Opioid addiction is a serious problem, and it’s a disease that can destroy lives and tear families apart. And the opioid crisis is affecting not just the people who use these drugs but everyone around them.
Opioids are a family of drugs that includes heroin, morphine, and fentanyl. Doctors can prescribe opioids for chronic pain relief, but these medications also have a high risk of abuse and addiction. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIDA), opioid overdose fatalities increased from 21,088 in 2010 to 47,600 in 2017 and remained constant in 2018 with 46,802 fatalities.
In California alone, there were over 5,502 deaths caused by opioid overdose in 2016 alone—a number that has continued to increase since then, especially in Anaheim, Southern California.
Do I Need an Opioid Detox?
If you or someone you love has been taking opioids for a long time—and especially if they’ve been doing so without a prescription—they may be addicted. If you or your loved one exhibits signs of addiction (such as withdrawal, cravings, or continued use despite negative consequences), it is wise to seek professional help before things get worse. A trained medical professional can help determine whether opioid detox is right for your situation.
What is Opioid Detox?
Opioid detoxification is a process. Therefore, getting off opioids is a process, whether you have been taking them for years or are just starting. Opioid detox isn’t something you can do overnight; it takes time and effort to get through opioid detox.
Opioids are some of the most addictive drugs in the world, and they are also very dangerous. They can be deadly if not taken correctly or if you stop using them suddenly without proper care from a professional.
Opioid use disorder detoxification is one of the hardest parts of recovery. Your body has become so accustomed to regularly having opioids in its system, and therefore needs time to adjust when you stop taking them completely or try to cut back significantly.
Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal
Opioid withdrawal syndrome is a serious, flu-like illness that results from stopping opioid use.
The syndrome is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Rhinorrhea (runny nose)
- Lacrimation (watery eyes)
- Abdominal and leg cramping
- Piloerection (gooseflesh)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mydriasis (dilated pupils)
- Myalgias (muscle aches)
- Arthralgias (joint pains)
In addition to these symptoms, people who have been on long-term intravenous (IV) opioid use may experience infection problems.
IV use issues may include:
- Septic emboli
- Septic arthritis
- Viral hepatitis
Are You Ready to Quit Opioids?
Opioid detoxification can seem scary, but you don’t have to do it alone.
If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction, we’re here to help. Our team at Restorations Health Care, based in Anaheim, California, can provide you with the resources and support needed to get through this difficult time.
We’ll ensure that every step of your detox process goes smoothly so that you can focus on getting better without worrying about anything else.
Call us at (877) 578-0708 today for more information.
Opioid Detox Timeline
Opioid detox is a step-wise process that helps people overcome their physical dependence on opioids. The opioid detox process varies depending on what type of opioid drug was used, how long it was used, and how much was used.
Most people start to feel withdrawal symptoms during the first three days of detoxification. The extent of these symptoms depends on how long the person has been using opioids and how much they have been taking. The most severe symptoms occur within the first 24 hours after quitting opioids and then taper off over the next few days.
The detox process can take anywhere from five days to a week, depending on how much time has passed since the last dose of opioids was taken and other factors such as other drugs being used simultaneously (like alcohol).
The timeline of the opioid detoxification treatment program is as follows:
Day 1 (Admission)
On the first day of tackling your opioid use disorder, detoxification is very important. You are getting started with the process, and there are many things to do over this first day to ensure that you start on the right foot.
The first thing that will happen on Day 1 is that you will be admitted into the facility. You will need to fill out paperwork and answer questions about your medical history.
In this onset phase of addiction, treatment starts when you stop using opioids. You might experience withdrawal symptoms immediately or after a few hours, but you need to know what’s happening in your body during this time to manage your symptoms more effectively.
The onset phase typically lasts from one to three days, although it can last longer depending on how long you were taking the drug, how much of it you took and how your body metabolizes drugs.
During this time, most people experience anxiety, agitation, depression, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. They may also experience chills or goose bumps.
The next part of treatment begins with an early morning check-in. It’s the first time the patient encounters an onsite medical team of board-certified doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. They administer medication throughout the detoxification process to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The patient will also be given a comprehensive physical examination, including vital signs and blood pressure measurements.
During this time, the patient will have their first group therapy session with a licensed therapist to learn more about addiction and relapse prevention strategies. This therapy allows patients to open up about their struggles with substance use disorder and learn how others have dealt with similar issues in their lives.
The group setting allows each participant to share their experiences openly, which helps build trust among peers and allows for effective communication between staff members and clients.
You may also begin taking other medications that help relieve withdrawal symptoms and make you feel better. These include clonidine, which helps with anxiety and agitation; lorazepam, which is used to treat anxiety; buprenorphine and methadone.
Your doctor or nurse will also discuss what type of aftercare program would be best for you after leaving the hospital.
Days 5-7 (Discharge)
The final detoxification program phase usually lasts 2 days, depending on the patients’ needs and how they respond to treatment. The focus is on stabilizing the patient and providing support during their withdrawal process while they are under close medical supervision.
Medically monitored detox includes daily visits with a psychiatrist or therapist who will provide support, counseling, and medication management by an attending physician who will prescribe appropriate medications for any coexisting conditions such as anxiety or depression.
In addition, there will be a nurse available 24 hours a day who can administer medications at any time if needed by the patient during their stay in the hospital.
After the patient has completed their inpatient detoxification, they will be discharged home with a care plan to follow. The care plan may include:
- Medications: Patients receive medications to help them manage their withdrawal symptoms and prevent cravings for opioids. These medications are taken daily for up to a year after the patient completes treatment.
- Counseling: Patients can choose from individual or group therapy sessions focusing on coping skills and relapse prevention. Patients are also encouraged to attend 12-step meetings as part of their recovery process.
- Outpatient Services: Patients with more severe addictions may need additional support once they go home. Outpatient services may include counseling, medication-assisted therapy (MAT), and sober living environments where patients live with others who are also recovering from addiction.
We’re Here to Help
We know that you’re looking for a way to get off opioids, and that’s why Restorations Health Care is here and based in Anaheim, Southern California. We know how hard it can be to find someone who will support you through this journey—but we want to be that support for you.
If you’re ready to take the first step toward healing from opioid addiction, fill out our form today. Our experts will work with you to develop a plan that fits your needs and then guide you through it every step of the way.
Medications for Opioid Detox
There are various medications available for detoxification from opioids. Medications for opioid detoxification are used in emergencies and long-term maintenance therapy.
- Naloxone. For emergencies, intranasal naloxone will treat an opioid overdose.
- Methadone. A long-acting synthetic opioid agonist used for maintenance therapy. It helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. Methadone has reduced relapse rates and improved retention in treatment programs. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, preventing other opioids from attaching to them, thus blocking the effects of heroin or prescription pain relievers with similar chemical structures (e.g., OxyContin).
- Buprenorphine. A mu-opioid partial agonist that suppresses withdrawal and cravings. It is usually prescribed as part of a 4-week taper combined with naltrexone maintenance treatment. This combination has been shown to boost success rates for recovering from opioid addiction.
- Naltrexone. This drug can help prevent relapses to opioid dependence. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and blocking the effects of opioids. Naltrexone is typically used in combination with other medications like buprenorphine or methadone as part of a medically managed detox program. It’s also sometimes prescribed after a person has finished detoxing from opioids because it can reduce cravings and make it easier for them to stay clean and sober.
- Lofexidine. It is used to alleviate withdrawal symptoms to facilitate sudden opioid discontinuation temporarily. It works as a central alpha two agonist resulting in decreased norepinephrine release that may cause autonomic-mediated symptoms of withdrawal.
- Clonidine. This drug can help reduce norepinephrine release and thus reduce anxiety during detoxification from opioids. It may also be effective in extending the duration of abstinence in people concurrently taking buprenorphine for maintenance therapy.
All the above drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of opioid addiction.
Schedule an appointment today.
Detox from Opioids at Our Anaheim Facility
Are you ready to get off opioids?
We know that it can be hard to do it on your own, so we’re here to help you maintain abstinence from opioids.
Our Anaheim opioid detox program is designed to help you detox from opioids in a safe and comfortable environment so that you can begin the next phase of your life free from addiction.
Call us now at (877) 578-0708 or chat with us online, or fill out our quick form at our website for more information about our program.