Opiate Detox

Written by Patty Yu
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Completing a thorough opiate detox of the body is considered a highly effective way to reduce withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. Drugs like heroin, morphine, codeine, and many prescription drugs are commonly abused until the body develops strong chemical dependencies. If a recovering opiate addict attempts to stop the drugs, the body will crave the drugs like it craves food or water.

With these drugs in the body, chemical reactions occur that drastically alter the body's natural reward system. Opiate drugs inhibit receptors in the brain that communicate pain and pleasure to the rest of the body. A heightened sense of euphoria occurs, while dopamine receptors reduce in number. Since the body's natural reward system is disrupted, the person becomes highly reliant on the artificial reactions caused by the drugs.

A person chasing these chemical reactions in the brain will also develop a tolerance as dopamine receptors drop lower and lower. More drugs are needed to create the same euphoric effects, making the body even more viciously addicted. At this point, simply stopping the drug is nearly impossible to do, but an opiate detox may help the person get through the initial withdrawal symptoms.

How an Opiate Detox Helps

Many drug treatment centers offer excellent opiate detox options both during the withdrawal period and throughout drug rehabilitation. Vitamin supplements, amino acids, minerals, and plenty of liquids are administered to flush out the body. After the client is over the initial withdrawal symptoms and entering counseling, regular exercise is recommended. In some cases, recovering addicts also spend daily time in saunas to encourage sweating.

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