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Opioid withdrawal is not life threatening like alcohol or sedative withdrawal can be. However, it can be beneficial to attend inpatient care for the duration of your withdrawal syndrome for a number of reasons.
Pain is a Factor
It is important to understand that those going through opioid withdrawal are not usually in danger of death or severely volatile symptoms. But the muscle, joint, and bone pain caused by this syndrome can be so uncomfortable and severe that many people struggle immensely with the issue.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states medication is a necessity during opioid withdrawal, citing the fact that “even mild levels of opioid use commonly produce uncomfortable levels of withdrawal symptoms.”
Without medication, the pain experienced during this syndrome could be extreme, even traumatic. Therefore, it is often beneficial for someone in this situation to receive intensive medical care in a facility that can provide it.
While an individual who is merely being weaned off a prescription opioid they took correctly may not need inpatient treatment, those who abused prescription or illicit drugs and are likely to experience intense pain may need more hands-on care for these effects.
The Biggest Threat? Relapse
Relapse is an enormous threat for those going through opioid withdrawal. Like all addictive drugs, opioids cause cravings, and individuals who have access to these drugs during or after withdrawal have a possibility of returning to their dangerous abuse of them as a result. However, someone in inpatient care will not be able to do so.
Inpatient programs keep individuals in a controlled environment where they can only take as much of their medication as they are prescribed and where they will be restricted from further drug use.
This can help protect someone with severe withdrawal symptoms from relapsing, which is especially necessary as “most opiate overdose deaths occur in people who have just detoxed” or who are currently going through withdrawal (National Library of Medicine).
An Easier Transition into Addiction Treatment
Those attending inpatient care often find that the transition from detox to addiction treatment is much smoother in an inpatient facility. These programs offer both treatment types to patients who need them, which can be very helpful.
Those individuals who leave detox and do not follow it up with addiction treatment are not as prepared for recovery and are much more likely to relapse, an issue that, as stated above, can lead to overdose.
Do I Need Inpatient Care for Opioid Withdrawal?
Depending on your situation, the severity of your withdrawal symptoms, and the intensity of your addiction to opioids, inpatient detox and subsequent addiction treatment could be extremely beneficial to you. This program can allow you to make the changes in your life that you want to see and to truly succeed in your recovery from opioid addiction.