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Opiate Addiction, Withdrawal, Side Effects, Alternatives, and Tapering

This entry was posted in Opiates & Opioids on by .
Medically Reviewed

Last Updated on July 21, 2021 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Written by Diane Ridaeus Published Sep 13, 2018
Medically Reviewed by Dr John Motl MD

Opiate withdrawal symptoms are commonly described as unbearably painful, mentally and physically, particularly when withdrawing from high doses of opiates and especially when these drugs are suddenly withdrawn without medical opiate withdrawal treatment.

What if the pain of opiate addiction withdrawal could be avoided with opiate withdrawal help and you could live your life with little to no remaining pain?

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The Science of Opiate Addiction and Withdrawal

Have you ever noticed that the quantity of opiates you or the person you love is taking continues to go up, yet all of the pain is still present? Use of an opiate creates a false source of endorphins, the natural pain-killers of the body. This also stops the body’s natural creation of endorphins. When a person stops taking an opiate, there are no endorphins left to block pain. Every mammal has an emotional brain, the limbic brain, and this is where most of our endorphins are combined and used. So, this natural capability to feel the emotions of another person allows us to sense threat, or to perceive bonding experiences. The things that inhibit this ability are our endorphins. We feel the person next to us on the highway wanting to pick a fight from road rage, or we feel the person wanting us to turn off at the next street because they think we are attractive. We possess pronounced neurochemical expressions towards each feeling that we may pick up from a person. This is what is called our limbic resonance.

opiate withdrawalWhen the drug is withdrawn, there are no endorphins, and this can make even just light touch feel painful to the person in withdrawal. For successful withdrawal from these drugs, Alternative to Meds Center uses nutrients that are designed to build endorphins, orthomolecular medicine, and our doctor administers comfortable tapering methods. This alone incredibly relieves opiate withdrawals. The individual can be switched from the drug they are taking to a less potent pain-reliever temporarily and they will also during this time receive amino acids that are specifically created for replenishment of low-endorphins. Building these natural endorphins through nutrients successfully relieves symptoms of withdrawal and lessens the chances of future relapse by providing long-term relief. Even the underlying pain problems can be treated better without opiate drugs, since the body eventually develops a tolerance to the drugs.

Opiate withdrawal itself is not life-threatening but the symptoms can be very unpleasant. Symptoms can impair judgment, affect your ability to think rationally and reason. Intrusive and suicidal thoughts are among the many symptoms that may occur during opiate medication withdrawal, other symptoms including: rapid breathing increased respiratory rate, extreme depression, anxiety, irritability, enlarged pupils, loss of appetite, confusion, yawning, chills and flushing, hot and cold flashes, tremors, runny nose, diarrhea, sweating, salivation, abdominal cramping, muscle aches, vomiting, opiate overdose, insomnia, and extreme cravings for the drug.

Opiate Tapering

Alternative to Meds Center’s physiological approach will help reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. The experience you can expect to have here is not to be confused with other attempts you have had at discontinuing drugs. Our methods support the neurochemistry so as to avoid the hard endorphin plunge that comes with stopping opiates. Tapering and inclusion of the neurotransmitter repair protocols gives time for the endorphins to rebound so that the transition is smooth an uncomplicated. The tapering program is designed in conjunction with the guest so as to go at a pace that they feel comfortable.

Suboxone Induction

For some individuals, particularly for those who are acquiring pain medications illegally, a short induction of Suboxone can be helpful. Generally, the Suboxone is inducted at a supporting level, and then reduced to zero over the course of about 2 weeks. Again, this gives time for the body to begin using the endorphin building nutrients. Using Suboxone for more than two weeks can have its own challenges, as it is also addictive.

In the vast majority of cases, balancing out the natural endorphin levels allow for the cravings to abate to the point where relapse is unlikely, or if relapse does happen, that there is no longer the heavy pull to continue using and the relapse is limited. In some cases, especially cases where the prior to treatment relapse rate was high and the person is an IV user, longer term Suboxone use may be warranted.

Common Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal that Minimize or Eliminate with Our Processes:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Tiredness
  • Extreme depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Yawning
  • Chills
  • Flushing
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Tremors
  • Runny nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Salivation
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Muscle aches
  • Bone pain
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting

Do You Have Other Questions on Opiate Withdrawal?

We are a residential treatment center and can help answer any other questions you or a loved one may have concerning our safe and very comfortable opiate withdrawal program. There is no other program like ours anywhere. We treat not only the addiction, but seek to repair and restore endorphin production and other aspects of neurochemistry so that there is a real freedom from opiates and freedom from pain. Please reach out to us and we will get you the information you are looking for.

Opiate withdrawal could end up being one of the best things you have ever done.

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. John Motl, M.D.

Dr. Motl is currently certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Psychiatry, and Board eligible in Neurology and licensed in the state of Arizona.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology and minors in chemistry and philosophy. He graduated from Creighton University School of Medicine with a Doctor of Medicine.  Dr. Motl has studied Medical Acupuncture at the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine and at U.C.L.A.

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Opiate Addiction, Withdrawal, Side Effects, Alternatives, and Tapering
Medical Disclaimer:
Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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