It could take as little as 3 days for someone to become addicted to opiates.
There are three kinds of opiates; natural, such as morphine and codeine; semi-synthetic (opioids), such as heroin, hydrocodone, hydromorphine, oxycodone, and more; and synthetic, such as fentanyl, methadone, propoxyphene, and pentazocine. Opiates are generally prescribed as painkillers and induce a feeling of euphoria. As its availability as medication increases, so too does its abuse. Opiates cause the body to use up nutrition while metabolizing the drug and lead to certain changes in the brain’s chemical composition.
Long term usage of opioids lead to a weakened immune system, gastric problems, medical issues secondary to intravenous administration (localized abscesses, embolic events, systemic infection, and contraction of blood borne illnesses), and significant respiratory depression, such as cumulative hypoxic end-organ injury. Even short term usage of opioids lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, sedation, delayed reaction and vomiting. Opiate usage leads to addiction even when used as prescribed, because long term usage leads to heightened tolerance, triggering the cycle of addiction. Some symptoms of addiction include noticeable elation/euphoria, marked sedation/drowsiness, confusion, drastic mood changes, constricted pupils, slowed breathing, intermittent nodding off or loss of consciousness, and constipation. Psychological symptoms of addiction might include doctor shopping, mood changes, extraneous pill bottles, social withdrawal, isolation, and sudden financial problems.
Opiate withdrawal symptoms include headache, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, fatigue, anxiety, inability to sleep, and severe pain. We generally recommend that patients start with opiate detox under proper medical care and guidance, then segue into holistic treatments adjusted for the individual. We provide the integrated detox program, the residential program, and the intensive outpatient program. At first, the patient undergoes 24-hour supervision with psychiatric and nursing support, as well as group and individual counseling and therapy and gender-specific recovery programs. This prepares patients for the next stage, generally a 30-day process, with 24/7 guidance and support from the clinical team, as well as nutritious diet plans with meals prepared by a private chef and recreational activities on weekends under staff supervision. When ready, the patients then transition to an outpatient program in which 20-30 sessions over 30-45 days promote mindful relapse prevention, with evening meetings and group as well as individual assignments. Transportation and housing are provided.