The United States is currently grappling with the worst public health crisis the nation has seen in its long history. A recent U.S. News article points to how the opioid crisis has become America’s deadly new normal. The opioid crisis has pushed drug abuse and fatal overdoses to record highs in three waves over the last 20 years.
Currently, the country is experiencing the worst times in the past 20 years, and while the government has intervened, there is still much more work to do before the country sees actual progress.
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There needs to be even more accessibility to treatment centers before we see a decrease in the loss of human life. When the epidemic is looked at in phases, it’s easier to understand what went wrong.
As mentioned above, the current state of affairs is the direct result of three distinct waves that have washed over the United States. The wave involves a combination of legal and illicit opioids, and it has initiated a scenario where Americans are much more likely to die from an opioid overdose than a car accident.
From 1999 to 2006, the death rate began to rise steadily because of prescription opioids, and this was the spark that exacerbated an already volatile heroin problem. In 2007, the death toll rose slower as knowledge about prescription-fueled addiction grew and legal action threatened the pharmaceutical industry.
The final phase of the opioid driven crisis began in 2014 when the deadly opiate drug fentanyl became increasingly accessible. It was during this span where the death toll began to rise to epidemic levels, and in 2017, the age-adjusted opiate death rate reached 14.9 per 100,000 people which was up from 2.9 in 1999.
Fentanyl is one of the most deadly drugs to ever hit the streets, and because of its low cost and availability, it has become a common cutting agent for heroin, counterfeit prescription pills, and even cocaine.
Fentanyl is said to be anywhere from 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and ranks about 30 times more potent than heroin. For someone who does not anticipate the strength of the drug, it can cause them to instantly overdose, resulting in long-term damage to their body, and it may lead to death. Unfortunately, most of the heroin found today is cut with this cheap and deadly drug, which has only made the opiate problem worse. If there is any silver lining to the situation, more access to addiction treatment has saved many lives, but there still needs to be more to add to this progress.
What many may wonder, however, is if they can detox from this class of drugs safely on their own? All addiction specialists and those in the addiction field will advise strongly against this, but if you are adamant about it, we will give some advice on what you can do.
How can you end addiction? Get a call from our experts and find out!
How can you end addiction? Get a call from our experts and find out!
Have a Plan
While detoxing from opiates is not as dangerous as it is with benzodiazepines or even alcohol, it is still a situation where medical detoxification needs to be considered. You must speak to a doctor or addiction specialist before devising your plan, and the professional needs to approve the process before it takes place.
If you are struggling with drug addiction, specifically opiate addiction, it is likely you are not in the right frame of mind to attempt something of this magnitude without supervision. Trying to detox alone can have serious repercussions, so it is in the person’s best interest to mitigate risks at any point possible.
If you do decide to be at home, a safe at-home detox must begin with a doctor’s blessing. You must consult with an addiction specialist first who can be your guide through the rigorous process. What a specialist offers is they can thoroughly assess your status and warn you of potential risks associated with detoxing from opiates at home. They will ask specific questions related to your drug history such as:
- How long have you been using drugs?
- How frequent were your doses?
- Are you currently under the influence of any substance?
- Are there any mental health conditions that you have?
- Have you attempted to stop using drugs in the past?
- Do you have support at home?
For the detox process to be effective, you need to answer the questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge. By not doing this, you are only hurting your chances of getting sober. The answers will decide your level of care and be the guide toward success.
Unfortunately, our minds tend to acclimate to drug use quickly, but adjusting back to where you were before drug use takes much longer. When the substances your body becomes dependent on for normalcy disappear, the brain and body will return to a regular level of functioning. When this process takes place, withdrawal symptoms can develop and be extremely uncomfortable in the case of opiate withdrawal.
Opiate withdrawal, which is commonly linked with symptoms of the flu, can be severe. While it is rarer, opiate withdrawal can be deadly, but it is more likely to lead to relapse than death. In these situations when a user has decreased their tolerance, they may ingest their usual dose that can cause an overdose. Medications and therapy that are accessible in detox may make relapse less likely. Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle cramping
- Opiate cravings
At-Home Detox Vs. Traditional Treatment
At-home detox may seem like a reasonable solution to your problem. You don’t have to enter treatment and can feel like you’re on the road to recovery, but there are areas you can’t ignore. If you are using heroin, fentanyl, or prescription opioids, detoxing at home may not be the best solution. Since a side effect of this process is relapsing, checking yourself into a detox center can be the most effective way of addressing an opiate addiction.
Statistics back up the effectiveness of traditional treatment, and someone whose primary intention is to get sober should consider attending traditional treatment and not risk harming themselves. It is an uncomfortable and tedious process, and if something unexpected does occur, it will be much easier to overcome any obstacle in the presence of specialists than being alone.
A traditional treatment center boasts decades of data to back up its claims about effectiveness. Seventy percent of people who attend around-the-clock care were free of drugs on discharge, whereas 37 percent in outpatient care. The support these facilities offer can help keep you on the right path toward recovery, and while attending the program, you will be removed from the community that your drug use took place. Staying home during this time may sound good in theory, but if you are serious and want to take this process seriously, you must attend around-the-clock care.
At-home detox does not provide the relief of medications or supervision that you would receive at a facility, and as mentioned above, if something bad does happen you want an expert on your side.
Ready to get help?Let our treatment experts call you today.
Reach Out to The Palm Beach Institute or Help Today
If you or a loved one is struggling with opiate addiction, it is imperative that you treat it with the same seriousness as any other substance use disorder and do not wait to seek out treatment.
At The Palm Beach Institute, we know that quitting is never easy, but with the help of our compassionate, professional doctors and staff, it can be your reality to live outside of active addiction.
Call 855-534-3574 now to speak to one of our specialists and find the treatment program that best fits your or your loved one’s needs and get a completely free and confidential consultation. You can also contact us online for more information. We are here for you when you are ready.