Even though the proper definition of addiction dictates that it is characterized by uncontrolled usage of a drug despite facing the harmful effects over a prolonged period, consuming anything for a short period that might result in addiction also has consequences. Therefore, opium, even as a prescribed drug in some medical conditions, may result in addiction if not withdrawn on time.
The withdrawal is hard and takes its toll on your body and mind. Opium withdrawal symptoms may include suffering from body aches, diarrhea, fever, nausea, goosebumps, and chills and may last from a few days to a few weeks. It usually depends on the period you have been consuming the medicine. The longer the period, the more time it will take to beat its addiction.
Below we have discussed some ways to help you effectively through your journey of beating opioid addiction. At the end of the article, you will be educated enough about this journey to keep your fears at bay. So keep reading!
Effects Of The Opioid Addiction
Any addiction is hard to be dealt with if its effects are not appropriately recognized. Therefore, we will begin with discussing some of the short-term and long-term effects of the addiction so that the people consuming the drug may realize if they are addicted yet or not.
Usually being addicted means an uncontrollable urge to consume the drug and lose control over its dosage. Addiction occurs when people start using the medication for peace or even they start to seek pleasure from it, instead of using it for treatment only.
The term “tolerance” is used often while talking about addiction. You develop a tolerance for a specific dose of the drug (even if it’s prescribed) if you keep using it over a prolonged period. The tolerance eventually results in reduced effects or sometimes even total absence of the impact you are seeking from the dose, so you start craving for an increased amount of the dosage.
Developing tolerance to a drug that includes or consists of opium is a red flag since opium triggers some powerful reward centers in your brain and is thus highly addictive. It causes endorphins to release, resulting in a feeling of pleasure that triggers your sense of well-being. Therefore when the effect wears off, you will want those feelings back.
In a case like such, if you find yourself starting to develop tolerance, contact your doctor immediately and discuss the situation. Since doctors are usually aware of the high potency of opium addiction, it is tough to convince them to increase your dose.
However, you can discuss with them to switch you to another drug with similar effects that can help you keep feeling good.
It is also suggested that you do not withdraw a drug abruptly, and without professional assistance, since immediately dropping off the usage might result in some dangerous consequences. It may worsen your condition or prove to be a severe health risk. Thus do involve your doctor before proceeding towards taking any extreme action.
Ways to Beat Opioid Addiction
As described above, opium is a highly addictive drug and thus is extremely hard to be withdrawn if used over a prolonged period. It can not only be a risk to your health but may also result in a life-threatening condition. However, if managed professionally with appropriate and adequate medical help, it can be done safely and without much damage.
Below we have discussed some ways to deal with opioid addiction but do not try any of them without first consulting a doctor.
- Tapering: This method is characterized by gradually reducing the dosage of the drug instead of withdrawing it immediately. The dose is reduced until the person no longer feels the urge to consume the drug is managed by an opium maintenance drug. The process is done under the supervision of a physician.
- Rehab: In rehab treatment, a combination of methods is usually used to help you deal with your addiction. They may combine tapering with medication and behavioral therapy or counseling. It is an effective treatment that will prevent relapse and support you for the long term to keep your cravings at bay.
- Medication: Medication-assisted method is also one popular technique to deal with opioid addiction. This can also be extremely helpful if you do not want a live-in treatment program and are opting for an outpatient treatment program to continue your work and other day-to-day activities. However, to prevent relapse, it is essential to also go for counseling and therapy since medication alone may not be the cure.
- Counseling and Behavioral Therapy: Like medication, therapy or counseling cannot alone guarantee an effective and sustainable withdrawal of a strong drug like opium. The method is used in combination with proper medication and is named as medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
Final Word/ Conclusion
The struggle to beat an addiction starts when you recognize that you have an addiction. Thus if you are craving a drug to the point that you cannot live without it, don’t be ashamed to confess to yourself that you have an addiction that you might need to get rid of. And do not hesitate to seek help from your loved ones around and professionally. The withdrawal process may seem long and hard, but it can be made easier with professional support and that of people who care about you.