Opioids, such as heroin, prescription opioids— oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine— and illegal synthetic fentanyl, are highly addictive drugs that bind to receptors in the brain. Opioids also affect basic physiological functioning such as heart rate, sleeping, and breathing and create a sensation of pleasure. The U.S. opioid crisis is a major problem, with 115 Americans dying of opioid overdose each day, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Opioid overdose rates have been increasing for years, and in 2017, more than 72,000 Americans died from an overdose (NIDA).
In the last year, 2.5 million Americans aged 18-25 have misused opioids, and in 2016, the same number reported misusing an opioid (NIDA). As some of the most potent, habit-forming narcotics, opioids have serious side effects when abused.
Due to the addictive nature of opioids, it is difficult to stop abusing them on your own. Eventually, most opioid abusers require a comprehensive form of treatment, starting with medical detox. The physical pain from stopping any form of opioids can be extreme, even unbearable, giving people an excuse to use again. However, at Royal Life Centers medication-assisted detox, we offer non-addictive medication to manage pain during withdrawal. Opioid withdrawal can range from mild to severe, depending on a person’s opioid abuse history, age, and coexisting medical conditions. In any circumstance, our medical team is trained and equipped to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all of our guests while helping them through the detox process.
Short-term effects of opioid use may include:
Long-term effects of opioid use may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Liver and brain damage
Should I seek treatment for opioid addiction?
Signs of an opioid problem may include:
- “Doctor shopping” for multiple prescriptions
- Snorting or injecting pills to increase effects
- Planning activities around opioid use
- Engaging in other high-risk behaviors
- Loss of interest in activities
- Continuing to use despite negative effects
- Withdrawal symptoms and/or cravings
If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or others, you may have an opioid problem and require medical help to safely detox.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms begin within the first six to seven hours after the last usage, peak in severity around the 72-hour mark, and persist for roughly one week. Medical treatment in a controlled environment for opioid withdrawal, like our medication-assisted detox facility, is more efficient and practical. As a result, symptoms are better regulated, leaving less chance of a relapse. The more time a person remains abstinent from opioid use, the more time they will have to work on themselves, further improving the likelihood that they will be successful in overcoming their substance use disorder. Our team at Royal Life Centers advocates for guests to go directly to residential inpatient treatment from our detox facility to leave no room for relapse and so guests can continue making progress towards recovery without any interruptions.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms may include (NIDA):
- Stomach cramps
- Severe muscle and bone pain
- Sleep problems
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Cold flashes with goosebumps
- Uncontrollable leg movements
- Severe cravings
What happens after medical detox?
Overcoming substance abuse and taking on the life-long commitment of recovery is not a one-step process. In fact, detox is just the first step. Once the substance is no longer in a person’s system, they can begin the real work on how to live life without drugs or alcohol. From detox, guests will move onto our 14-day residential inpatient program that provides intensive help in a facility with trained staff. Residents will get to see a medical doctor to address any health concerns, participate in different therapies (group and individual), and work with a case manager to assess aftercare options. From there, guests can move onto our nine-week aftercare program, comprised of our partial hospitalization program (PHP) and intensive outpatient program (IOP). Finally, guests can choose to move into our graduate and life housing.
If you or a loved one has a opioid addiction, or any substance use disorder, please reach out to us about your detox and treatment options. Royal Life Centers admissions staff are available 24/7 to answer your questions and address your concerns Because We Care.