Pain Killers: Getting off is hard to do...


It is interesting that the most prominent signs or symptoms of opiate(pain killer) addiction show, when the person is in withdrawal. Painkiller withdrawal symptoms are not pretty, it is not pleasant and it is not something that is easily dealt with unless you know what medication to use to counteract the withdrawal. We will talk more about medications on the page called “The Solution”.

I am sure you have seen plenty of movie with a person doing a heroin withdrawal scene. Some are good, some are lacking authenticity, and some send me back to the day I did my first withdrawal and I have to leave the room until the scene changes.

Withdrawal is a physical reaction when the dependent body has had the opiates removed from the body or is in the process of detoxing from an opiate. It is physically demanding and can be dangerous to some depending on their circumstances and should seek medical help for withdrawal.

For those who are here because you want to help someone you love to get off of painkillers, the next section is somewhat blunt and real. Please do not take it personally.

Withdrawal from an opiate is really, that bad, and if you have never been through one, then you will never understand what a person goes through, or how it feels. So please save yourself some face and don’t say to someone  “you know what they are going though”, because you don’t. Period. Again, not unless you have done it too. And you will never know what it feels like to be addicted to an opiate and have that nagging, gnawing need for more, unless you have been through it. It really is…That Bad.

I say this with care, because I have been there and I have been through it, several times and I am here to try help. To help parents understand, to help loved ones understand. This is a serious thing we are dealing with here, but we can make it easier to do.

The signs of someone on an opiate are here:

  • Lethargy, drowsiness
  • “Knodding off”, falling asleep at odd times, such as in the middle of a conversation
  • Constricted pupils(often called “Pinned” Pupils) and reduced vision, sensitivity to light
  • Unkempt physical appearance, including weight loss in some cases
  • Social withdrawal
  • Depression and/or suicidal thoughts
  • Depressed appetite, thirst and sexual desire
  • Constipation

The signs of withdrawal are here:

Early Signs

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  • Depression and Mood Swings
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose/Sneezing
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

Advanced signs:

  • Major Depression and Mood Swings
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Curling up in a fetal position


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