Pain Medication Detox
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Prescription drugs, specifically painkillers, have become the most dominant drug addiction threat in the country, and now claim more lives per year than cocaine and heroin combined. Though incredibly effective in the treatment of chronic pain and major physical trauma, prescription pain pills like OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl and Percocet are also deadly if the dosage is not properly managed. Once a dependence on a medication has formed, withdrawal symptoms will start when the medication is then removed.
Opiates and Symptoms of Withdrawal
Opiates change the way the brain responds to pain stimuli and can also produce a “high” feeling by disrupting the reward and pleasure centers in the brain.
The central nervous system, which includes the brain, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, has opioid receptors that receive opiate drugs, and these drugs bring a variety of physical and emotional effects. Heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and body temperature are lowered while pleasant feelings are increased.
Opioids are responsible for more deaths than any other medication or drug. One hundred Americans die of a drug overdose every day, due to prescription opioid overdose. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) indicates that between 26.4 million and 36 million people around the globe abuse opiate drugs, which includes prescription painkillers and the illegal drug heroin.
Most commonly abused Opiates:
- Oxcodone (Percocet or OxyContin)
Opiate withdrawal symptoms may range from mild to severe, depending on how dependent the individual is on an opioid drug. Dependency can be tied to the length of time taking a particular drug, dosage amount, which drug was taken, how the drug was taken, underlying medical conditions, the co-occurring presence of a mental health issue, and certain biological and environmental factors, such as family history of addiction, previous trauma, or highly stressful and unsupportive surroundings. Withdrawal from an opioid drug may roughly adhere to the following timeline, although it can vary from person to person.
Early Withdrawal Symptoms
- Tearing up
- Muscle Aches
- Trouble falling and staying asleep
- Excessive Yawning
- Nose running
- Heart racing
Late Withdrawal Symptoms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach Cramps
- Drug Cravings
These are sedatives like phenobarbital, pentobarbital (Nembutal), and secobarbital (Seconal). They help with anxiety, sleep problems, and some seizures. But if you take more than prescribed, you can get addicted. High doses can cause trouble breathing, especially if you use them when you drink alcohol.
Barbiturates have a high potential for abuse, and prolonged use can result in tolerance and physical dependence. A person with an increased tolerance will often seek a higher dosage in order to produce the desired effects, and this may result in dependence and addiction. Frequent barbiturate users may experience severe withdrawal symptoms within 8 to 15 hours of stopping the drug. Polydrug use has long been associated with barbiturate abuse, and barbiturates have historically been a secondary drug of abuse for people who misuse alcohol and heroin as their primary drug of choice. Co-administering barbiturates with alcohol and opioids like heroin—as well as benzodiazepines—increases the risk for overdose significantly. Barbiturates have an additive effect on these substances, and consume in conjunction with one another makes them especially dangerous.
Signs of Barbiturate Intoxication Include:
- Altered or decreased consciousness
- Coordination problems and weak muscles
- Clouded thinking
- Lack of balance/vertigo
- Slurring of speech
- Slow heart rate
- Decreased Urine Output
Signs of Barbiturate Overdose Include:
- Shallow breathing
- Clammy skin
- Dilated pupils
- Weak and rapid pulse
- Respiratory failure
Symptoms of Withdrawal
- Low Body Temperature
Managing Symptoms in a Detox Facility
These symptoms vary from mild to extreme cases but are always best managed with the assistance of experts at a quality professional facility.