Millions of people around the world are struggling with opiate addiction. The number of users in the UK is rising and, in the United States, some say it has reached epidemic levels.

Are you struggling with an addiction to opiates? Has your opiate use changed? From being medical treatment for pain relief to abusing the drug recreationally, to becoming a dependency? If this is the case then you may require assistance, but there are options open to you. If you are ready to fight your addiction, you can choose to undergo opiate detox.

Many people, who originally took opiates for pain relief, end up using the drug beyond the prescribed dosage. You may eventually build up a tolerance, where you must take more to feel the desired effects. This could lead to you becoming accustomed to their euphoric, sedative properties and wish to repeat the experience, which can be habit-forming.

If you are afraid you have developed an addiction to opiates, you can set off on the road to recovery by going ahead with detox. It is not generally recommended to perform a medical detox at home but as an inpatient in a residential rehab clinic, under the care of medical professionals. They will monitor you closely and help you deal with the inevitable symptoms of withdrawal which come with going through detox. It is considered the initial phase of an ongoing rehabilitation treatment programme, which will not only show you how to stop taking opiates but how to live a clean life without the drug in the future.

However, it all begins with detoxification. The process where you will cease consuming opiates as they are cleansed from your system. A natural progression, where the body will exorcise any traces of toxic, harmful substances that have accumulated over time.

This can be an unpleasant undertaking, especially considering how opiates affect the body and the brain of those with a physical or psychological dependency. If you take the drug over a prolonged period, it can alter the brain’s structure and chemistry. Where it can become accustomed to the presence of opiates and, in time, make you feel as if you cannot get by, or even live, without taking them. This is partly why you experience such intense feelings of withdrawal when you stop taking opiates because you are depriving the body of what it has gotten used to and feels it needs.

When going through opiate withdrawal you may exhibit a wide range of symptoms, from minor to severe. These include such physical side effects as low blood pressure, shallow breathing, vomiting, pinpoint pupils and blueish colour in the lips and nails, among others. You can also experience psychological and emotional symptoms like changes in behaviour and mood swings, as well as disorientation and confusion.

During opiate withdrawal, you may be prescribed medication or substitute opiates to assist in overcoming symptoms. It is also common to incorporate holistic therapies such as meditation or mindfulness to deal with certain side effects like depression, anxiety and cravings.

Withdrawal symptoms can be difficult, but they eventually subside. Your journey begins with that first step of going through detox. If you are ready to battle your opiate addiction then help is at hand.