About 23% of people who use heroin eventually become addicted to opioids. They didn’t initially get hooked to the drug though, about four out of five new users actually started out misusing prescription painkillers, and then moved onto the street drug. The news networks are filled with terrible stories of opioid addiction’s effects. Clearly, this is not a good substance to have in a one’s life, and must be detoxed accordingly.
Treatment Options For Opioid Addiction: How to Detox Safely and Effectively.
Opiates are terrible for a person’s long-term health, and they are incredibly addictive as well. The detox process begins about 12 hours after the last opioid dose, and lasts about a week with symptoms peaking on day three. Some people will experience a prolonged detox that can last nearly a month. The process can be daunting for addicts, however it must be done. There are some ways to make the detox less intense.
The Home Detox: Not Ideal.
No matter where a person detoxes from opiates, it will be a physically taxing ordeal. Many opiate addicts attempt to get off of heroin or prescription opioids cold turkey. They do this using the cold turkey method, which entails taking a week off from all commitments. This is necessary, because the detox symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, chills, muscles aches and pain, and dehydration.
The big danger is that the person might do harm to themselves if they progress through the week. Going through the process cold turkey is physically taxing, and many people find themselves failing. This method requires quite a bit of self-control. If no other options are available, it is a consideration.
Methadone Treatment: Is Traditional Best?
Methadone has long been associated with heroin. It is a treatment that comes in the form of a drug in wafer, liquid, or a pill form. Methadone works by blocking the feelings of euphoria that come from using heroin, as well as blocking persistent cravings. It is a common analgesic for assisting heroin addicts detoxing in a hospital setting.
The problem with methadone is that it has a long half-life in the human body. Methadone blocks pain in the body. It is meant to have a low euphoric effects. However, methadone is known for being nearly as addictive as opioids.
Suboxone Treatment: The New Option.
Suboxone treatment involves applying two different drugs, naloxone and buprenorphine. These two drugs are meant to work well together to give the patient an easier time during the detox process. Buprenorphine works by providing a low activation of the euphoric centers in the brain, which promises a lower addictive quality. Naloxone works by blocking and reversing the effects of the agonists in opioids.
The downside to suboxone treatment is that it works very well at its intended purpose. Some crafty drug users have found that they can double their opioid dose by dissolving suboxone treatment strips in water, and then inject the solution. This bypasses the stomach, which activates the effects of naloxone. Using suboxone in this way has caused some deaths.
When it comes to opioid addiction, the main goal is to get the person off of the drugs as soon as possible. It is not uncommon for someone to attempt to go off of the drugs cold turkey, fail, and then go back to using the drugs. A successful detox is one that is completed. Some treatments help patients reach this goal more easily then other options.