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The number of Opioid dependence and Opioid addiction cases has been growing year after year, despite all of the information that is telling us how dangerous and potentially life-threatening it can be. With the hopes of reducing the heroin addiction cases, which affect more and more children, along with adults, we will be sharing detailed information about a Opioid dependence and how to find Opioid dependence treatment.
What are Opioids?
Opioids, also commonly referred to as narcotics, are a type of drug that includes many different drugs – from pain relievers such as Oxycodone to the well-known illegal drug called heroin. This type of drug is often prescribed to treat chronic pain after major surgery or trauma.
Unfortunately, Opioids often lead to dependence and addiction. The most common reason for Opioid addiction is misuse. And what is even more unfortunate is the fact that Opioid addiction is quite common these days. In fact, it has been suggested that between 8 to 12 percent of the patients who have been using prescribed Opioids have also developed an Opioid use disorder, and even fewer seek Opioid dependence treatment for it.
opioid dependence signs & symptoms
In the beginning, it is very hard to notice any symptoms of existing Opioid dependence. However, as time passes, these symptoms become more and more visible. Opioid dependence and addiction can affect your mind and body in different ways.
Signs and symptoms of Opioid dependence include:
- Unintentional weight loss;
- Persistent flu-like symptoms;
- Irritability and agitation;
- Constricted pupils;
- Dangerous behavior;
- Breathing problems;
- A lack of interest regarding personal hygiene;
Visible needle marks, etc.
Opioid withdrawal timeline
The first withdrawal symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, aching muscles, stomach pain, diarrhea, tremors, chills, and fever, occur within 6 to 12 hours after the last dose has been taken. The withdrawal symptoms, however, will be most intense within 72 hours after the last dose. These symptoms can last up to one week or even more.
And these are mostly physical symptoms of withdrawal that we have been discussing so far. Depression, anxiety, agitation, and sleep issues, as some of the psychological symptoms, can last longer than a week.
Medication-assisted treatment for Opioid dependence
A case of Opioid dependence requires a combination of both physical and psychological treatment. With the help of medication-assisted treatment and behavioral therapy, we have seen the highest success rates in treating an Opioid dependence and Opioid addiction.
Detoxing from the drug is the first step in each treatment, even with the proper medical help, which is quite uncomfortable for the patient. There is a variety of medications that are quite useful when used to treat existing heroin addiction, especially when we are talking about the withdrawal symptoms that are inevitable in each case of heroin addiction.
As for behavioral therapy, it can be done in either inpatient or outpatient treatment settings. Usually, it relies on the combination of individual and group therapy, according to the needs of the patient. The behavioral therapy aims to help the patient identify the triggers of drug use and how to avoid them, build coping skills when it comes to repeated drug cravings in the future, and learning techniques on how to avoid a potential relapse after the treatment has been completed.