Getting Off Prescription Painkillers
Based on a 2014 C.D.C. survey, each day, 46 people die from a prescription painkillers overdose in the United States. Furthermore, in 2017 more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S., making overdoses the leading cause of injury-related deaths. The opioid crisis is continuously placing burdens on families, work-places, and the health care system. In October of 2017, the H.H.S. declared the opioid crisis a Public Health Emergency nationwide. The best way to address this crisis is by, as a country, working as a unity in achieving better physical and mental health. Scientists, health care providers, educators, and faith-based ministers have specific tools and resources which can significantly help with prevention and treatment efforts. As a country, we can do more, and we should do better.
To understand the crisis, we need to understand what opioids are, how they work, its benefits, and risks. As our Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H. wisely said, opioid use disorder is a treatable brain disease and not a moral failing or character flaw.
How Does Opioid Painkillers Work?
Opiate painkillers work by changing the way the brain responds to pain stimuli. Prescription opioids work by blocking pain signals and typically prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain. Opioid painkillers are also referred to as narcotics. Although these medications are beneficial for pain relief, they do not come without risks. Repeated use or abuse of opioid painkillers, changes how the brain chemistry works, which often leads to physical and psychological dependence.
Furthermore, excess opioids restrict pulmonary functions, and when misused, can lead to a fatal overdose. The risk of respiratory depression increases for those who have never taken an opioid before or those taking other substances/drugs that can interact with the opioid. The C.N.S. (central nervous system), includes the brain, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. When opioid receptors are activated, there are a variety of physical and emotional effects. Heart rate, breathing ability, blood pressure, and body temperature can lower to a risky capacity.
Prescription painkillers are usually not meant to treat pain indefinitely. At some point, patients might want to get off of them, which can be quite problematic due to the development of physical dependence. Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) issues have significantly increased throughout the world in the past decade. The F.D.A. defines opioid tolerance as when a patient receives ar least a daily dosage of opioid medication and for at least one week. Most common prescription opioids are:
- transdermal fentanyl
- oxymorphone, or a daily dose of another equianalgesic opioid.
More and more, studies show that long-term intake of opiate drugs for pain management cause patients to develop a physical tolerance. In other words, patients become less susceptible to the effects of opioid painkillers, making pain management a challenge. Doctors have to fine-tune a protocol, with a multidisciplinary and multimodal approach to prevent under-treatment of the pain symptoms or over prescribing.
Evaluation of Pain Symptoms
Pain is subjective, and there are no exact formulas to assess its degree of severity. Undertreatment of pain may affect various primary systems in your body, including cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, and renal. Furthermore, pain and depression are two of today’s most prevalent health issues. When physical or emotional distress is not treated correctly, the patients’ overall quality of life seems to decline rapidly.
Early assessment and careful communication between disciplines and patients are crucial to maintaining an effective plan of care. A combination of pharmacological approaches, physiological therapies, and emotional support is ideal for maintaining proper health.
Prescription Drug Detox Program
Not all options are the same when it comes to getting off prescription painkillers. There are many detox options available, and some are more comprehensive and effective than others.
Many clinics treat prescription painkiller addiction by offering opiate substitution therapy with methadone or Suboxone. These drugs are also opiates, which can cause dependency. Essentially methadone and buprenorphine drugs are swapping one opioid drug for another. Although methadone is still widely used, buprenorphine-based drugs have become the standard of care in most treatment centers. Initially, addiction treatment providers thought that they would not need to worry about the possibility of patients abusing Suboxone. That was a mistake, and patients rapidly figured it out. In many cases, users report that the effects of Suboxone make them crave more potent opioids. Because buprenorphine drugs have a ceiling effect, after a specific dosage, taking more of the drug won’t provide an increase in the effects of the drug. Since opioid users often seek a certain level of euphoria, many people choose to return to the original opioid.
When you decide to stop using prescription opioids, the safest, most comfortable, and effective way to do so is undoubtedly under medical supervision. Doctors can manage withdrawal symptoms while also controlling adverse physiological responses. Vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels, and body temperature can fluctuate to dangerous levels during detox. Having medical support and management through this phase is not just indicated, but a wise decision.
Prescription opioids detox, often requires medica support and supervision. The side-fects of an unsupervised withdrawal symptom, can be powerful and lead to risky complications.
Medically Assisted Detox
Now that people finally understand that Opioid Use Disorder is a physical condition that requires medical care, the demand for safe and comfortable medically-assisted detox is growing exponentially. Clearly understanding medical detoxification options for overcoming physical dependency and the difference between detox centers gives you the power to make the best decision for you and your future.
The deep-rooted distrust society holds when it comes to detox facilities and drug rehabs, in general, stems from false promises and dishonest business practices from less than reputable treatment providers. Unraveling this misinformation and increasing public awareness is the first step towards ending the opioid epidemic. Successfully overcoming opioid dependence requires access to trustworthy and effective medically assisted detox services.
Some painkillers can be very difficult, even dangerous, to detox from without help. Patients should never try to quit taking them cold turkey. Severe problems, including seizures and deaths, have been reported. Trying to wean yourself without medical supervision is also a bad idea and can take a long time. In many cases, this requires much more than pure will power and may not work, despite a strong desire to be opioid-free.
Opiate drugs, including prescription painkillers, can produce intense and painful withdrawal symptoms just hours after the last dose. Symptoms can last for a week, and in M.A.T. drugs like Suboxone and Methadone withdrawal can last weeks or months. Although people have the notion that an unassisted withdrawal may not be life-threatening, this information cannot be farther than the truth. Unassisted Opioid withdrawal can lead to several health risks, including high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and even death.
Waismann Method Opioid Treatment Specialists
For those seeking a successful and safe way to get off painkillers, Waismann Detox® has shown to be one of the best treatment centers available. For over two decades, people suffering from opioid use disorders have flown from all over the world to California for our opioid detoxification.
With years of experience, Waismann Detox® offers cutting-edge, life-saving medical treatment in a full service private accredited hospital.
Our experienced staff consists of health care professionals who are committed to you and your overall emotional and physical health. We provide individual care and personal support to help you heal your mind, body, and spirit along the way.
We specialize in treating you as a patient, with a unique history and current situation. Every detox treatment tries to meet each patient’s specific health needs. Your path to getting your life back begins with your desire to be healthy, our experience, and clinical excellence. The treatment for painkiller abuse includes combining the latest medically-assisted detox treatment, one-on-one emotional assessment, and nutritional support. The Waismann Method® team provides professional excellence at every clinical level to ensure that you receive the best possible opportunity for complete treatment success!