You start feeling nauseous, sweaty, and uneasy. The anxiety kicks in. You’re shaking. You’re irritable and lethargic. Your heart is racing.
You just can’t handle it.
These are the things you feel when you’re coming down from opiates and are ready for your next fix. The withdrawal symptoms are horrible, and they are likely the reason you keep going back for more.
When your body is dependent on opiates, it lets you know when it needs more.
Does this sound familiar? Is this one of the top reasons you can’t seem to break your opiate addiction?
The good news is that there are ways to break this type of addiction, but you really need to want it and be willing to do what it takes to accomplish it.
If you are serious about breaking an opiate addiction, read this guide to learn how you can finally set yourself free from this substance.
Detoxification Is Always the First Step
Breaking an opiate addiction always begins with eliminating the drug from your body. This process is called detoxification and normally takes around five to seven days.
This process may take longer for some people but the peak time is around 72 hours after using the drug the last time. At this time, you will likely reach the worst part of your detoxification. After this point, it gets easier.
You really cannot break a drug addiction without completing the detoxification process, yet this is a hindering block for many addicts. It’s hard going through the withdrawal symptoms.
In fact, it’s so much easier to just go out and use drugs again. After all, you’ll feel normal again. You won’t have to deal with these horrible withdrawal symptoms.
You’ve probably faced this vicious cycle so many times in your active addiction. Every addict does – even those who truly want to get clean. But if you’re going to get clean, you’ll have to go through it.
Seek Help From a Drug Addiction Treatment Facility
There are people who successfully break their addictions at home without the help of a treatment facility, doctor, or therapist, but evidence shows that there is a much higher chance of conquering an addiction for good when you get help.
A drug addiction treatment facility knows the challenges you face when trying to break an opiate addiction. They understand the withdrawal symptoms.
They understand the hard pull drugs have on your brain. They even understand why your brain wants drugs so badly even though you truly want to break the addiction.
A treatment facility can guide you through the detoxification process and educate you in the ways that are necessary for staying clean after going through this. Detoxification is essential for breaking an addiction but isn’t the only step involved.
Use Medication to Aid You
Drug rehabs and doctors often offer a variety of different types of medication to assist people with breaking addictions to opiates. Using a medically assisted plan might be helpful for you, although many people break addictions without medicine.
Here are two of the most common options:
Methadone is a common drug used in conjunction with breaking an opiate addiction. Methadone is a synthetic drug that mimics what opiate drugs do to the brain – only it doesn’t give you a high.
People often use this drug as a way of weaning off an opiate. This would require regular visits to a methadone clinic and may take a year or even longer, but it definitely works well for many people.
The second common medication used for breaking an addiction to opiates is Suboxone. This medication contains two different drugs and helps in two ways.
The first way is by reducing the cravings for opiate drugs, and the second way is by eliminating or decreasing the withdrawal symptoms a person experiences when going off opiates.
The Pros and Cons of Using These Medications
A lot of people feel that using a medication like this is not a good solution; it’s just replacing one drug with another.
While I can see where people are coming from with this theory, it’s important to understand that a doctor monitors a person when he or she receives methadone or Suboxone.
Therefore, there is less risk of overdose and abuse with these medications. They are regulated and controlled. Using them also eliminates the risk of inheriting diseases through the common process of needle-sharing.
It’s also important to understand that many opiate addictions started off innocently with a doctor prescribing a painkiller for dealing with injury pain.
Today, doctors are now turning more to prescribing medical marijuana for pain instead of opiates. You can learn more about why this is happening and the benefits it offers if you are interested.
Realize Your Need for Long-Term Support and Assistance
One last tip to be aware of is understanding that breaking an opiate addiction is not a short-term event. It requires long-term support in many cases, and there are plenty of ways you can get this type of support.
A common option is by attending Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings. Most cities have NA meetings just about every night of the week and all are welcome to attend.
Seeking help from a therapist for the long-term is another good option you have. You may not need therapy for the rest of your life but it definitely helps for at least the first couple of years after getting clean.
Having a sponsor or accountability partner can also increase your chances of success with this.
Learn More About Breaking Your Opiate Addiction
You can find a lot of great blogs related to breaking an opiate addiction and reading as much as you can about this subject will only help you succeed.
Remember too, it may take several times of trying before you successfully break your habit, but recovery is possible. Check out our blog for more information on breaking an addiction.