Opioid addictions are often one of the hardest types to break, yet breaking your addiction is the first step to a new life. If you are serious about wanting to stop using drugs, you should consider getting help to achieve your goal. Breaking an addiction is not impossible on your own, but seeking help is the safer and more effective option available to you.
Opioid Addictions Are Hard to Break
Opioid drugs include prescription painkillers, such as Vicodin and OxyContin, and they also include street drugs such as heroin. Any drug that falls into the opioid family of drugs is very hard to break free of, especially after a person uses these drugs for a long period of time.
The primary reason people find it hard to break an opioid addiction is due to the effects opioids have on the brain. When you use opioid drugs, the drugs actually change the way your brain functions, and your brain relies on the drugs in order to work as normal.
When doctors prescribe opioids, they do so to treat patients’ pain, and these drugs are exceptionally good at this task. Opioids change the way the body perceives and feels pain, and this causes a person to feel better after taking the drugs. However, this means that people who abuse opioids grow dependent on them. When an addict does not get the drug, the body does not feel normal and is likely to feel a lot of pain that a person who doesn’t use opioids regularly wouldn’t feel.
A second effect of using opioid drugs is they target the brain’s reward center. When an addict uses opioids, the drugs make them feel happier and satisfied. However, because the brain has gotten used to having the drugs boosting these pleasant feelings, without the drugs the person will feel depressed, sad, and even suicidal.
When a person becomes addicted to opioids, they will not feel normal without the drug in their system. Breaking this type of addiction is often very difficult because it is easier to keep using drugs than to suffer the painful consequences of not getting the drugs.
Detoxing Without Help Is Risky
Many opioid addicts decide to stop using and will attempt to detox on their own. While some people find success with this method, you should know about the risks before you attempt to go cold-turkey.
The first risk you take by doing this alone is extreme withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms people experience during this time include nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, body pain, insomnia, anxiety, sweating, sniffling, irritability, and fatigue. These symptoms are at best very unpleasant, and many people without support from others give up during the detox process because they are so miserable.
Though some people can push through these withdrawal symptoms, even if they are painful, doing so is still unsafe. In many situations, people end up becoming severely dehydrated during this time and will need medical care as a result. Additionally, a person’s heart might race from withdrawing, and the person might need medical care for this reason.
Detoxing on your own can result in hospitalization or even death in extreme cases. For these reasons, experts do not recommend detoxing without accessible medical care so that you can be safe in an emergency. Instead of detoxing on your own, you’re better off seeking help from an experienced treatment center.
You Should Go to a Treatment Center
Breaking an opioid addiction is more effective and safer when you seek help. If you decide to go to a treatment facility, the doctors and staff will keep a close eye on your vital signs and will offer medication to help you get through the withdrawal symptoms. Using medication-assisted therapy can make breaking your addiction easier and less painful, and medical professionals can prescribe medications that help people break their addictions.
With support from caring professionals and medical assistance, addicts can make the detox process less painful, which helps them stick to their commitment and stay safe. In the end, getting help is more effective than trying to break an addiction on your own.
Making the decision to break your addiction is something you will never regret, but you do not have to do this alone — you’ll get better results and stay safer if you work with experienced medical professionals who are committed to helping you. Contact Pacific Ridge today to learn how we can help you break your addiction in a safe and comfortable environment.