Opium drugs run the gamut as far as types and potencies, both legal and illegal. In spite of the range of opium drug types available, they all damage the brain and body in the same ways. Likewise, the opium detox process is hard regardless of the type of drug that got you there.
Once a person completes detox, certain important precautions must be taken to avoid relapse since relapse not only triggers continued drug use, but also comes with a high overdose risk. While the holiday season may be a special time for family, friends and togetherness, serious consideration should be given to getting ongoing opium addiction treatment after completing detox.
The Purpose of Opium Detox
In most cases, opium addiction involves both a physical and psychological dependency, though the psychological or mental aspect most defines an addiction problem. Physical dependency has more to do with the brain’s inability to function normally without the effects of the drug.
According to Harvard Health Publications, the main purpose of opium detox works to break the brain and body’s physical dependence on opium’s effects. A big part of this has to do with the brain’s acquired tolerance for opium. In effect, detoxing enables the brain to restore a normal chemical balance and function on its own.
Opium Overdose Risk Factors
In essence, opium addiction becomes a way for a person to cope with the pressures of daily life. For most people, the holiday season brings added pressure considering all the tasks and obligations that come with this time of year.
For someone who’s just completed detox, going from the treatment facility to the whirlwind of holiday activities can pose a considerable threat to his or her ability to maintain abstinence throughout.
Tolerance Levels Plummet
By the time you complete opium detox, the brain’s tolerance for the drug has decreased considerably. During the course of opium addiction, two factors account for steady tolerance level increases:
- Deterioration of neurotransmitter-producing brain cell sites
- The brain’s “auto-adjust” mechanism
As cell sites deteriorate, it takes larger doses to produce the desired effects of the drug. Meanwhile, the brain’s auto-adjust mechanism gradually reduces neurotransmitter chemical output in accordance with opium’s effects. In the event of relapse, opium effects can quickly overpower brain functioning to the point where an overdose occurs.
The Addiction Mindset
The addiction mindset has to do with the mind’s psychological dependency on opium, according to the U. S. National Library of Medicine. In effect, opium detox treatment has little to no effect on the mind’s dependence on the drug.
This means someone coming out of opium detox re-enters daily life completely vulnerable to the thinking patterns, emotional responses and behaviors that he or she engaged in when using drugs. Under these conditions, within the midst of the holiday rush, the likelihood of resumed drug use runs extremely high. Likewise, the risk of opium overdose runs especially high.
Considerations: The Need for Opium Addiction Treatment
Unless you have a strong support system in place, ongoing opium addiction treatment should be seriously considered once you’ve completed detox. Granted, continuing on in treatment means you’ll likely miss out on some of the holiday festivities, but not doing so comes with considerable risks, not to mention having to start the detox process all over again.
If you or someone you know is faced with the decision to continue on in opium addiction treatment during the holiday season and aren’t sure which way to go, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at 800-429-5210 (Who Answers?) for more information on addiction. Our phone counselors can also provide you with information on opium addiction treatment programs in your area.