such as educational, vocational, counseling, and medical, among others.
- Outpatient treatment that is medicated: This detox treatment plan helps patients who want to get rid of their addiction but also take care of their obligations and see their family. It is advisable that people with supportive families take this form of the treatment plan. Other people prefer it as a brief but intense detox plan before they join an inpatient facility. It introduces them to the schedule of the inpatient detox facility. It could also be used to gauge the discipline of an individual in order to know which treatment plan will work for them. This is because they will be treated while being exposed to the opiate on a daily basis. This reinforces discipline and focus. The most preferred opioid antagonist for this program is naltrexone. This drug blocks the opioid receptors where it binds and exerts the effects. This means that when a patient relapses and ingests an opiate they do not get the high that they experienced before the treatment plan. It is an insurance policy and motivator. It prevents a relapse from becoming full-blown. Thus if a person makes one mistake, the treatment plan will not have to start all over again.
The early withdrawal symptoms include yawning, sweating, runny nose, insomnia, increased tearing, muscle aches, anxiety, and agitation. The late withdrawal symptoms include vomiting, nausea, Goosebumps, dilated pupils, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. These symptoms are not absolute. They vary depending on the person. Take note that they could become life threatening. They start after use of the opioids stops. For example, if you use methadone you have about thirty hours before the symptoms kick in while if you use heroin you will have about thirty minutes.
A good detox plan has medical agents and a cleansing program for the body to rid it of toxins. It prepares the patient for the rehabilitation phase. Linking these treatment phases without taking breaks could prevent repeated withdrawals and relapses. This reduces, pain, time, and expenses. There are numerous rehabilitation centers across the globe. You have to make sure you check the reviews and the treatment plans it offers to see if it will meet your needs. The schedule of the rehabilitation centers varies thus; make sure that you have schemed through all your options to settle on the best one.
Various rehabs have varying schedules, but the usual practices include:
- Physical examination or assessment: At the beginning of the rehab process, you will meet a physician. You will spend some time with him or her to examine your addiction status and map out a detoxification plan. This plan will vary depending on the drugs you were using during the addiction phase. Therefore, it is mandatory that you are very honest at this stage. Giving the wrong information will not help you get through your rehabilitation efficiently. You might also be asked to identify the recent drugs that you ingested. This could be prescribed or not. Thus, you might want to acquaint yourself with the names of those drugs. At this stage, you will be given various legal documents such as consent forms to fill. This stage takes a few hours, but it could spread out through a couple of days.
- Psychological examination/evaluation/assessment: A psychiatrist who has experience and expertise on addiction will examine various issues such as bipolar, depression, anxiety, or any other psychological or emotional issues. The first examination you do will not be conclusive. This is because you are still under the influence of drugs and at the peak of your addiction. This may taint the results significantly. A good example is some people exhibit schizophrenic properties when they are under the influence and after they are done with their rehabilitation, these symptoms end.
- Detoxification: This is the part of the program that addicts hate most. However, if you check in to a high-end rehabilitation centre it might be extremely comfortable for you. Withdrawal symptoms are inevitable. They will use medication like valium and suboxone to ease your pain. Since they do not want to create a dependency on this drug, they will only use it when necessary and for a short period. The aim of using them is to make sure that the addict is completely free from mood-altering drugs. The potential side effects include decreased appetite, amnesia, blackouts, and feelings of paranoia, aggressive behavior, panic attacks, tremors, blurred vision, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, seizures, convulsions, respiratory issues, high blood pressure, motor impairment, and even dilated pupils. A doctor will definitely be on standby to help you get through all these side effects. The side effects you experience are dependent on the drugs you used. Thus, make sure you enquire so that you do not go into shock ones the side effects start showing. Mental preparation goes a long way when it comes to this form of treatment.
- Therapy: The most effective form of therapy is done in a group setting. This does not single out individual therapy. It is still effective. Additionally, some people prefer to have individual counseling because of their status or other personal reservations. By talking and connecting with other people who feel the same way you do, you develop techniques that help you stay free from drug consumption.
- Fitness: Drugs make the body system deteriorate. It derails all health aspects making it hard to get through the addiction. Thus, through fitness, you can uplift your mind, soul and body. This is essential for their healing process. Exercise helps the addict get through the withdrawal symptoms since it helps the body produce endorphins that make the body feel good. You might need the help of a trainer to get through this stage. The rehabilitation centre could provide one unless you have reservations about a specific one and want to hire your own personal trainer.
- Good nutrition: Dieting goes hand-in-hand with fitness. In order to recover, you have to feel good and eat right. If you eat too much-processed carbohydrates, you will feel sleepy and sluggish. On the other hand, too much sugar will affect your moods. Thus, you will need to consult your nutritionist to plan your balanced diet and help you get in better shape.
- Alternative treatments: Many rehabilitation centers offer numerous alternative treatments. These treatments have been shown to help ease the withdrawal symptoms and make the addicts’ rehabilitation life more comfortable. These include acupuncture, equine therapy, yoga, massage, and meditation among others.
- Planning for aftercare: What is your plan after you leave the rehabilitation centre? How are you planning to stay on track with the treatment? How will you plan your home regimen to keep up with the treatment? What will you do if you get the urge to use drugs? All these questions are catered for under this part of the treatment. The plan caters for all the strategies that you need o address to remedy any situation you phase and the various relationships you are likely to phase when you get back home.
- Discharge from treatment: Your treatment is complete and you are at about thirty days free from drug or alcohol use. This day could be terrifying, joyous, or exciting. Follow the aftercare plan and all the tips and advice that you have received from the specialists. If you stay away from the triggers, you will have a better chance of long-term recovery.
Rehabilitation centers offer inpatient treatment and are organized in such a way that most of them offer the same therapies and activities. They are in-patient to prevent the person from relapsing when they leave the centre every day. These centers realize that most addicts are ready to do anything to feed their addictions even lie and have thus taken extra precaution to make sure that this need is met. They provide a safe environment for recovery and healing. Their strict rules apply to patient, staff and visitors. Thus, your friends and family will have to abide by their rules when they come to visit you in the inaptient rehabilitation facility. Do you have any idea what a typical day in rehab looks like? Well, a typical day in rehab consists of the following activities:
- Early meetings and healthy breakfast: Expect an early morning compete with a very healthy breakfast. This is standard for most. Others go an extra mile of offering meditation and yoga to help relax and soothe the mind before the treatment programs commence. This will help you maintain a positive mindset, which makes it easier to receive treatment. This helps you form a morning routine that gets you focused throughout the day after you leave the centre. It helps create a new habit. Some of them offer group sessions that are managed by therapists or counselors. The manager of the program lays out a discussion plan that focuses on the relevant topics relating to the treatment. This part follows the breakfast and it helps the addict view life from a different angle. The drug affects the normal mode of thinking and it is thus necessary that the addict is counseled back to their normal self so that they can mend any relationship they broke during their addiction. They get t see life from the eyes of their loved ones. This will help you through the aftercare stage as you relate to the public after receiving treatment.
- Therapy in the afternoons: During the afternoon, most rehabilitation centers offer intense treatment. This is when the mind and body are at its peak of alertness and effectiveness and the rehabs take advantage of this. After the lunch break, most offer therapeutic sessions that might include:
- Individual behavioral therapy- It includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It is very effective. This therapy focuses on your responsive behavior to various triggers. Once they are pinpointed, the therapist helps you toward a healthier response. The fact that it is personal therapy, it makes it easier for the person to share and open up about their issues and fears. This allows the therapist to get to know more about you and alter your response to these anxiety triggers.
- Group therapy: Group sessions are insightful and comfortable. Everyone who participates in this has experience with drug abuse. Expect to share your experiences and listen to those of others. This helps you to heal emotionally by accepting your situation and learning how to move past it. It creates a sense of accountability between the participants since when a person relapses they feel like they let the entire group down. As time passes, the members become more open and tend to create lasting relationships even after the treatment in the centre. It also helps the addict learn how to assimilate back into the society by learning how to form new relationships with people.
- Specialized sessions: This is not a standard form of therapy. These sessions are more customized. They deal with the individual attributes of the person such as grief, stress, and anger. They help the recovering addict develop coping mechanisms that will prevent them from being triggered back into a relapse. The recovering addict will handle issues better rather than turn to drugs to help them cope.
- Family therapy: It is very important that the patients get all the support they need from their friends and loved ones. They might have caused some strain in their relationships during their addiction phase, thus it is good to know that their loved ones still care about them regardless of the past. It helps them maintain their focus and take better care of their health. This therapy allows issues to be resolved between family members and various negative feelings are addressed.
Some rehabilitation speakers may host speakers who have experience with addiction. They might call in a celebrity or alumni of the centre to help motivate the recovering addicts. Some of these talks escalate further and address issues such as career after the treatment or religion to help the patients know that there is life after addiction. It helps the focus and plans to be better during their aftercare treatment. Other rehabilitation centers offer alternate and supplementary forms of therapy such as equine therapy, exercising, neuro feedback, biofeedback, dance therapy, and music or art therapy.
- Free time: You might have some time to yourself during the afternoon to be discretionary. This could be a good time to perform activities such as volleyball, soccer, basketball, ping-pong, swimming or pool. Use the amenities within responsibly. Most people prefer to relax by meditating r praying, while others just like reading books and journals.
- Evenings: After dinner, the rehabilitation centre might offer a group session. Normally, most rehabilitation centers offer a twelve-step program during this period. This helps in making the patient feel safe within their environment. They are able to fellowship, which makes it easier for them to participate in long-term treatment. They set a standard sleeping time to help normalize your sleeping habits, thus expect to have a set sleep program. This ensures that the patient is more alert and energized to get through the activities of the next day.
Now that you a have an idea of what goes on a normal day during rehab, you will not feel blindsided and will be able to put your guard down. Prepare yourself mentally to help you get through the therapy sessions especially if you are an introvert. Speak to a professional to help you find the best treatment centre for your needs.