Anyone struggling with opium addiction knows how this drug can take over a person’s life without him or her even knowing it. Opium possesses powerful, pain-relieving effects, which have been replicated to produce a wide spectrum of prescription pain medications. Unfortunately, opium also comes with certain unexpected side effects, such as physical dependence and addiction.
While opium withdrawal effects may seem like the most difficult to overcome when trying to stop drug use, opium detox withdrawal is only the tip of the iceberg in what opium addiction recovery entails. Granted, making it through the opium detox withdrawal stage is an essential first step in recovery; however, the root of the addiction problem lies in a person’s thinking, emotions and behaviors. When all is said and done, “curing” opium addiction has more to do with the mind than the body.
The Purpose of Opium Detox Withdrawal
For most people, the body’s growing physical dependence on opium marks the beginnings of the addiction cycle. During the course of a developing addiction, users start to experience withdrawal symptoms as opium effects gradually weaken the brain’s overall functional capacity. According to Harvard Health Publications, withdrawal effects reflect the overall state of chemical imbalance within the brain as well as the brain’s growing dependence on opium effects. These symptoms also play an active role in driving continued drug use.
Withdrawal symptoms typically take the form of:
- Problems sleeping
- Aching muscles
After so many months of opium abuse, areas of the brain involved in thinking, emotions and behavior soon start to succumb to the drug’s effects at which point a psychological dependency starts to form. While opium detox withdrawal treatment does a good job at helping break the body’s physical dependency on the drug, it does nothing to address the actual addiction component, which is where psychological dependence comes into play.
The Need for Ongoing Treatment
After completing opium detox withdrawal, it’s essential to follow-up with some form of behavioral treatment in order to overcome the psychological aftereffects of chronic opium abuse. These aftereffects show up within a person’s thinking and emotional responses in terms of how the mind has come to rely on opium effects to cope with everyday pressures. Before long, intense drug cravings will make it all but impossible to abstain from drug use.
According to the University of Washington, the behavioral treatment aspect helps a person identify addiction-based thinking and behavior. Behavioral treatment interventions also help those in recovery develop the types of daily habits and routines that can support a drug-free lifestyle.
It’s not uncommon for people who’ve completed opium detox withdrawal to feel as if they’ve beat their addiction problem. This only makes sense since the body’s dependence is no longer an issue; however, the mind’s dependence on opium is still well intact. In the absence of ongoing treatment help, the risk of relapse and resumed drug use runs extremely high.
If you or someone you know has just completed opium detox withdrawal and need help deciding where to go from here, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at 800-405-7172 to speak with one of our addictions specialists.
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