17
November

Opiates derived from the poppy plant have become some of the most abused drugs. They encompass a wide range of medications commonly used in treating chronic pain in cases of accidents, cancer, injury, surgical procedures or even sickle cell anemia. Their extensive use in healthcare centers may actually be one of the reasons why they are commonly abused, simply because they are widely available. This, however, does not discredit the fact that there is also the illegal use of opiates, more so for recreational purposes mainly because they produce euphoria.

Opiates work by binding the opiates receptors in the brain. In relieving pain, they create artificial endorphins which substitute the naturally produced ones. This means that the nerve cells that are responsible for natural production of endorphins will no longer do so. Their non-functional state eventually leads to their degeneration, leaving the individual dependent on the drugs in order to feel good. This is called physical dependency.

Opioid Addiction Withdrawal

With time, an individual may realize that the normal doses of opiates are not sufficient to bring about the relief or even the euphoric feelings. Many patients end up increasing their doses either in terms of the amounts they take or the frequency of taking the drugs. The decrease in the effectiveness of the drugs emanates from the adjustment of the body to having a certain amount of the drugs.

Opioids withdrawal refers to the symptoms that one would exhibit after abruptly stopping the use of opiates. Having in mind that an individual had become dependent on the drugs rather than on the normal body processes as far as feeling good or relieving pain is concerned, any time the consumption of the same is ceased, the body would react harshly as it tries to readjust to the new state of opiates deficiency. It is important to acknowledge that the magnitude of opiates dependency would inevitably be subject to the period of time an individual has been using these drugs.

Reduction or discontinuation of the consumption of opioids after using them for a long period of time triggers withdrawal symptoms as the body recovers from the reduction or cessation. There are variations in the length of time in which the withdrawal symptoms last, mainly dependent on the type of drug, the amount taken, length of time and, even, the metabolism of the individual. These are the same factors that determine the length of time taken before withdrawal sets in.

Opioids Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Yawning
  • Diarrhea
  • Rhinorrhea
  • Lacrimation
  • Mood swings
  • Tachycardia
  • Piloerection
  • Hypertension
  • Dilated pupils
  • Restlessness
  • Chills, tremors
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Excessive sweating

One thing to note about the withdrawal symptoms in the case of opioids addiction is that they do not pose any lethal or life threatening danger. They are, however, very unpleasant and can make life very uncomfortable for the individual. While this may be one of the major reasons why many people never seek to quit drugs, it is important to acknowledge that they can be managed in healthcare facilities by qualified medical practitioners. Various methods may be used, depending on the opiates used.