Painkiller addiction changes brain wiring to a certain extent, especially if the person has been abusing narcotics for a while. That makes it crucial to put an end to the problem as soon as possible. And of course, the desire to stop the addiction will not make a difference unless the person is actually willing to act on it.
If you’ve been addicted to painkillers but would like to stop, a detox program is the best way to start. Some of the most common detox option include home detox, rapid detox and medical detox.
Usually and especially for heavy, long-term prescription painkiller users, a medical detox is the best choice. This is due to the fact that withdrawal symptoms can be so severe that other approaches won’t work, and the person will only return to his addiction.
Sometimes, a cold turkey withdrawal is not only difficult, but it can also be dangerous for the individual suffering from the symptoms. The objective of medical detox, also referred to as inpatient painkiller detox, is to control the symptoms while ensuring a safe curtailment of the opiate addiction.
After a person is done with his inpatient painkiller detox program, he will often start community rehab, with combines medical therapy, group and one-on-one therapy, and other activities that are helpful to his recovery.
Cold turkey is a common common detox option, where your doses will be reduced until you don’t have to take the opiate anymore. While this is effective, it is is an approach that can cause the most powerful withdrawal symptoms. Medication dosage will usually be cut down by around 25% every few days.
Replacement therapy is another detox option, which requires the use of a less powerful opiate to stop the original addiction. This can work in some ways, but sometimes, it only replaces the drug that the person is addicted to. In short, the individual is still a painkiller addict, only he’s addicted to a different drug.
Yet another option for ending painkiller addiction is repaid detox. This approach involves giving the person opioid antagonist medication that fast-tracks the withdrawal symptoms.
Completion of the detox program preps the person for addiction treatment, which is when the underlying causes of the addiction are examined and addressed.
As the detox process is highly individualized, which means it will be different from one person to another, it may be difficult to tell how long it will probably take. It is also difficult to tell how a detox program might go for any person, although the above information gives an overview of what may be expected.