What is Opioid Detox?
Opioid detox is a medication-assisted controlled withdrawal from opioids designed for comfort and safety. The Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic features an on-site opioid detox as part of our opioid addiction treatment program.
Opioids include both semi-synthetic morphine derivatives in prescription drugs, like oxycodone and hydrocodone as well as opiates like heroin and morphine. A medication-assisted opioid detox is the first step in successful recovery from an opioid use disorder (OUD)
What Is the Difference Between Opioid Detox and Opiate Detox?
While the effects of both opioids and opiates are the same, there is a subtle difference in the meaning of the terms. Derived from nature, opiates originate from the opium poppy and include morphine, codeine, and heroin. Opioids, on the other hand, include ALL drugs in this category. The naturally-derived like heroin and morphine, the semi-synthetic like oxycodone and the completely synthetic, like fentanyl and methadone.
However, there is no real difference between prescription opioids and opiates like heroin where detox is concerned. Symptoms of withdrawal are just as severe, and it is equally important to get treatment for both. Synthetic opioids do tend to have a longer withdrawal and may require slightly different detox protocols, but for the most part, all opioids operate on the same receptors in the brain and have similar effects.
Since the term “opioids” covers them all, it’s easiest to just use it, unless we need to single out only the completely naturally-derived opiates for some reason.
Common opioids include:
Fentanyl (Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic, Subsys, Abstral, and Lazanda)
Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Roxicodone, Percocet)
Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, Lortab)
Morphine (MS Contin, Kadian)
Why Are Opioids So Addictive?
Whether prescribed or bought illegally, opioids are highly addictive. This is because they mimic pleasure chemicals in the body called endorphins, which provide powerful pain relief and promote feelings of wellbeing. The body has natural opioid receptors which opioids bind to, making the user feel high.
We use our natural, or endogenous, opioids to regulate our digestion, our mood, temperature, and many other functions. Taking opioids means our body stops producing these chemicals of its own accord. Suddenly stopping causes a massive shock to the system and results in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
To relieve these symptoms, people take more opioids which results in a vicious cycle of building tolerance, stronger withdrawals, and increased opioid use.
Symptoms of Opioid Dependence
The symptoms of opioid dependence are different for everyone, but they commonly include:
Losing interest in hobbies or activities
Experiencing mood swings
Difficulty sleeping or drastic changes in sleeping patterns
Missing work, school, or appointments
Financial and legal issues
Substance abuse can be different for everyone. People may not think they have a physical dependence on opioids, especially if prescribed by a doctor. Still, they may be addicted without realizing it. If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, opioid dependence treatment could be beneficial.
How Opioid Detox Works
Throughout an opioid detox program, medications can be used to reduce the risk of serious health complications. These include:
Buprenorphine – A synthetic opioid, buprenorphine is used to replace more potent drugs and shorten withdrawal symptoms. Buprhenorphine occupies opioid receptors in the brain without creating the euphoric effects of other opioids. It is sometimes combined with naloxone to prevent dependence and opioid misuse.
Suboxone – Suboxone is a brand name for a sublingual film which combines buprenorphine and naloxone together. It is a thin orange film that is dissolved under the tongue for rapid absorption.
Methadone – A synthetic opioid often used as a long-term substitute for opioids of abuse, methadone is a maintenance medication. Practitioners decrease the dosage over time, which helps to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal.
Naltrexone – Working to prevent opioid effects in the brain, naltrexone weakens the desire to use opioid substances. Unlike other medicines, it can’t be used in conjunction with other treatments.
Naloxone – This is a medication which acts quickly to block opioid receptors in the brain to mitigate the effects of opioid substances. It is sometimes combined with buprenorphine to prevent abuse. Naloxone by itself is the active ingredient in NARCAN, a medicine used to rapidly reverse the effects of opioid overdose.
Medication for opioid withdrawal is very effective and helps clients cope with the physical and mental effects. The most effective treatment for opioid dependence combines medication with therapy to target the root causes of addiction.
When an individual completes opioid detox at NP Addiction Clinic, we provide around-the-clock care and medication tailored to each client to help relieve withdrawal symptoms. We support people every step of the way through their detox to reduce the risk of serious health complications and relapses after treatment.
Opioid Withdrawal Timeline
Opioid withdrawal will look different for everyone and depends on various elements. Factors that can affect the timeline and symptoms of withdrawal include:
The severity of substance abuse
The length of substance abuse
The number of opioids in your system at the time of withdrawal
The medication used during withdrawal
There are often around three stages:
Stage One – This stage typically arises six to thirty hours after opioids were last used. Symptoms can begin at any time and include muscle aches, tiredness, sweating, and trouble sleeping.
Stage Two – Arising seventy-two hours after withdrawal begins, withdrawal tends to be the worst at this stage. People often experience chills, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ache.
Stage Three – After a week, the severe symptoms of opioid withdrawal begin to subside. However, long-term symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, and irritability may persist.
The medication-assisted detox program at NP Addiction Clinic is safer than doing it alone. We provide constant support throughout and have access to medication and follow-up treatment to support your mental health at all times.
Benefits of Inpatient Opioid Detox
Inpatient treatment centers and detox programs are ideal for those wanting to overcome opioid dependence. Some of the benefits include:
Individualized treatment programs
Safe, non-addictive medications
Detoxing alone is hard, which is why NP Addiction Clinic provides a warm, friendly environment with constant support from staff to set clients up for a successful recovery.
Though overcoming opioid dependence can be challenging, we tailor our recovery plans to each person to provide the best environment for recovery.
Contact us today if you are ready to regain control of your life with an NP Addiction Clinic detox program.
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Opioid Detox and Recovery Are Here
At NP Addiction Clinic, successful recovery is only a phone call away. We are always open, and we accept most private insurance plans that can cover your entire cost of treatment. A life in recovery is within reach and we can help you achieve it.
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