Painkiller addiction changes brain wiring to a certain extent, especially if the person has been abusing narcotics for a while. That’s why it’s a must that this problem is stopped as soon as possible. And of course, it is not enough to want to stop the addiction – the person should make a decision to stop and seek help.
If you’re a painkiller addict who would like to stop, you can begin with a detox program. Medical detox, rapid detox and home detox are three of the most common approaches used today.
Usually and especially for heavy, long-term prescription painkiller users, a medical detox is the best choice. This is because withdrawal symptoms can be severe that other options can only prove to be futile, and the person reverts back to using the drug.
There are cases where a cold turkey withdrawal is not only hard, but also actually dangerous for the individual. The objective of medical detox, also referred to as inpatient painkiller detox, is to control the symptoms while ensuring a safe curtailment of the opiate addiction.
After a person is done with his inpatient painkiller detox program, he will often start community rehab, with combines medical therapy, group and one-on-one therapy, and other activities that are helpful to his recovery.
Cold turkey is a popular detox option in which your doses will be minimized to zero. While this is effective, it is is an approach that can cause the most powerful withdrawal symptoms. Medication dosage will usually be cut down by around 25% every few days.
In replacement therapy, you will be given a less powerful opiate so you stop taking the drug you were initially addicted to. This can work sometimes, but it’s also dangerous in the sense that the person will only be changing the drug he’s addicted to. In other words, the individual will remain a painkiller addict.
Rapid detox is yet another option that painkiller addicts have. This calls for the person being given opioid antagonist medication as a way to speed up the withdrawal process.
After completing the detox program, the individual can then proceed to addiction treatment, which is when the factors that caused the addiction are studied and then addressed.
Considering that the detox process is highly personalized, which means it varies from person to person, determining how long it will take can be rather difficult. It is also difficult to tell how a detox program might go for any person, although the above information gives an overview of what may be expected.