Last updated: 02/20/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Opium addiction is a serious problem for users to try and overcome. Those that use drug can easily develop psychological and physical dependence to it. When users try to stop taking the drug, the symptoms from opium withdrawal can become too painful for them to handle. The safest way to get off of opium is to seek the help of medical professionals. Substance abuse centers can offer the best treatment methods for addicts to overcome their addiction to opium safely.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, opium inhibits muscle movement in the bowels leading to constipation. It also can dry out the mouth and mucous membranes in the nose. Opium use leads to physical and psychological dependence, and can lead to overdose.
What Treatment methods are there for Opium Withdrawal?
Several methods of treatment are available to help users manage the withdrawal symptoms when detoxing from opium. Depending on the severity of the addiction and the needs of the user, additional therapies can be applied to help the addicted individual feel more relaxed. Some of the known methods used to manage withdrawal from opium include:
Medication-assisted treatment – If the withdrawal pains are too severe for the opium user to handle, they can get medications to help them relax. These medications can reduce or eliminate the negative side-effects of withdrawal, and can also significantly reduce cravings for the drug.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, medication-assisted treatment (also known as MAT), is a form of pharmacotherapy and refers to any treatment for a substance use disorder that includes a pharmacologic intervention as part of a comprehensive substance abuse treatment plan with an ultimate goal of patient recovery with full social function.
Known medications used are:
- Methadone: A medication to help eliminate the withdrawal symptoms from opium. For over 40 years, methadone has been a proven treatment medication for helping individuals addicted to opiate type drugs to safely get through detox, and improve their chances for recovery.
- Buprenorphine: Another commonly prescribed medication to treat opium dependence and help ease the discomfort of withdrawal. Not as strong as methadone.
- Naltrexone: When used in the treatment of opium withdrawal, it can block the euphoric effects that are often felt from taking opium. While some withdrawal symptoms may still happen, this medication has helped prevent relapse from occurring.
The medication used can depend on the person’s overall health and severity of the addiction. For the most part, the more severe the addiction to opium is the more probable that at least one of these will be used for treatment.
Additional Treatment Methods for Treating Opium Addicted Individuals
While using medications in the treatment of opium withdrawal can be very effective, it is also essential for the addicted individual to recover from the emotional effects of opium use. As part of a treatment plan, behavioral therapies, and other counseling services have proven to be effective for those in substance abuse treatment. These types of therapies can help addicts to understand their current situations better. They can learn how to deal with the stress of daily life without resorting to drugs.
Some of these known types of behavioral therapies are:
- Cognitive-behavior therapy: Helps a person focus on their actions and change their unhealthy behavior patterns.
- Dialectal behavior therapy: Teaches the individual to change negative thoughts, such as suicidal thinking. It is also used for people who suffer from bi-polar disorder.
- Interpersonal therapy: One-on-one method for counseling those that suffer from severe depression. Helps by teaching individuals to improve their communication patterns and the way they relate to others.
Treating opium withdrawal is not easy for an individual to try it on their own. They will most often fail and fall back to using more opium to avoid the pain. The best methods for treating withdrawal from opium is those administered through a medical professional. Contact an addiction specialist at 800-654-0987 to learn about these treatment method and which would work best for you or a loved one.