If you or someone you love is addicted to opioids, it is important to learn how to detox safely from opioids. This category of drug comes with serious side effects and even more serious symptoms that have to be detoxed safely.

What Drugs are Opioids?

The Department of Health and Human Services defines opioids as any substance that acts on the opioid receptors in your body and produces morphine-like effects. These drugs are made from the poppy plant and affect the opioid receptors in your brain. Some opioids are medically used for pain relief and general anesthesia. This includes legal and illegal substances such as:

  • Prescriptions such as OxyContin, Codeine, Morphine, and Vicodin
  • Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 100 times more potent than morphine
  • Hydrocodone and hydromorphone
  • Methadone
  • Carfentanil
  • Tramadol
  • Buprenorphine
  • Oxymorphone hydrochloride
  • Acetaminophen with codeine
  • Heroin 

Signs of Opioid Abuse

Drug addiction happens over time. Addiction is a chronic disease, and addiction to opioids manifests in the form of opioid abuse. When someone initially takes an opioid, whether it was a prescription after surgery or something given to them at a party, it can lead to changes in the brain that overcome self-control and interfere with someone’s ability to resist taking drugs regularly. Long-term opioid abuse can result in serious brain changes, making it difficult to get clean from. Just as with any other chronic health condition, treatment has to be ongoing and adjusted based on your needs at the moment.

Most drugs, including opioids, change the reward circuits in the brain, causing a reinforcement of unhealthy activities, including drug abuse. Over time the drug is the only thing that can give someone a sense of happiness and pleasure.

  1. Opioid abuse can manifest in behavioral changes, such as no longer participating in activities you once did and pulling away from friends and family.
  2. If you stop caring about family and responsibilities like attending school or work, this is a sign of opioid abuse.
  3. Opioid abuse can become so severe that an individual starts stealing and getting into trouble with the law, maybe even dealing drugs themselves in order to get money to pay for their next fix. 
  4. There are also physical side effects. If an individual is chronically constipated, nauseous, has a reduced sex drive, is sensitive to pain, and regularly sweating and craving opioids, that is a sign of abuse.

If you recognize the signs of opioid abuse in yourself or others, know that now is the time to learn how to detox safely from opioids with professional help. 

Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal

The symptoms of opioid withdrawal will vary based on which opioids you used, how long you use them, and any other health concerns or chronic diseases you have. Most people experience:

  • Muscle pain
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea
  • Restlessness and severe sweating
  • Anxiety and general mood discomfort
  • Watery eyes and dilated pupils
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Excessive yawning
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fast heart rates

The symptoms of opioid withdrawal manifest over the course of multiple days. The symptoms usually start within 12 hours of the last time you used an opioid, and they can take a few days for you to overcome, depending on your drug tolerance. 

The early symptoms might include muscle aching, insomnia, sweating, yawning, and anxiety, while later you might experience abdominal cramping, diarrhea, goosebumps, nausea, and vomiting.

These symptoms can be made more comfortable and easy to manage with proper help from an opioid detox program and medical professionals. 

Opioid Detox Programs in Beverly Hills, CA

Knowing how to detox safely from opioids comes down to professional opioid detox programs in Beverly Hills, CA. With Total RMH, we provide a facility with full-time medical staff to help you undergo the initial detoxing process with the help of other medications that mimic the changes opioids make in your brain without the severe damage they cause. When detox begins we use an FDA-approved device that is placed on the patient’s ear that makes the withdrawal symptoms disappear in about 15 minutes. The device stays on the patient’s ear for about 10 days-they should feel no discomfort from the device nor from withdrawals for the duration of use. By day 10 the patient is usually in the clear from feeling any sort of withdrawal symptoms. At the same time, our staff works with you to keep you as comfortable as possible and manage other withdrawal symptoms. After that, our staff works with you to develop long-term techniques to manage your cravings and overcome the stress or elements that may have led to opioid addiction in the first place.