People often describe being dope sick as one of the most frightening and excruciatingly uncomfortable experiences anyone could endure. Dope sickness consists of a group of symptoms that occur when you stop taking your drug of choice. It’s most often referring to withdrawal from opiates such as heroin, fentanyl, morphine, or prescription opioids. If your body has become dependent on any of these substances, this is the first step on the long road to recovery at a drug rehab center.
Dope Sick Defined
Dope sickness is the experience of withdrawal symptoms when an individual stops using drugs or alcohol suddenly. It is also sometimes called withdrawal syndrome, detoxification syndrome, or abstinence syndrome. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and can last anywhere from a few days to weeks.
Dope sickness is caused by a sudden change in the level of chemicals in the brain. When someone uses drugs or alcohol regularly, their brain becomes used to the presence of those chemicals. When they stop using, the brain is no longer being exposed to those chemicals and goes through a period of adjustment.
Being dope sick is not as dangerous as experiencing an overdose, but it is unpleasant and painful. When a person is dope sick, they experience all of the pain that their addiction usually numbs. Without the benefits of medical detox, fentanyl and other opiate withdrawal effects can be unmanageable, causing people to quickly relapse at the first sign of withdrawal. Symptoms include the following:
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Depression, anxiety, and lethargy
- Mood swings
- Severe cravings
- Severe muscle aches
- Runny nose
The severity of these symptoms depends on the drugs you have been using, the duration of your use, and whether you receive any medical intervention such as methadone to ease the process.
Moving Beyond Being Dope Sick
Medical professionals never recommend attempting to go off substances like heroin cold turkey. Its withdrawal symptoms are so traumatizing that many individuals will do anything to avoid them, including using again. Finding a program that provides medically supervised detox and treatment therapy is your best chance at achieving freedom from addiction. It’s also the best way to ensure that you will never be dope sick again.
However, detoxing isn’t enough. It’s only the first step on your road to recovery. In order to fully overcome addiction, you need to find a comprehensive treatment program that will address all of the underlying issues that led to your addiction in the first place. Without addressing these issues, you are much more likely to relapse in the future.
Treatment should be tailored to your unique needs and should include a combination of individual, group, and family therapy. It should also provide you with the tools you need to manage your addiction triggers and cravings.
The Crestview Recovery Difference
Since attempting to recover from addiction on your own isn’t the best option, it’s vital that you get help from caring and knowledgeable professionals who understand addiction and know how to maximize your chances of physical, mental, and spiritual healing. Crestview Recovery Center, located in beautiful Portland, Oregon, is uniquely situated to serve men and women who are serious about overcoming addiction and resuming a healthy life.
What separates us from other treatment facilities is our understanding of addiction as a disease that affects you as a whole person. With this in mind, our integrated approach helps you to recover on all levels: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Should you choose to become a client in our 90-day program, you can expect to receive a customized selection of the following:
- Partial hospitalization
- Intensive outpatient treatment
- Residential and inpatient program
Mental Health, & Relapse
Stress is not the only negative emotion that can affect a patient. Other feelings like grief or distrust can also be triggers, particularly if the person managed and made sense of those emotions through their substance use in the past. Being dope sick involves intense physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. If you are looking for long-term addiction treatment starting with medical detox, Crestview Recovery will be happy to refer you to an excellent Portland detox center. After you finish inpatient treatment, join us at Crestview for outpatient and sober living in Portland.
Portland Sober Living & Mental Health Treatment
During treatment, the patient should have learned how to deal with uncomfortable emotions without escaping into addiction. They may deal with feelings like this through journaling, meditating, talking to a therapist, going to a support group meeting, or even praying. They should view challenging feelings as an opportunity for growth instead of being a sign of a setback.
Don’t spend another day being dope sick, scared, and alone. The warm, empathetic, and knowledgeable professionals at Crestview Recovery are here to help you put your addiction behind you once and for all. Call us today at 866.262.0531, and let your transformation begin.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.