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Opioid Withdrawal

Overview

Opioid withdrawal refers to condition in which a person experiences wide range of symptoms due to stoppage of opiate drugs on immediate basis. A person experiences the condition when he is taking these drugs from a prolonged time. Some of the opiate drugs are codeine, methadone, morphine, heroin, etc.


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Causes

Prolonged intake of these drugs results in creating physical dependence on them. So, when these drugs are stopped, human body takes time to recover and this result in encountering with number of symptoms.


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Signs & Symptoms

Some of the common symptoms of the condition are:

  • Muscle cramps and aches
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Yawning
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drug craving
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose, watery eyes

The symptoms of the condition usually last from few days to a week.

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Prevention

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Treatments
Conservative treatment Modern Medicine

Care and medications are two ways of treating the condition. Clonidine is the most common medication used in treating the disorder and reduces muscle aches, sweating, agitation, etc.  
Other medication like buprenorphine is also given.

Drug treatment programs like rapid opiate detox or detox under anesthesia are also recommended. Such programs involve placing a person under anesthesia and then injecting doses of opiate-blocking drugs. It cannot be said that whether these programs result in reducing the actual time spent in withdrawal, but the programs aid in reducing the symptoms.

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