Opiates are substances derived from opium poppies -- the most common of which are heroin, morphine and codeine. An abundance of information can be found on opiate withdrawal; some factual, some inaccurate. Understanding the basics of the withdrawal process can help alleviate confusion while providing realistic expectations throughout recovery.
Contrary to popular belief, the severity of opiate withdrawal is not necessarily contingent upon the specific substance in question. Use history and frequency alongside routine dose amounts and administration methods all play into the intensity of an opiate withdrawal.
An array of “cures” have been proposed to remedy or prevent withdrawal, most all of which are bogus. Though it is certainly possible to address specific symptoms through OTC and prescription medications, there is no known “cure” to alleviate opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Unlike alcohol, dangerous complications such as convulsions or seizure are not associated with opiate withdrawal. Though uncomfortable, the process is rarely fatal. With proper supervision, care and medication, there is little need for worry.
Though it is associated with an assortment of physical symptoms, withdrawal from opiates may not be to blame for every attributed psychological symptom, including hallucinations, aggressive behaviors and poor judgment.
Making the effort to differentiate subjective opinion from factual information can help eliminate the many myths associated with opiate withdrawal. Question statements that include “never” and “always” in regard to recovery, while seeking the advice of a knowledgeable addiction specialist when questions arise.
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