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Opiate Dependence

What is an Opiate?

An opiate is a narcotic analgesic (painkiller) that contains either natural or synthetic opium and is most often used medically to alleviate pain.

Is Opiate Dependence Dangerous?

Opiate dependence is extremely difficult to overcome regardless of whether the opiate is a prescription medication or an illicit street drug such as Heroin.

What makes opiate addiction recovery so difficult is the appearance of extreme physical withdrawal symptoms when patients fail to receive the proper medication. Opiate withdrawal treatmentĀ must be medically supervised because the symptoms can be quite severe. Patients who are not in the right kind of opiate detox prefer to continue using opiates rather than suffer through the process of detoxing off opiates.

What are Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms?

Opiate withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as 3 to 6 hours after the last dose and last from a few days to a few weeks. Without medical supervision, decreasing an opiate dose or stopping the medication altogether may cause these initial symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Runny Nose
  • Fever
  • Goose Bumps
  • Muscle Pain
  • Bone Pain
  • Restlessness
  • Chills
  • Flu-Like Symptoms

and may cause more serious and life-threatening complications such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Dehydration
  • Aspiration
  • Insomnia
  • Mood Swings
  • Hallucinations
  • Upper Respiratory Problems


Click for more information on our Outpatient Opiate Detox

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