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, it is not enough to want to stop the addiction – the person should make a decision to stop and seek help.
If you’ve been addicted to painkillers but would like to stop, a detox program is the best way to start. Medical detox, rapid detox and home detox are three of the most common approaches used today.
Often and especially for those who are heavily addicted to prescription painkillers for a considerable period, a medical detox is the most effective choice. This is because withdrawal symptoms can be severe that other options can only prove to be futile, and the person reverts back to using the drug.
There are cases where a cold turkey withdrawal is not only hard, but also actually dangerous for the individual. 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 completing a medical detox program, a person moves into community-based rehab program, which involves medical and psychological therapy and other activities that improve recovery.
Cold turkey is a popular detox option in which your doses will be minimized to zero. 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, another detox option, calls for giving the individual a less powerful opiate to stop the original addiction. This can work sometimes, but it’s also dangerous in the sense that the person will only be changing the drug he’s addicted to. Hence, the individual remains addicted to a painkiller, only it’s a different kind.
Rapid detox is yet another option that painkiller addicts have. With this approach, the person will be given opioid antagonist medication that hasten the withdrawal process.
After completing the detox program, the individual can then proceed to addiction treatment, which is when the factors that caused the addiction are studied and then addressed.
Because the detox process is highly individualized and therefore different from one person to another, it is hard to tell how long it will likely take. It may also be hard to tell how a person is going to take going through the detox program, but the above information should give an accurate overview.