< Are Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms Really That Bad?

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Are Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms Really That Bad?


opioid withdrawal symptoms

Recent anti-opioid campaigns have been using the fear of opioid withdrawal symptoms as a way to deter folks from misusing opiates. It's true that opioids are dangerous and that withdrawal symptoms can be extremely traumatic for active users, but it's important not to let the fear of these symptoms keep you from seeking treatment for addiction.

So is opioid withdrawal really that bad?

In a word, yes. The thousands of Americans suffering with heroin addiction are living proof that stopping use is far from easy. The extremely painful withdrawal symptoms cause intense fear among active users, who will often steal to avoid getting sick. It's also why abstinence-based recovery, the so-called cold turkey approach, is so ineffective.

Recovered heroin addicts who suffer through abstinence-based, non-medical treatments for opiate addiction only have a success rate of 5% to 10%. Not only do these programs cause immense physical and mental pain for patients, but they fail to treat addiction as a disease. Methadone treatments have a 70% to 90% success rate because they treat the patient's addiction as an illness, withdrawal symptoms and all.

But what are withdrawal symptoms, and what makes them so scary in the first place?

Prolonged exposure to opioids fundamentally changes the way the nerve receptors work in your brain. You've become addicted to the substance when your nerve receptors become dependent on the substance to function.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms are your body's physical response to the absence of the substance it's become dependent on. In addition to intense physical symptoms, heroin and opioid withdrawal symptoms also have a mental aspect. Often, these mental withdrawal symptoms are the most difficult to cope with.

Symptoms of withdrawal usually aren't life-threatening, but they can be incredibly difficult to deal with alone. People going through opioid withdrawal may experience:

  • Anxiety

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Abdominal pain

  • Muscle pain

  • Joint pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Sweating

  • Restlessness

  • Muscle cramping

  • Increased heart rate

  • Tremors

  • Insomnia

  • Depression

  • Watery eyes

Pregnant women often continue to use opioids because they're afraid the withdrawal symptoms will harm the fetus. Although the symptoms aren't life-threatening, no one enjoys going through them.

The good news is that methadone inpatient treatment options are available to help you through your opioid detox and withdrawal in a safe space. But how does methadone work to help with these symptoms?

Methadone rehabilitation can help you cope with withdrawal symptoms

The fear of opioid withdrawal symptoms can keep many people suffering from addiction from seeking the help they need. Fortunately, methadone clinics can help you cope with withdrawal symptoms so you can receive treatment for your opiate addiction.

Methadone is the most effective treatment for those afflicted with opioid and heroin addiction and has been for over 50 years. Methadone blocks both the pain receptors and opioid receptors of your brain to keep you from experiencing the worst of your withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings.

What's more, the doses are regulated by medical professionals so you never have to worry about misusing your medication. To learn more about methadone treatment centers and how methadone can help, contact Sundance Methadone Treatment Center today.

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