Asking Yourself “What are the Symptoms of Painkiller Withdrawal” and “How to Start Detoxing from Opiates” Is an Important Step to Sobriety
Painkillers are frequently prescribed for a variety of ailments. One of the most common classes of prescribed painkillers is opiates. This class includes drugs like hydromorphone, morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl, and methadone, amongst others. The most common indication for such a prescription would be following major surgery, significant trauma or serious debilitating illnesses like cancer. However, while opiates are an important medication for short-term pain control in the appropriate context, the longer someone uses it, the more likely they are to become develop a tolerance for the drug. This then puts them at risk for experiencing painkiller withdrawal once they develop dependence and painkiller addiction.
This is because opiates attack the reward pathway in our brain to reduce pain and, in high doses, create pleasure. It is estimated that over two million people in the United States have substance use disorders related to prescription opiates. One of the first warning signs of a problem with opiates can be experiencing painkiller withdrawal. If you or someone you care about is experiencing painkiller withdrawal symptoms, all is not lost.
There are healthcare professionals and facilities that help people in that exact situation recover. Take the first step and call WhiteSands Treatment today to get the help you need. Call (877) 855-3470 to get started.
What are Risk Factors for Developing Painkiller Addiction?
While anyone in the right circumstances can develop a painkiller addiction, there are certain factors that can put someone at higher risk. People who are younger when they have their first exposure to opioids can be found to be at higher risk. Other factors that are also important to take into account are if you have a psychiatric illness, are on psychotropic illness or have a history of trauma or abuse in your past as these can make the risk of addiction higher.
If you fit any of these criteria, take initiative and be upfront with your healthcare provider when looking for different pain management options. If you find you’ve already developed a tolerance to or dependence on painkillers, be proactive and seek help. Painkiller addiction is a risk factor for heroin addiction as the substances act on the same part of your brain.
However, this being said, there is a time and a place where narcotic painkillers are appropriate. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider if you’re ever in a situation that warrants painkiller prescriptions.
What Are Symptoms of Painkiller Withdrawal?
Painkillers can cause both physical and psychological dependence. When a person with physical dependence to a painkiller stops using the medication, they can experience withdrawal symptoms. Usually, people who have developed physical dependence and experience withdrawal symptoms, have been using opiates over a longer period of time and have cut back suddenly.
People who have used longer acting opiates like methadone may take over a day to experience withdrawal, and those using shorter-acting medications like fentanyl may experience these symptoms sooner. Symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
After physical withdrawal symptoms subside, you may still experience psychological withdrawal symptoms such as drug cravings and irritability.
How can I start Detoxing from Opiates?
If you or someone you care about is addicted to painkillers, you need to seek help. Opiate withdrawal without professional help can be very uncomfortable. WhiteSands Treatment has both inpatient and outpatient medical withdrawal services that can help you get through this challenge. Detox can provide you with medical treatment of your symptoms of withdrawal and also put you in touch with other patients experiencing the same struggles as yourself.
Furthermore, you will have the support of healthcare professionals who are experts in the field and can help you as you are detoxing from opiates. Finally, once you’ve completed detox, they will be able to help you find resources that you need to help you continue your life sober.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.