What to Expect When Quitting Opioids
Quitting opioids is not easy. As soon as you cut down on the number of pills you take, the withdrawals start. This makes you nervous, and as time goes on, your mind tells you that you’re not going to be able to make it through the day. That’s when you cave.
Opioid addiction takes control of you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Getting away from it means teaching your body, mind, and soul how to live without them again.
Understanding what you can expect as you go through opioid detox and then recovery can help you prepare yourself to quit them once and for all. Knowing what you’re dealing with is common will help you hang on until the withdrawals start to subside.
Playing the Mind Game
The mind is a powerful thing. As soon as you decide you’re going to either reduce the dose or quit cold turkey, your mind is already revving your body up in anticipation of the change. This can happen in as little as 12 hours.
The mind gets nervous. Something that was so normal before is going away, and that is frightening to the mind.
We are creatures of habit – internally and externally. Habits don’t die easily. It can take a month or more to drop a habit, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just takes time.
When the Body Fights Back
The physical body reacts to the stress the mind is creating. The body starts to fight back by making you feel agitated, irritable, and anxious. It wants you to get those pills and it’s going to make you sick until you do.
You must resist. Don’t let your mind and body win.
The body will turn it up a notch when the preliminary withdrawals aren’t enough to make you use.
- Runny nose
- Teary eyes
- Hot and cold sweats
- Muscle aches and pains
These withdrawals symptoms usually peak around the 4th day. Once you get over day 5, you will start to feel less sick. This is when your body finally starts to function on its own – free from the drugs that have been controlling your life.
But, wait, what if you still don’t feel well?
People can suffer from withdrawals for as long as a month, and there are some side effects of opioid addiction that can be felt two years later. Most of these are the mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
Does this make you not want to recover from your opioid addiction? Consider the consequences of NOT quitting.
If you don’t quit opioids, you will continue to suffer from the life effects that have made you want to end your addiction now.
- Job loss
- Relationship problems
- Money trouble
- Loss of control
- Health issues
- Cognitive difficulties
You don’t want to live the rest of your life using opioids. You know your tolerance will continue to increase, and getting your drug of choice will be increasingly difficult as the government cracks down on the opioid crisis.
Make your life easier and better by quitting opioids.
Factors Affecting the Duration and Intensity of Opioid Withdrawal
Everyone is different. Your friend may be able to get over opioid addiction in a week, while it could take you longer.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence says, “There are several factors that can impact the duration and severity of withdrawal. For instance, the more dependent a person is on hydrocodone, the more significant the withdrawal symptoms may be. Drug dependence may be influenced by family history of addiction, genetic and biological factors, as well as environmental aspects.”
In other words, you don’t know the intensity and longevity of your withdrawals. All you can do is buckle up, hang on, and refuse to let go. By doing whatever you need to do (besides using again) to rid your body of all opioids, you will get yourself back to a life free from the control of opioid addiction.
How to Get Through Opioid Addiction Withdrawals and Recovery
You shouldn’t do it alone. It can feel 10 times worse to go through withdrawals by yourself because you’ll constantly feel as though there’s something medically wrong with you and you have to use or you’ll die.
Medical supervision during detox and/or counseling can help you understand that what you’re feeling is normal and you’re safe. This will give you the strength to get through the roughest part of the detox stage.
Anyone who has tried to detox or withdraw from opioid withdrawal knows how difficult it can be, so if you are doing this for the first time, just take our word for it. Reach out for support as much as you can to stabilize yourself through the storm.
Once you get over the biggest hurdle, counseling is incredibly important to the recovery process. You started to use opioids for a reason, and you continued to use them for another reason. You need to know why you needed them so much, and then seek out healthier ways to cope.
Many people addicted to opioids are truly in physical pain. As much as living in pain can seem unbearable, there are other ways to cope besides being addicted to opioids. Working with a medical professional AND a counselor can help you find other pain management solutions.
You do not have to be addicted to opioids for the rest of your life.
Recovering from Opioid Addiction
Michigan Counseling Group can help you recover from opioid addiction. Not only do we have the services available to help you through detox and staying clean, but we have counseling resources to get you through the mental and emotional anguish you’ll surely go through in the next few weeks.
It’s going to be tough, but it’s going to be worth it. We understand what you’re going through, what you’re about to go through, and what life can be like after your addiction.
Addiction help is just a phone call away. Our specialists are available to give you the resources and services you need to tackle this life challenge you’ve found yourself in, so you can come out a much healthier, calmer, and happier person.
We know you’re sick and tired or being sick and tired. Let’s make this all stop for you.