If you have been taking opioids for a long period, you may decide that it is time to stop using them. The best way to end your addiction is to taper off opioids. An opioid tapering schedule can help you avoid withdrawal symptoms and cravings that may otherwise hinder your resolve.
An opioid detox center in Ohio can help you create an extended detox schedule based on opioid tapering recommendations from a treatment specialist. This includes opioid medications, emergency care services, support from a licensed staff, and, if necessary, comfortable and safe facilities at a treatment center. Let’s take a closer look at when to taper off opioids and why it is a better option than quitting all at once.
Why Opioid Tapering Is Important
Doctors often prescribe opioid medications to patients that suffer from chronic pain. The drugs are so effective that patients often continue using them long after the initial prescription has expired. Addiction occurs when the brain becomes dependent on the drugs due to their euphoric effects and ability to kill the pain.
Once you become addicted to opioids, it becomes increasingly difficult to stop using them. Eventually, your addiction can lead to long-term health problems or other side effects, such as:
- Slowed breathing
- Depression or anxiety
- Stomach, heart, or liver problems
Opioid misuse also causes hypoxia, which can result in permanent brain damage, a coma, or death. Many of the health problems that occur as a result of opioid use are irreversible. For this reason, you should seek professional help from a drug and alcohol detox center.
When to Taper Off Opioids
If you are on the verge of addiction but have only been on your medication for a few weeks, you may be able to quit your medication cold turkey. Even if you feel a bit of discomfort, your withdrawal symptoms should not be severe enough to cause any problems.
However, if you have been using opioids for a long time or if you have been using opioids with other drugs or alcohol, then you may want to consider tapering off opioids. Opioid addiction treatment programs are designed to allow you to taper off at your own pace. Doing so may take longer. However, you are more likely to complete detox safely by tapering.
What Opioid Tapering Involves
How long it takes to taper off opioids depends on a variety of factors such as which opioids you are taking, your dosage, your overall health, and whether you are combining opioids with other substances. Your doctor should recommend a specific schedule based on these and other factors.
Opioid tapering may involve the following:
- Supervision and monitoring: When going through a detox, it is important to undergo 24-hour monitoring. Doctors will regularly check your temperature, blood pressure, and pulse, as well as signs for any other medical problems. Tapering can keep all of your vital signs in their normal range so that you do not experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
- Complete medical assessment: Your doctor may request a blood or urine sample to check the amount and type of medication you have in your system. They may ask for your medical records and consult other healthcare professionals such as your family doctor, pharmacist, or any medical specialists.
- Medical detox program: An effective method for reducing your withdrawal symptoms and increase comfort is with a full staff of medical professionals. Doctors at the medical detox center are able to attend to any unforeseen complications immediately.
With the right treatment, you may find that recovering from substance abuse issues is easier than expected.
Learn More About Opioid Tapering at Midwest Detox Center
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of opioid tapering, then contact Midwest Detox Center. We offer a variety of addiction treatment therapies, including detox, rehab, and aftercare. Call Midwest Detox Center at 833.647.0392 to get started with your treatment today.