What are the Dangers of Opioid Dependence?
Table of Contents
- What are the Dangers of Opioid Dependence?
- Avoiding The Worst Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
- Is Lasting Recovery from Opiates Possible?
- How to Get Off Opiates: The Risks of Cold Turkey Opiate Detox
- Types of Therapy Often Used in Opiate Treatment
- Methadone vs Suboxone Vs. Probuphine
- Find Treatment for Opiates and Get Clean With Our Help
- Medically Reviewed By
I started using drugs and alcohol at a young age like a lot of people. I was only fifteen years old when I first tried opiates. By the time I graduated, I was a full-blown pill addict. My opiate of choice was Percocet, but I would do anything I could get my hands on. By the time I finally reached out to Find Addiction Rehabs, I was like a wounded animal ready to lash out at anyone who came near me.
Looking at photos of myself from those days frightens me. You don’t know sometimes how hopeless your situation is until you are able to get out of it. With this in mind, I’ve written my own personal guide on how to get off opiates.
Opioid dependence is dangerous because of multiple factors. First of all, the risk of overdose is always looming over your head, especially if you mix opiates with alcohol or other drugs. Then there is the addiction side of it that will make you do things you never thought you would. Even after I had friends and peers die of opiate overdoses, I still continued using as if nothing had happened.
Physical dependence is crippling. There were times when my anger and desperation would boil over if I couldn’t get my drugs in a timely manner. I remember plenty of occasions when I would be laying on the bathroom floor in tears if my dealer took a long time to get back to me. Then there is the issue of your tolerance level. Once you use opioids for long enough, you need a higher and higher dose to feel anything. I was spending over a hundred dollars a day at the peak of my addiction, and I wasn’t even getting high.
Keep reading if you want to know more about how to get off opiates, and how I made it happen, finally, with a bit of help from Find Addiction Rehabs!
Avoiding The Worst Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
If you use opioids long enough, there’s no way to avoid the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. Even if you have all the money in the world, sometimes you have to wait for the drugs. That wait can feel like forever. You become a slave to your dealer. Your entire day revolves around when you can score and when you can get high.
As I mentioned above, once you use opioids for long enough, you are just trying to not get sick. You stop getting high. It all becomes about trying not to feel sick. It’s truly a miserable existence. If you are constantly worrying about feeling like death, you will ultimately develop a lot of fear and anxiety.
The fear and anxiety part of addiction is truly scary. You think everyone is out to get you. If someone offers a helping hand or words of encouragement, you assume they must have other motivations that are self-serving. You stop trusting everyone.
There’s no one approach when it comes to getting off opiates. It requires an extreme amount of soul-searching and self-control. There is medication-assisted treatment for opiates, as well as counseling and therapeutic options for opiate use disorders. Despite all the new advances in treatment, there are still mental and physical aspects of the addiction that can really make you go crazy. They both feed off each other and it isn’t that hard to convince yourself to throw in the towel and get high.
Is Lasting Recovery from Opiates Possible?
Achieving long-term sobriety is tough no matter what your drug of choice is. A lot of people in recovery talk about how you need to hit rock bottom before you can get help. That’s not the case for everyone, but there is a lot of truth in that. My addiction and situation couldn’t have been worse. I was basically homeless and sleeping on my friend’s couches. I was stealing to afford my addiction. Eventually, when the pills stopped getting me high, I started using heroin. And I never considered stopping seriously until I got to the point of death, that is how addictive heroin can be!
The opiate epidemic got so out of control because people always assumed if you were getting drugs from a doctor, that was somehow better or more “official” than getting them off from a dealer. If you have an opioid addiction, there is no difference between your doctor and your dealer. A lot of doctors have gotten in trouble because of their willingness to prescribe opioids to people that don’t need them.
This is not to blame doctors. One big thing I learned in recovery is that there is a lot of personal responsibility involved. You got to be an addict because of the choices you made. Denial and blame are two big things addicts wrestle with. Once you begin to recognize that finger-pointing will not serve you in sobriety, that will help you recover. A lasting recovery from opiates is possible because I’ve seen it happen for so many people.
When I watch people get clean through the meetings I attend, it makes the journey worthwhile. It’s a continuing reminder that when you put your mind to something and have a positive attitude, you can achieve anything. You’d be amazed at how much your attitude can change when you start living a healthier lifestyle.
How to Get Off Opiates: The Risks of Cold Turkey Opiate Detox
Combining methods of opiate treatment will give you a good chance to get clean. The treatment center I chose from the options given to me by Find Addiction Rehabs has a great dual-diagnosis program that helped me tackle my physical addiction as well as the mental and emotional issues that got me to this point. Their rehab has evidence-based addiction treatment practices that have helped countless others that were in a similar situation as me.
Getting off of opiates without medical intervention can be very dangerous. Withdrawal from opiates is beyond uncomfortable. Once you go a few hours without the drugs, there is a lot of anxiety and depression. Other symptoms include cold sweats, mood swings, and stomach issues. I tried to quit cold turkey once and the physical symptoms were unbearable. After two days, I gave up on it and went out and got high. I immediately felt better. That’s what’s so scary about this particular addiction.
When I entered detox, I felt all these symptoms once again, but it was easier to get through with the staff helping me along the way. They took great care of me and made the process as smooth as it could be. Once I got out of the horror of withdrawal, I was ready to do whatever I had to do to avoid feeling that again. I learned a lot about myself through counseling and gained a lot of skills that I could apply to my recovery.
Types of Therapy Often Used in Opiate Treatment
As the opiate epidemic becomes more and more widespread, there are all sorts of different treatment options. We are all unique, so there are some forms of treatment that work better for some while not for others. Ibogaine and alternative therapies for opiates are becoming more common. Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in Apocynaceae plants. I have also heard of many people using ayahuasca as an alternative therapy. Of course, both of these methods required a resolution and financial circumstances that weren’t available to me when I chose to call Find Addiction Rehabs.
Counseling and behavioral therapy are the most common forms of treatment you will find when it comes to opiate addiction. Contingency management and motivation establishment are also popular forms of treatment. These are reward-based incentives for achieving certain sobriety milestones. There is also something very powerful about exercise. There is a lot of brain chemistry concerns with opiates.
Once you use opiates for long enough, they change your brain. You essentially rewire your brain to only work if it has the drugs that it needs. When you go without drugs, your brain has no idea what to do. If you are constantly high you drain your brain of dopamine, and it takes a long time to reset itself.
Methadone vs Suboxone Vs. Probuphine
In a lot of cases, other drugs may be required in order to get off of opiates. This can be a tricky situation and a lot of these drugs have become controversial. I know a lot of people that simply switched addictions. They started with opiates, and then switched to opiate blockers like Suboxone. These drugs can be abused just as much as opiates.
Opiate blockers like suboxone have become a popular form of treatment in recent times. They essentially prevent you from getting high on opiates, hence the name opiate blocker. I was on a Suboxone, at a medication-assisted treatment program (also known as MAT) for nearly a year, and as I went further and further in my recovery, I was weaned off of it until I didn’t need it anymore.
It’s very important to have a medical professional or counselor monitor your situation if you are using drugs like these to get off of opiates. Sometimes you need somebody to step in and assess where you are at in your recovery. Even when things seem like they are going well, relapse can happen even when things are good, and is always right around the corner.
Find Treatment for Opiates and Get Clean With Our Help
The term ‘one day at a time’ may be overused, but there’s never been a truer sentiment. It really is a day-by-day process to get and stay clean. If you take it seriously and give it your all, you can achieve long-term sobriety and enjoy life again. Give yourself a chance (and a break from the dope drama) by reaching out to Find Addiction Rehabs now.
All calls are completely confidential, and their team can let you know options nationwide within minutes, so if you are struggling please reach out now!
Brandon is a highly skilled content writer and behavioral health marketer with over a decade of experience. In his own words: in my work with Find Addiction Rehabs, I have dedicated my expertise to a cause close to my heart – substance abuse recovery. Through my passion for the field, I’ve successfully compiled a track record of crafting compelling content that educates, inspires, and supports those on their recovery journeys.