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Addiction Treatment

How Treatment Helps with Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

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Medically reviewed: 01/30/2019
Last updated: 05/13/2019
Author: Medical Review

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Opiate withdrawal is a condition that affects thousands of prescription painkiller, heroin and other opiate abusers. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include cravings, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, chills and bodily pain. Treatment helps to reduce opiate withdrawal symptoms through the use of rest, medical intervention and supportive care. For the thousands of people who suffer from regular symptoms of opiate withdrawal as a result of their drug dependence, treatment is the safest and most effective solution. Here’s a look at how treatment can help:

Reduces Drug-Seeking Behavior

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Medication helps reduce cravings and drug-seeking behavior.

Often times, opiate withdrawal symptoms can be minimized or completely eliminated through the use of medications such as Methadone. According to the CDC, methadone reduces drug-seeking behaviors allowing patients to live a semi-normal life. The medication is taken once a day and does not cause euphoria or intoxication; this allows the individual to return to work or school with minimal interference.

Restores Physical Stability

The physical symptoms of withdrawal, such as the nausea and vomiting, can make life very difficult for the user. Treatment helps to reduce these opiate withdrawal symptoms and restore physical stability in the user allowing him or her to feel better. A treatment professional may use various tactics to restore physical health including:

  • Medical intervention including medications such as buprenorphine or anti-nausea drugs
  • Support that helps the individual to relax and get well-needed rest
  • Acupuncture or other alternative therapies to reduce symptoms

Rejuvenates Psychological Stability

Psychologically, it’s very common for an individual who is going through opiate withdrawal to feel as if he or she cannot go on dealing with the symptoms. Feelings of despair, loss of hope and depression often arise during withdrawal. Anxiety and fear of the pain or discomfort can also arise during this difficult time. Treatment can reduce these opiate withdrawal symptoms in various ways including:

  • Medication administration to reduce anxiety or depression
  • Support to reduce feelings of despair or fear

Reduces Cravings

Opiate withdrawal treatment effectively helps to reduce cravings by providing the patient with various tools to help curb their thinking and behaviors into a more positive and effective direction. Users are provided with:

  • Education to instill greater knowledge of the risks associated with repeat drug use.
  • Medication to reduce cravings and other symptoms of withdrawal.
  • Support to help change thoughts or learn how to cope with thoughts that may otherwise lead to drug use.
  • Guidance that assists in the overall process of recovery