Speak to an Addiction Specialist

(888) 663-7106

  Call 24/7 For Help

Opening April 2019

Detoxing from Narcotics: What to Expect as You Recover Physically

Detoxing from narcotic drugs is so important as you begin your recovery journey. This is because it is essential to address the physical component of your addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can become quite severe, and they can easily derail your best intentions.

If you’re addicted to narcotics, you might be interested to know more about this stage of the recovery process. You may be feeling nervous about what you can expect. This information can put your mind at ease as you determine what your next step will be.

What is a Narcotic, and Why is Detoxing Necessary?

A narcotic drug is defined as any opioid or opiate drug that dulls the senses, relieves pain, or causes sleep. According to the DEA, people will often refer to all drugs as narcotics. This is a term that was once widely used by physicians, but it isn’t as much today. Doctors are much more likely to refer to them as opioids.

Narcotic drugs are highly addictive, even though many are available by prescription. They can be quite effective when they’re used appropriately. However, the risk for abusing them is high. Sometimes people even abuse them without realizing it, or meaning to.

Detoxing is necessary because the addictive nature of these substances. They lead to both a physical and psychological dependence, and they’re hard to quit using. Going through a detox program aids in the recovery process. It can reduce cravings and make recovery much more comfortable overall.

Stopping the use of these drugs abruptly can be very dangerous. Detoxification helps by reducing the risks involved with quitting them.

The Purpose Behind Opiate Detoxification Programs

Opioids detox programs have several purposes. The goal is to address the physical component of the addiction. This is important because withdrawal is what causes people to relapse. It has also been shown that people who go through detox first have a better chance of being successful long-term.

When the physical part of the addiction is addressed first, you’re able to focus on the psychological part later. Withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating, and detoxification provides some relief for them.

Sometimes people react in dangerous ways to withdrawal. They may develop seizures or experience other medical complications. Detox helps to minimize those risks.

Narcotic detox centers will address every withdrawal symptom you experience. Some of these might include:

  • Feelings of anger and agitation
  • Achy muscles
  • Symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea and other digestion problems
  • An upset stomach and abdominal cramping
  • Intense cravings for the drug

Once you make the decision to quit using narcotic drugs, you should expect withdrawal to begin soon. Usually people experience symptoms within the first 12 hours after their last dose. You may not have all of the symptoms on this list, but you will probably have several of them.

They should increase in severity over the next 72 hours or so. After that, you should begin to feel somewhat better. However, symptoms can persist for much longer in some people.

You could experience some mild form of withdrawal for several weeks. This tends to be lessened when you recover in a medical setting. Narcotic detoxification facilities are equipped to help you by lessening the duration and severity of withdrawal. This is one reason why you should definitely opt for this form of help.

Narcotics Detox Information

What You Can Expect at a Narcotic Addiction Detox Facility

You can see the importance of a narcotic addiction detox program. Now let’s discuss what you can expect when you arrive.

You’ll be given a full assessment, including a physical as you start your treatment. The right type of detoxification will be discussed with you before you start. They’ll explain everything, and most likely, you’ll be recommended for medical detox.

Medical detox is quite effective in treating narcotic addictions. This involves taking medications to help with withdrawal. There are different forms of this type of detoxification.

You may be a candidate for opioid replacement therapy, or ORT. There are several medications that are approved for this purpose. Some of these include:

  • Suboxone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Subutex
  • Methadone
  • Butrans

These are also opioid medications that bind the opioid receptors in the body. As a result, they can drastically lessen the severity of withdrawal.

You could also be given other medication to help you with your symptoms. Over the counter pain relievers can help if you suffer from muscle pain. You may be prescribed an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication as well.

Medical tapering will be utilized if you’re addicted to a prescribed narcotic. The staff will place you on a schedule for taking your medication. This ensures that you’re taking a lower dose of it over time.

Tapering is highly recommended for anyone who is addicted to prescribed opiates. You’ll find that it gives your body time to adjust to having less and less of the medication.

Anyone taking detox medication should always do so with caution. This is because many of these drugs can lead to secondary addictions. Every patient is assessed carefully for this risk. If someone isn’t deemed to be a candidate for medical detox, there is another option.

Holistic detox does not include the use of any additional medications. However, patients can be tapered off their current narcotic drug. Instead of introducing new medicine, holistic detoxification relies on dietary and other lifestyle changes. This improves the overall health of the body so that it detoxes naturally.

Detoxification Centers vs. Quitting Narcotics Cold Turkey

What should you do if you don’t feel that an addiction detox center is right for you? It might cross your mind to simply quit using cold turkey. You’d be surprised how many people attempt this.

It’s not a good idea to try and abruptly quit using narcotic drugs. You will enter withdrawal very quickly, and you might not be prepared for how severe it is. In an attempt to get some relief, you will most likely go back to using again. This puts you at a high risk for an overdose.

Opiate Withdrawal Remedies Some People Attempt at Home

A quick online search will uncover a number of home remedies for opioid or narcotic withdrawal. You’ll find a lot of advice about making sure you drink enough water and get plenty of rest. The problem is that these methods are unproven, and there is no evidence to suggest that they help.

If you’ve thought about quitting opiate drugs on your own, you may have come across The Thomas Recipe. This is a series of medications that drug addicts designed a long time ago.

The ingredients for The Thomas Recipe include:

  • Valium or Klonopin
  • Imodium AD or Loperamide
  • L-Tyrosine 500mg capsules
  • Supplementing zinc, phosphorus, copper, magnesium and potassium
  • Vitamin B6

People who utilize this method are also encouraged to take plenty of hot baths or showers. It is believed that this aids in the detoxification process.

In theory, this method seems as though it would be highly effective. However, it does have some caveats. You would need to find a doctor willing to prescribe either Valium or Klonopin, and this is unlikely. These medications are also addictive, and using them can lead to a secondary addiction.

It can get expensive to take the recommended daily value of every supplement on this list. It’s not possible to find them together, so they must be purchased separately. When you add that to the fact that The Thomas Recipe is very risky, it’s not really a good solution at all.

Following Up After Detoxing from Narcotic Drugs

The detox process is only the first step in your recovery. Oftentimes addicts feel that they will be fine once they’re no longer having cravings. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Your addiction has two parts to it. It is both physical and mental. Detoxing addresses the physical part, but it does not address the mental part. This is why you need to follow up and get some type of treatment after detox is over.

Most of the time people find it easiest to enter into inpatient treatment directly after detox. Many inpatient facilities offer this type of withdrawal treatment right on site. That makes the transition very easy for them. Other times, they may choose to go to a program like Narcotics Anonymous. Or, they could enter into a type of outpatient narcotic treatment.

No matter what you decide to do, please don’t think you’ve recovered simply because you’ve detoxed. If you fail to get additional help, you are likely to relapse even if you no longer have cravings.

How Long Does it Take to Feel Normal After Quitting Opiates?

If you’ve taken opiate drugs for any period of time, you want to know when you can feel normal again. Maybe you’re tired of living your life like you’re a prisoner to narcotics. You want to be able to go to work, take care of your family and live a normal life like everyone else.

The answer to this question is going to be different for everyone. If you’ve only been using narcotic drugs for a short time, your recovery may be quicker. If you’re a long-time user, it might take you a big longer than some other people.

Regardless of how long it takes you to feel normal again, keep at it. You’re likely to have some bad days mixed in with the good days. This is to be expected. However, if you are consistent, the number of bad days should slowly go down.

Finding a Narcotic Detox Center Near You

If finding a narcotic detoxification facility near you is important to you, we have some good news. We offer exactly what you’re looking for, here at Northpoint Washington. You’ll find that our treatment plans are personally targeted for each patient. That means you get the type of help that you need to beat your narcotic drug addiction.

It may have taken a lot for you to get to this point. You’re finally getting information on how you can quit using. Now it’s time for you to take the next step. We’re happy to explain the detox process to you in more detail. We can also help you secure the right follow up care that will work the best for you.

Are you ready to take the next step and detox from narcotic drugs? If you are, we’d love to talk with you about your options. We can also answer any other questions you might have before you start. Please contact us today.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist Today

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

(888) 663-7106    Contact Us
Northpoint Washington: Opening April 2019

Our facilities currently open for services:

Ashwood Recovery at Northpoint

Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab and addiction counseling located in Boise, Idaho.

Northpoint Recovery

Our National Medical Detox and Inpatient Addiction Facility.

The Evergreen at Northpoint

Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab and addiction counseling located in Washington State.