Opioids are strong painkillers used to manage acute pain despite risks like accidental overdose and high abuse and addiction rates. Your physician may prescribe opioids after a traumatic injury or surgery to help you get through the pain. In addition, opioid medications can also treat cancer-related pain when other treatments are not effective. If you have taken these medications for more than two weeks, you need to stop to avoid serious consequences. Some of the signs that show you should get off of opioids are:
- Reduced pain relief from the drugs when you take the prescribed dose
- Severe side effects
- Tendencies of substance abuse and addiction.
What Is Opioid Tapering
Opioid tapering is whereby a physician gradually and safely decreases your opioid doses to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Tapering is the best method to get you off of opioids while ensuring minimal withdrawal symptoms.
Why Taper Off Opioids
Opioids include prescription medications like morphine, fentanyl, and OxyContin and illegal substances like heroin which have the potential for addiction. You can still become dependent on opioids even if you take the drugs as a prescription. Prolonged use of opioids makes your body adjust to the drugs; therefore, suddenly quitting can cause unpleasant and, at times, life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Individuals with opioid use disorder may have physical, mental, and relationship issues. Moreover, they will have difficulty controlling their dependence on the drug.
Inability to stop the usage of the drug after it has impacted negatively on your physical health is an indication of addiction. When addicted to opioids, you will have cravings and withdrawals that make it hard to stop taking opioids. Withdrawal symptoms often vary with the type of opioid you use, how many drugs you have taken, present mental and physical issues, how long you have used the drug and whether you were abusing several substances.
Although it may be hard for you to stop using opioids, you can succeed if you work with a reliable healthcare provider. Do not try to quit the drug suddenly on your own as an opioid, as it can be dangerous to your mental and emotional health. Additionally, it may lead to increased pain, risks of suicide, and unmanageable symptoms that may cause relapsing. If you want to stop taking opioid medications, ask help from your doctor, who will create a withdrawal plan referred to as a taper.
How You Can Taper Off Opioid
Tapering off opioids is hard, especially if you do not have proper support. When you partner with a medical expert, they will perform a physical assessment and lab tests to help them develop a customized schedule to help manage your withdrawal symptoms. The physician will perform medication-assisted treatment using prescription medication to stabilize you as you get off opioids.
They will give you treatment medications throughout the withdrawal process until you become ready to be weaned off them. There are different approaches for treating addictions; it can be on an inpatient or outpatient basis. On an outpatient basis, you can still get effective care without significant disruptions to your life, but the physician will have to monitor your progress closely. However, if the physician feels you need constant medical attention, they will recommend inpatient care.
That is why professionals do a comprehensive assessment to determine the most suitable withdrawal management method for you. Some of the common treatment medications are Methadone, suboxone, and buprenorphine. These are opioid medications designed to minimize opioid cravings and withdrawals. They also block off the blunting effects of other opioids you may take. When tapering off using prescribed medication, you should follow the healthcare provider’s instructions.
Medical practitioners will also supervise you when tapering off so that they can monitor and assist with your symptoms, adjust your dosage and offer additional support. You can also get off opioids through medical detox. Medical detox treatment is provided in a clinic, outpatient, or inpatient facility. Detox treatments are complemented by recovery support programs to ensure effective management of withdrawals symptoms. Properly managing your withdrawal symptoms will offer you the stability you need to focus on additional treatment methods and get back to your everyday life.
If you face an injury and need to take pain management pills, you can take opioids with your doctor’s guidance. If you get addicted, your physician can help you taper off the drugs. To ensure successful tapering, you should start medication-assisted treatment earlier, allow the doctor to create a clear tapering plan, and get adequate support. If you need more information or have questions regarding our opioid addiction treatment services, call us to talk to a professional at 302-842-2390.