UNDERSTANDING OPIATE WITHDRAWALS: WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT
- August 30, 2018
It is a courageous and intimidating task to start your sobriety. The daunting presence of withdrawals is an ever-present risk to stopping your self-medication. Withdrawals, especially from opiates, affect both your body and mind. The physical aspects begin within the first 12 hours after the last time you used, and can generate symptoms often times feel like a case of the flu. The side effects experienced during the first few days, also known as the acute stage, are the most severe. The technical name which medical professionals call it is PAWS, or Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms. It is often described as feeling like a “rollercoaster” of symptoms.
It is during this time that the body is ridding itself of the toxins from the opioids; however, there is no one particular reason it occurs. Psychologists still debate the origin of PAWS, but most attribute it to a stress response and adverse reaction to a state of bliss in a homeostatic environment. While this is not a technical diagnosis, it is reported in a majority of rehab patients. Following the acute stage is the protracted withdrawal. It incurs anxiety, attention problems, tiredness, and depression. This phase can last up to two weeks due to the remnants of the opioids leaving your system. It takes time and patience to persevere through all the stages of withdrawal.
After you experience the purge of toxins from your system, your immune system will be especially delicate. It is important to nurture your body with the right nutrients and calorific needs at this time. As your body is trying to rebuild, you will believe you need more of the drug in order to feel OK. This is because your brain is learning how to cope with changes in its neurotransmitter release. Your age, healthy level, and presence of pre-existing conditions also determine the rate you are able to rebound to full health. A 25-year-old individual with no prior conditions would not respond to withdrawal the same way a 55-year-old with heart disease would. Lastly, having a good support group and listening ear during this time is also important, as you are not alone in this struggle. However, choosing sobriety is of the utmost importance as opioid overdoses are on the rise.
Withdrawal is hard to manage on your own. It is possible that you may relapse during this process as it is very difficult to not give into temptation. That is why Asana Recovery is determined to bring all of patients to health with proper treatment, guidance, and therapy. We are focused on relapse prevention all throughout your healing journey, as setbacks are a part of life. We will provide you with the right tools to navigate the path to sobriety so you can continue to thrive on your own. During your treatment we help you identify your trigger environments and give you ways to remove yourself responsibly. It is possible to end the negative cycle of addiction, and we are here to help. Call us at (949) 348- 4504 to set up your first appointment today.