Can Opioid Withdrawal Kill You?

Can Opioid Withdrawal Kill You?

you might wish it did

Opioid withdrawal will rarely kill anyone, but in some cases the person undergoing the process of withdrawal might think they were better off dead. This is because the symptoms can be very unpleasant, especially if the person tries to go “cold turkey” and give up suddenly, as compared with lowering their dose of opioid medication over time and in a structured way.

Underlying poor health


poor health might be a cause of death during the withdrawal process, especially
if someone has neglected themselves as a result of their addiction. There have
been tales of drug withdrawal killing people, but there is little scientific
evidence to support this in relation to most opioids.


have been some indications that rapid withdrawal from methadone may kill, but
again, only if it has been taken in very high doses for a long period of time
and is suddenly stopped.


addicts are in poor health due to injecting the drugs, needle sharing,
injection site infection, gangrene, or blood infections as a result of
injection. This is not only true in the case of heroin users, but those who use
and abuse opioids, including oxymorphone.


Drug-supported withdrawal from opioids


is most commonly used to help heroin addicts give up their habit. Heroin is
derived from the opium poppy, as are opioids, so methadone is also used to help
opioid addicts withdraw from their drug use in a structured way over a period
of time. This tends to be more successful and less traumatic than going “cold


is usually administered at a rehab clinic in a structure manner and on a tight
schedule. Stopping methadone suddenly while a person is in the process of
getting weaned off opioids could result in a sudden shock to the system.


Other drug support


drugs can be used to support an addict as they go through their detoxification
and withdrawal process.


Buprenorphine can be administered
through a doctor’s office, so offer support for those dealing with their
addiction on an out-patient basis. Buprenorphine is actually an opioid, so
there is some potential for abuse.


For this reason, it is usually combined
with naloxene, which curbs cravings and blocks the addicting effects of the


Clonidine is typically a high blood
pressure medication, but it has been found to help with the typical symptoms of
opioid withdrawal.


medications exactly as prescribed can reduce any dangers of detox and


Other supportive care


supportive care should address the typical symptoms of opioid drug withdrawal,



sweats and shivering



and vomiting





Cold and flu remedies can help. Staying
hydrated will relieve the nausea and vomiting, as can anti-nausea medications.
Antidiarrheals can help with digestive issues. A good sleep routine that calms
a person before going to bed, such as a hot bath or some herbal tea can all


Natural pain relief methods such as
meditation, exercise and massage can all help with any pain once the opioids
are given up.

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Rod Stone
Publisher and Supplier of Healthy Living information and products to improve
your life.

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