If you have been struggling with opiate dependency and are ready to stop, you may be tempted to try to detox on your own at home. Home detox from opiate abuse is a frequently discussed topic on just about every forum and while it is possible to find just about every home remedy imaginable, it is strongly discouraged by physicians for a number of reasons.

Opiate Abuse and the Body

Opiates are narcotic drugs that are derived from the opium poppy plant. OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, Morphine and Heroin are all opiate drugs – the first four are prescription drugs and the last of course is illegal.

Opiates work by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain and central nervous system (CNS) to prevent pain and it stimulates the neurotransmitter dopamine which results in a euphoric, pleasurable sensation.

Opiate abuse occurs when the individual continues taking the drug when there is no longer a valid medical reason. Over time, the individual will develop tolerance – meaning that it will require more of the drug in order to achieve the same effects, which leads to dependency

Opiate Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms from opiate overuse will begin when the medication is stopped. Depending on the severity of abuse the side effects of withdrawal can be as soon as a few hours after the last time the drug was used and may include:
• Constipation/diarrhea
• Severe bone and muscle pain
• Restless leg movements
• Chills and cold flashes

Opiate Detox Treatment

Discussing your opiate abuse with your physician is a good place to start for getting help. Your doctor may suggest that you try a tapering schedule for stopping use. Tapering means that you reduce the amount of the drug taken over a period of time. If you begin to experience withdrawal symptoms your doctor may suggest that you increase the dose until the symptoms subside and continue tapering.

Tapering off opiates does not work for everyone and should that be the case for you, your doctor will most likely recommend that you enter a professional inpatient detox facility.

Statistics show that individuals who enter inpatient medical detox are more successful in long-term recovery than persons who use outpatient detox and holistic methods, and certainly more successful than individuals who try to detox at home. The truth is that until you have the drugs out of your system and have dealt with the reasons for your opiate abuse, you will not be able to move forward.

Author's Bio: 

Lara Schuster writes for Gallus Medical Detox Centers. Gallus Detox provides safe drug and alcohol detox with customized IV therapy to comfortably alleviate withdrawal symptoms and patients are monitored 24/7 by ICU level nurses. This proven detox method was developed by Dr. Patrick Gallus after 15-plus years as an emergency room physician caring for alcohol and drug addicted patients. Gallus Medical Detox Centers features upscale private rooms, HDTV, Wi-Fi and personal massage. Patient confidentiality is always protected.