The detoxification process is one of the critical stages of rehab. When your teen has used drugs for an extended period, their bodies become dependent on the substance they have abused, and their body is going to go through some with drawl symptoms as the body adjusts to the absence of the drugs. The symptoms and severity of the detox depend on the substance your teen was using. Detoxing from some substances like alcohol or some types of sedatives can be fatal without professional help. This article is the first in an educational series about detoxing from different substances. Today we are going to talk about detoxing and withdrawals after painkiller addiction.

Types of Painkillers

Teens often get access to painkillers through drugs that are “just around the house” because they are legally prescribed for other family members. Since they are easier to get access to, painkillers also known as narcotics or opioids are a popular recreational drug for adolescents. Common names include:

  • Morphine, which goes by the brand names Avinza, Duramorph, and others
  • Tramadol
  • Oxycodone, also known as Percocet, Oxycontin, etc.
  • Hydrocodone, also know as Vicodin or Lortab
  • Fentanyl, which can go by the names Duragesic, Actiq, Fentora, and more

Symptoms of Painkiller Addiction

Early signs are typically psychological including anxiety, insomnia, and agitation. The physical symptoms include a runny nose, sweating, and muscle aches.

Detoxing from Painkiller Addiction

During the withdrawals that happen in the detox process include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Low energy
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Confusion

While everyone’s body handles withdrawal differently, it is common for the worse symptoms to last about three days though the effects will linger for at least a week or more.

Doctors and other experts highly discouraged anyone from trying to quit painkillers cold turkey. Instead, detox is recommended to happen at a facility where there is experienced help and supervision. Often doctors will prescribe a synthetic opioid antagonist or a semi-opioid to help the body taper off its addition to the drugs. Those these medications work in different ways they both block the opioid receptors and do not have addictive properties. Additionally, over-the-counter medications are recommended to help with the other uncomfortable symptoms like gastrointestinal issues, muscle aches, headaches, nausea and more.

Detox is never a fun experience, but it is a necessary first step in the rehab processes. When they can detox with the help of professionals, their success rates increase dramatically. If you have more questions, we are always here to help. You can reach us at 907-789-2108 or check out our website for more information on how we can help you and your teen.