Author: Charles Frank

Opioid and Opiate Withdrawal: Symptoms and Treatments

opiate detox

This means that if someone relapses and takes the dose they were taking when they stopped using opioids, it could result in an overdose. Overdose is common when someone relapses because they do not realize how much tolerance they had built up and that the tolerance is gone. However, methadone can cause a potentially life threatening heart rhythm problem.

  1. Clonidine is used to help reduce anxiety, agitation, muscle aches, sweating, runny nose, and cramping that are due to withdrawal.
  2. Medications can also assist beyond the initial medical detox phase, as they are effective for reducing the opiate withdrawal symptoms that persist after the body is cleared of illicit opiates.
  3. A study highlighted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that out of 75 people to undergo rapid detox, two died and five had serious health effects.
  4. It can also involve treating withdrawal symptoms as they occur until they are over.
  5. Suboxone works by tightly binding to the same receptors in the brain as other opiates, such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone.

No single approach to detoxification is guaranteed to work well for all patients. Many regular heroin users are switched to the synthetic opiate methadone, a longer-acting drug that can be taken orally or injected. The anti-hypertensive (blood pressure lowering) drug clonidine is sometimes added to shorten the withdrawal time and relieve physical symptoms. Other medications used to treat opioid/opiate withdrawal include Clonidine, Suboxone, and the more commonly known Methadone.

Interesting Facts About Medications Used for Opiate Withdrawal

More intense withdrawal symptoms may require hospitalization and other medications. One medication used primarily in the inpatient setting is clonidine. For example, heroin is typically eliminated from your system faster, and symptoms will start within 12 hours of last use. If you’ve been on methadone, it may take a day and a half for symptoms to begin.

Buprenorphine has been shown to cut overdose deaths in half, and to allow people to resume productive and fulfilling lives. Medications can play a critical role in a comprehensive opiate treatment program that also includes counseling, support groups, and social services. Treatment professionals can work with people in recovery to determine what medications are most effective for reducing the opiate withdrawal and contributing to lasting sobriety. Professionally administered medications can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and shorten the time it takes to detox.

opiate detox

Most can be taken by mouth, smoked, or snorted, although addicts often prefer intravenous injection, which gives the strongest, quickest pleasure. The use of intravenous needles can lead to infectious disease, and an overdose, especially taken intravenously, often causes respiratory arrest and death. Avoid withdrawals and achieve stabilisation in opiate dependence treatment. Withdrawal from opiates is painful, but usually not life threatening.

At Silvermist

Through counseling and psychoeducation, people recovering from opiate addiction can learn strategies for preventing relapse and coping with stressors. They can also begin to resolve underlying issues, such as trauma, abuse, or mental health conditions that have contributed to the opiate use disorder. While medications are effective for reducing the opiate withdrawal by lessening physical symptoms, they cannot cure the addiction or treat co-occurring emotional and psychological issues on their own. Medications can also assist beyond the initial medical detox phase, as they are effective for reducing the opiate withdrawal symptoms that persist after the body is cleared of illicit opiates. While medical detox programs and MAT may sound similar, they are actually distinct pieces of the recovery process.

opiate detox

Medical detox can make your opioid detox experience more comfortable and provide an easier transition into rehab treatment. A typical medical detox program lasts about a week to a week and a half, while rehabilitation lasts for a longer period ranging from weeks to months. Rehab helps you to build on the progress you’ve made during detox and maintain the sobriety that you’ve achieved. Rapid detox can help someone avoid the worst withdrawal symptoms, but symptoms like irritability, yawning, goosebumps and other unpleasant effects may still occur. Rapid detox may help people avoid physical symptoms, but psychological symptoms like cravings will still have to be addressed. Enforced reduction or detoxification is ineffective for sustained abstinence, it can precipitate withdrawal symptoms, increasing the risk of relapse and eventually overdose due to loss of tolerance.

My experience here at Silvermist was a lifesaving opportunity and blessing

Many systems in your body are altered when you take large amounts of opioids for a long time. Withdrawal effects occur because it takes time for your body to adjust to no longer having opioids in your system. Methadone can reduce the rate at which people test positive for opiates by 33 percent. At The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake, we provide daily counseling as well as meetings with a physician to ensure that your treatments are working well and are effective for your needs. We also accept most insurances to make our program as accessible as possible.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Some methadone clinics also provide other medical and social services. Because doctors have needed to reduce opioid prescribing, many people have needed to turn to street dealers to get drugs. And street heroin today is commonly laced with the even more dangerous drug fentanyl.

This withdrawal process can result in physical illness and discomfort. If you require help with an  addiction and you are worried about the detox process, knowing what may be in store can help you mentally and emotionally prepare for the process. Recovery Village at Palmer Lake recommends against rapid detox and provides medical supervision and medications to assist with detox at our Colorado rehab facility.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. A new buprenorphine prolonged-release injection (Buvidal) administered under the skin, either once a week or once a month, is available to our patients at our London-based treatment clinic. No need for daily or weekly pick up from chemist, nor supervised consumption. Contact your provider if you are using or withdrawing from opiates. Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Short-acting opiates, like heroin, tend to produce more intense but briefer symptoms. Our opioid detoxification treatment programmes are designed to eliminate the symptoms of opiate withdrawal and decrease your chances of relapse. At The OAD Clinic, we can provide a comprehensive medical detox from opiates, as part of a bespoke programme to ensure an opioid detox treatment that is targeted to your nature of drug use.

The goal of medical detox is to make the detox process as safe and comfortable as possible. The idea behind rapid detox is that the effects of opioid withdrawal are accelerated and intensified, but they occur while you are unconscious. The purpose behind rapid detox is to allow people to complete withdrawal from opioids while experiencing few to no symptoms. While this would be ideal in theory, it generally comes with significantly increased health risks and requires a couple of days in a hospital’s intensive care unit.