Opiate Epidemic

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Opiates are a double edged sword.  Yes, they treat acute (especially post-surgical) pain very well.  However, if taken for too long (or in doses that are too high), the end result is too often addiction and death.  Until recently, physician-prescribed opioids such as oxycontin and oxycodone were responsible for 80% of the overdose deaths in NYC.  And now, with the availability of super-potent opioids like Fentanyl we are seeing more overdoses than ever before.  In fact, in the last few years overdose deaths have eclipsed motor vehicle fatalities in the U.S.



Because of this, New York City has become one of many cities across the country working hard to fight this epidemic. Our addiction specialists have undergone extensive training to prescribe drugs that treat both the withdrawal symptoms and persistent cravings characteristic of opioid addiction.

Although there is no absolute division between the physiological and psychological aspects of withdrawal, often we discuss each separately to make opiate withdrawal easier to understand.



General Pain

When it comes to the physical aspects of withdrawal, the pain in your back or joints that was once masked by opiates becomes twice as unbearable as it was originally. This is often further exacerbated by extreme muscle cramping, making even the simplest of tasks, such as standing up, downright excruciating.

On-going Flu

While the chronic use of opiates gives you the feeling of extreme comfort and relaxation, their absence evokes flu-like chills, goosebumps, and even restless leg syndrome.

Secondary Symptoms

As if Opiate withdrawal isn’t bad enough, secondary symptoms such as dehydration due to uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhea are common, causing potentially dangerous electrolyte imbalances.

Other Common Symptoms may Include:

  • Teary Eyes
    •Runny Nose
    •Sharp Stomach Cramping
    •Hand Tremors




Severe Depression and hopelessness are common symptoms of opioid withdrawal. The chemical imbalances accompanying acute and chronic opioid withdrawal may leave you feeling indifferent, sad, agitated, anxious, lonely, and desperate. Such symptoms can be quite scary and dangerous as they may lead to irrational decision making or attempts at self-harm.

If left untreated, this depression is often a cause of relapse after “successful” drug treatment.  Therefore, at HomeDetoxNY we often treat depression concurrently with opioid addiction, which has been shown to greatly improve long-term treatment success.

Other Common Symptoms may Include:




The good news is however you became addicted to opiates, help is available and treatment is generally successful.  If you are a victim of opiate dependency, you are not alone, and it’s not your fault. Thousands of individuals just like you become addicted every year from normal use of medication prescribed by their well-meaning physicians to combat pain from surgery or injury.  Others fall into the trap of using opioids to medicate psychiatric conditions.

With proper care, it only takes about 5-7 days to complete a medical opiate detox.  A home detox is nothing like images of drug withdrawal you may have seen on TV – with the addict feeling miserable because of vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms.  You will be comfortable and likely experience no more severe symptoms than you would get with a winter “cold” as long as you follow Dr. Seitz’s customized medication withdrawal regimen.

With the help of a change in diet, therapy, and symptom alleviating medications, overcoming opiate dependency and associated withdrawal symptoms are entirely achievable.

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