Here we discuss the difficulties associated with overcoming opioid addiction. Learn why coming off opiates for good is so challenging and what you can do to ease this process.

Oppositional Effects of Withdrawal  

The pain reduction properties found within opioids are powerful. Physical and emotional pain are relieved by these intense painkillers. The withdrawal process for any drug is pain-inducing, as detox symptoms typically reflect the opposite of what the drugs provide. If a sedative drug promotes calmness, then coming off the drug, a person is likely to experience increased anxiety and hypervigilance. Recovering alcoholics report tremors, insomnia, and increased agitation during detox, all of which illustrate the oppositional withdrawal effects. Opioids, being intense painkillers, lead to severe withdrawal symptoms that require medical supervision for a successful transition. 

Withdrawal Symptoms and Success Rate 

Withdrawal symptoms include extreme physical pain, chronic fatigue, and increased anxiety, loneliness, depression, and dysphoria. Many people coming off opioids are so debilitated that they need comfort meds and twenty-four-hour medical attention. Even with medical aid, a quarter of admitted patients leave before completing the detox process. 

Opioid Treatment Programs 

Many opioid treatment programs are available to assist with one’s recovery. There are different styles of opioid treatment programs to consider. Some utilize holistic methods, whereas others use medications to help with pain relief. Depending on the degree of abstinence one wishes for their recovery, one program's style may work better than another. One’s ability to tolerate pain also comes into play when choosing a program. It is not uncommon for an individual to switch program styles after discovering an inability to handle withdrawal symptoms without comfort meds. See more here about opioid treatment programs.

Dependency on Physical and Mental Level 

Aside from the debilitating withdrawal experience, curbing an opiate addiction is also challenging because of long-term effects. As your body adjusts to the drugs, it needs more and more to get the same delivery. These increases indicate drug dependency on both a physical and psychological level that can only be relieved by taking the drug. This vicious cycle is known as addiction and requires complete elimination of the drug to train the mind and body to stop expecting the drug. 

Opiate Users Have Intense Withdrawal 

The withdrawal process for opiates is particularly challenging, though all withdrawal periods require willpower and commitment. The pain level will depend on factors based on the general state of health, the length of time one has taken the opiate, the kind, and how the drug affects the individual, personally. Some people report more relief of emotional pain, whereas others are more aware of the physical relief that the drug delivers. In either case, the withdrawal will promote the opposite of the drug's assistance, giving you a difficult withdrawal period. 

Get the Help You Need 

There is no shame in needing medical assistance. The withdrawal process is excruciating, and you are doing your very best to tolerate the pain to get better. Look into the programs that are right for you.