The Importance of Detox for Prescription Painkiller Addiction
Prescription painkillers have had an immeasurable, positive impact for individuals throughout the United States and across the globe. Their ability to alleviate pain has significantly improved the quality of life for individuals who have been afflicted with a myriad of diseases, disorders, and conditions. Among the more commonly prescribed painkillers are opioid-based medications such as OxyContin and Vicodin, which contain the opioids oxycodone and hydrocodone, respectively.
Unfortunately, in addition to serving many valuable medical purposes, prescription painkillers are often abused for purposes of self-medication and/or recreation, and pose risks that include, but are not limited to, addiction. Some people become addicted to prescription painkillers after taking these substances for a legitimate medical purpose, while others develop dependence solely as a result of recreational substance abuse. Regardless of why a person first ingests a prescription painkiller, developing an addiction can be a profoundly distressing experience that poses a range of risks to the individual’s physical and psychological health.
Overcoming an addiction to prescription painkillers can be complicated by many factors including the prevalence of these medications, their ability to provide beneficial effects, and the onset of withdrawal symptoms when a person stops, attempts to stop, or is prevented from abusing them. When a person develops an addiction to prescription painkillers, his or her body will adapt to their presence. When these substances are not ingested in a timely manner, the body will react in a variety of unpleasant ways. These reactions are known as withdrawal symptoms. Depending upon the nature and severity of a person’s prescription painkillers abuse and addiction, withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, tics and tremors, sleep disturbances, anxiety, agitation, depression, and intense cravings for the drug(s).
Since the pain of withdrawal can be alleviated by taking the prescription painkiller that the person has become addicted to, trying to end an addiction on one’s own is often an exercise in futility. However, a safer, less painful, and more effective option exists: detoxification. Also commonly referred to as detox, detoxification typically occurs in a clinical setting under the supervision of qualified professionals. In such an environment, individuals can rid their bodies of prescription painkillers in a manner that significantly increases their chances of achieving long-term recovery.
Benefits of Detox
As is noted in the previous section, safety and comfort are benefits of participating in detoxification for prescription painkiller addiction. However, detox offers several additional advantages. The following are among the many positive aspects of completing detox at a reputable program:
- Safety: Though it can be painful, withdrawing from prescription painkillers is usually not a dangerous experience. However, complications can always occur. In a medically monitored detox program, professional supervision ensures that participants remain safe throughout the process.
- Comfort: Pain management can take many forms in a detox program, including the administration of certain medications and therapeutic interventions. Detox professionals are experts in helping individuals to both avoid and address discomfort as it occurs throughout the process.
- Security: During withdrawal, a person may be tempted to escape physical or psychological discomfort by relapsing into prescription painkiller abuse. In a detox programs, any prescription medications will be safely stored and participants will not have access to substances of abuse, thus preventing them from relapsing.
- Support: During detox, participants may benefit from the support of others who are completing the process as well as from the guidance of professional staff members. Depending upon the specifics of the program, support can range from informal encouragement to various types of formal therapy sessions.
- Transition: Once an individual has successfully completed detox for prescription painkiller addiction, he or she can usually transfer directly into residential treatment, outpatient care, or whatever option has been determined to be best suited for him or her. This direct transition can be crucial in the effort to prevent relapse and encourage continued recovery.
Many obstacles can prevent a person from successfully overcoming an addiction to prescription painkillers. However, fears or worries about the pain of withdrawal or the likelihood of being incapable of ridding one’s body of these dangerous substances should never prevent a person from seeking the professional treatment that can literally change his or her life. In an effective detox program, people who have struggled with addiction can receive the guidance, supervision, and support that will enable them to end their prescription painkiller abuse and begin a successful walk along the path of long-term recovery.
At Duffy’s Napa Valley Rehab, we understand the stresses and misgivings that a person can experience when deciding to get help for an addiction to prescription painkillers, and we respect the strength of each man and woman who makes this courageous choice. At Duffy’s, we are prepared to provide the comprehensive services that can guide a person out of the darkness of addiction and into the bright light of a healthier, drug-free future. If you or someone that you love can benefit from the treatment that we provide, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. We look forward to providing you with the information that you need in order to make the best decision for yourself or for your loved one.