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What Is Opiate Detox Like?

a person in an opiate detox program talks to a therapist

The opiate epidemic has become a national crisis, with millions of Americans addicted to prescription or illicit opiates. An opiate detox program offers a safe and structured way to break the cycle of abuse.

Northpoint Washington offers help and support for those addicted to opiates and other substances. Find an addiction treatment program that’s right for you today by calling 888.450.2153.

Understanding Opiate Addiction and the Need for Detox

Opiate addiction is a chronic, relapsing condition characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and continued use despite negative consequences. Opiates are a class of drugs derived from the opium poppy plant, including prescription painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine, as well as illicit substances like heroin. These drugs bind to opioid receptors in the brain, leading to feelings of euphoria, pain relief, and relaxation. However, prolonged use can lead to physical dependence and addiction.

Opiate detox is the process of removing these substances from the body, allowing individuals to begin their journey towards recovery. This process can be challenging, as withdrawal symptoms often arise when the body starts adjusting to the absence of opiates. For this reason, a medically supervised detox program is essential to ensure a safe and comfortable transition to sobriety.

Common Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms vary based on factors such as the type and amount of opiate used, duration of use, and individual physiology. Some common opiate withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Insomnia and restlessness
  • Sweating and fever
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Runny nose and teary eyes
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Goosebumps and chills

These symptoms typically begin within 12-24 hours after the last opiate dose and peak between 48-72 hours. In most cases, symptoms begin to subside within a week, although some individuals may continue to experience lingering effects for several weeks or months.

What to Expect in Detox for Opiate Addiction

An effective opiate detox program often includes the following components:

  • Medical supervision and monitoring – Detoxing from opiates can be physically and emotionally challenging. A medically supervised detox program ensures that individuals receive the proper care and support they need to manage withdrawal symptoms and any potential complications.
  • Medications to manage withdrawal symptoms – Medications may be prescribed to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.
  • Counseling and support groups – Psychological support is crucial during detox, as individuals often struggle with feelings of guilt, shame, and isolation. Counseling and support groups can help individuals develop healthy coping strategies and build a strong foundation for long-term recovery.
  • Aftercare planning – A comprehensive aftercare plan is essential for maintaining sobriety after detox. This may include ongoing therapy, support group meetings, and regular check-ins with healthcare providers.

The comprehensive services offered at Northpoint Washington can help individuals achieve lasting sobriety. Our team of experienced medical and mental health professionals provides personalized treatment plans to meet each individual’s needs.

Opiate Replacement Therapies (ORTs) Used in Detox

Opiate replacement therapies (ORTs) are medications used to manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings during detox. Some common ORTs include:

  • Methadone – Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist that binds to the same receptors as other opiates, helping to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings without producing the same euphoric effects.
  • Buprenorphine – Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that also helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. It has a lower potential for abuse compared to methadone and can be prescribed by qualified physicians outside of specialized clinics.
  • Naltrexone – Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opiates, making it difficult for individuals to experience a high if they relapse. It can be administered as a daily oral medication or a monthly injectable.

These medications are only used as needed during detox and are not meant to be used as a long-term treatment option.

The Opiate Addiction Treatment Center at Northpoint Washington

Northpoint Washington provides comprehensive opiate detox programs designed to help individuals overcome addiction and begin their journey toward recovery. Learn more about our opiate detox program by contacting us at 888.450.2153 today. We look forward to helping you take the first step toward a brighter future.