Opiates are an alkaloid derived in whole or in part from the Opium Poppy. It is a narcotic that works by binding itself to the body’s opiate receptors which are found primarily in the gastrointestinal tract, and central nervous system. Medically opiates are used in the treatment and management of pain. Opiates are also used recreationally for their ability to create a sense of euphoria in the user. Repeated use of Opiates results in addiction and when discontinuing use can cause symptoms of withdraw.
Some prescription opiates are Morphine, Codine, and Thebaine. There are also semi-synthetic opiates such a hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and hydrocodone. These are often encountered in our daily lives as they work well to manage pain. Some of the illegal opiates are Opium and the most insidious and famous of the opiate family, heroin.
Physical and psychological symptoms of opium detoxification can include nausea, fatigue, pain, runny nose, persistent drowsiness, depression, irritability and vomiting. Opiate addiction can be one of the most difficult addictions to break. It causes a wide range of both physical and mental symptoms, and often times those in recovery relapse to deal with these symptoms.
Dealing with these symptoms is the chief rivalry in opiates detox. Many of these can be managed with with the use of other medication. Nausea and vomiting can be managed with a range of medications both over the counter and prescription, and the right choice will vary from person to person. Many turn to anti-depressants to assist with the mental aspects of withdrawal. Another very common effect of opium detox is constipation which occurs in nearly all cases, and one going through the detoxification process will likely need stool softeners.
The mental aspect of detoxification can be the biggest barrier to recovery from opiate addiction. This is not to be confused with psychological symptoms as mental symptoms are related directly to the users dependance on the substance and not the actual effects of the drug. One must have a firm grasp on their reasons behind quitting and as stress can cause a relapse even years down the road they will have to keep these reasons firm in their mind. Mental symptoms can include a sense of fear at not having the drug, and an urge to once again use when presented with high stress situations.
There are many ways to help manage opium detoxification, though there is no easy path to break addiction itself. For many people a good support system of friends and family can be the first step, however many people you know may not understand this addiction and what it can do. Finding a good support group has helped many people cope with addiction to opium and other narcotics. Most towns will have a group such at this and information on the internet is available.
Still for others the detox symptoms are too much for them to handle and a rehabilitation unit or state hospital may be required to help the user kick the opiate habit.