Opiates are prescription drugs to reduce pain from an injury, surgery, or chronic health conditions, like cancer. However, people also misuse opiates for their pleasurable side effects, such as relaxation and euphoria, making some become addicted. Our Los Angeles opiate detox program is the first step to recovery from opiate addiction.

What Are Opiates?

Opiates are naturally occurring drugs derived from the poppy plant. Opiates belong to a class of drugs known as “opioids.” Opioid drugs include opiates, such as morphine, opium, and codeine as well as synthetic opioids, like fentanyl and oxycodone.

Overall, synthetic and natural opiates work the same way by acting on a person’s opioid receptors. Since most opioid drugs now are synthetic or a combination of natural and synthetic opioids, most people use the terms “opiates” and “opioids” interchangeably.

opiate pills and bottles

How Do Opioids and Opiates Work?

The brain produces opioid chemicals in the brain to act on opioid receptors. These opioids are known as “endogenous opioids.” According to MedlinePlus, “When opioids attach (bind) to the receptors, the interaction triggers a series of chemical changes within and between neurons that lead to feelings of pleasure and pain relief.”

Thus, when a person gets hurt, these chemicals help to deal with the pain. They also reward pleasurable activities, like eating and sex. However, opiates “hijack” this process in the brain by acting on these receptors. While this could be helpful to someone in extreme pain, opiates and other opioids don’t only activate pain relief in the opioid receptors.

They also activate pleasurable feelings and euphoria—also called a “high.” When a person begins taking prescription opiates to experience a high, they are misusing their prescription for effects that have nothing to do with their intended benefits. Opiate misuse can lead to addiction.

What is Opiate Addiction?

Opiate addiction is also called an “opioid use disorder” (OUD) since opiates and synthetic opioids have the same effects. OUD refers to a person continually misusing opioids despite negative consequences in life.

Therefore, a person continues seeking a high regardless of adverse effects. A person might lose interest in all other activities and hobbies to seek more drugs, for instance. They might also engage in negative behaviors, like lying or stealing to obtain more opiates.

Additional examples of OUD include behaviors like:

  • Consuming a larger dose of opiates than prescribed by the doctors
  • Buying opiates specifically to feel the pleasurable feeling
  • “Doctor-shopping” to get more scripts for opioids
  • Seeking illicit drugs, like heroin, to mimic the effects of prescription opiates
  • Engaging in reckless behaviors while under the influence of opioids

In addition, the presence of withdrawal symptoms when a person stops taking opiates is a sign of addiction. These symptoms can be distressing and even painful. Many people go back to using opiates when they try to quit without professional support to avoid withdrawal.

What Are Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms?

Opiate withdrawal symptoms appear when a person stops using opiates or other opioids. Withdrawal symptoms are a sign of physical dependence. In other words, a person used opiates so much that their body now struggles to regulate itself without these drugs. This is because the brain’s natural opioids cannot compete with the effects of opioid drugs.

Common withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sleeping troubles
  • Severe cravings
  • Chills or fever
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Muscle and bone pain

Withdrawal symptoms will be more acute during the initial stages of recovery. Inpatient detox services can help a person get through this acute phase of withdrawal. These services help provide a person with a safe and drug-free place to detox. That way, they won’t have access to opiates in case they struggle with cravings and urges at this time.

In addition, inpatient detox services provide medical monitoring for any life-threatening symptoms, like cardiovascular issues. Mental health symptoms, like anxiety and depression, are also common throughout detox. For these reasons, our opiate detox in Los Angeles, California, provides comfort, therapy, and medical supervision.

woman has distressing opiate withdrawal symptoms

What Happens During Los Angeles Opiate Detox?

At Believe Detox Center, our opiate detox program offers several services to help a person quit opiates to begin their recovery. Without a detox program, many people either give up on quitting opiates or never deal with the underlying causes of their addiction. Often, addictions result from an untreated mental health disorder or emotional struggles.

While some people might quit without treatment, they are more likely to relapse if they don’t address these underlying causes. Our program offers therapy and relapse prevention to help our clients maintain their recovery.

Many of our clients learn new skills in therapy to thrive in life without the use of opiates. They not only quit opiates but they also build a prosperous and healthy life free from addiction. We also offer a combination of behavioral therapy and medications to treat opiate addiction called medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

MAT Program for Opiate Addiction

Our MAT program for opiate and opioid addiction offers FDA-approved medications that ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Since opiates are such potent drugs with a high rate of dependency, many people struggle to quit without medications. They might have extreme cravings during early recovery or unpleasant symptoms that lead them back to drug abuse.

Clients could also struggle to continue treatment for underlying issues if they are distracted by cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Our MAT program ensures clients detox from opiates safely., that way, they can begin their recovery journey with a lower risk of relapse.

Our program is certified by the following organizations:

  • AMA (American Medical Association)
  • AAAP (American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry)
  • ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine)

Medications Used in Los Angeles Opiate Detox

The FDA has approved medications specifically to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). These medications work by either blocking or occupying the opioid receptors to reduce cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms.

This can prevent an accidental overdose if a person does relapse during treatment. These medications also help a person focus on their treatment program so they can learn relapse prevention and therapeutic coping skills.

The following medications treat OUD:

  • Buprenorphine: Reduces the effects of accidental overdose and withdrawal.
  • Methadone: Activates the opioid receptors to reduce cravings.
  • Naltrexone: Blocks the opioid receptors to reduce cravings and prevent overdose.

Medications like these combined with behavioral therapy are the best form of treatment for opiate addiction.

What Happens After Detox?

At Believe Detox Center, we offer aftercare services to continue recovery from addiction after detox. These services help keep clients engaged in the recovery process as well as continue working on coping skills for underlying conditions.

Alumni of our programs find that peer support, recovery activities, and group meetings are helpful to maintain recovery. Our alumni and aftercare programs also help clients build a sense of community and belonging in recovery.

alumni group meets after Los Angeles opiate detox

Recover From Opiate Addiction Today

Believe Detox Center is a certified opiate addiction treatment center in Los Angeles, California. Our program can help you or a loved one through the pains of withdrawal to the advanced stages of recovery from opiate addiction. We believe that everyone can turn their lives around from addiction.

Contact us today to begin our Los Angeles opiate detox program.

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