Opioid Detox

Opioid use disorders are incredibly difficult to break free from on your own. People with opioid addiction rapidly develop both psychological and physical dependence on the drug and experience severe withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop. Fortunately, advances in drug abuse treatment in the form of medical detox can make recovering from opioid addiction much more likely.

When a person develops an opioid addiction, they experience several debilitating symptoms and side effects. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the key diagnostic criteria for an opioid use disorder include:

  1. Intense drug cravings
  2. Using more opioid drugs than intended or for longer than intended
  3. Multiple failed attempts to stop or cut down opioid use on your own
  4. Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that used to be important to you
  5. Physical opioid withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop opioid use
  6. Continued opioid use despite physical, social, or occupational consequences
  7. Increasing drug tolerance
  8. Using opioids when it is hazardous to do so, such as while driving
  9. Continuing to use opioids despite worsening physical or mental health conditions
  10. Failure to meet your obligations or responsibilities
  11. Spending a great deal of time using opioids, seeking opioids, or recovering from their effects

Opioid use disorders occur on a spectrum from mild to severe. A person experiencing two to three symptoms is considered to have a mild disorder. Having four to five symptoms is considered moderate, and having six or more symptoms is considered to be a severe opioid use disorder.

Opioid addiction is not a choice. In fact, the very development of an opioid use disorder implies that a person has lost the ability to choose to stop using opioids. Quality substance abuse treatment centers can help people recover by using evidence-based treatment options.

One of the greatest barriers to overcoming opioid use disorder is the experience of severe opioid withdrawal symptoms. When people use opioids regularly, their bodies become accustomed to the effects of the powerful opioid drugs. These drugs target opioid receptors within the brain and throughout the body, which creates feelings such as:

  • Relaxation
  • Pain relief
  • Euphoria
  • Calm
  • Warmth

However, as the body becomes accustomed to the drug effects of opioids, it develops tolerance. This often leads people to use more opioid drugs over time, increasing the level of physical dependence and addiction. When a person suddenly stops using opioids, they experience several uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Chills
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings
  • Chronic pain

For the most part, these opioid withdrawal symptoms are the exact opposite of the drug effect of opioids. When people experience these opioid withdrawal symptoms, they are often too intensely uncomfortable to overcome, and many people will relapse to active drug use when attempting to quit without a treatment center.

Fortunately, targeted addiction treatment at an opioid detox center can relieve many of these symptoms and help people achieve sobriety in a safe and controlled manner.

An opioid detox facility is a medical treatment center that focuses on helping people overcome the difficult first stage of recovery. Using several different evidence-based approaches, a team of addiction experts and medical professionals work together to treat withdrawal symptoms and set people up for a lifetime of recovery.

The opioid withdrawal detox process takes place across several stages:

1. Assessment

The first stage of opioid detoxification is a detailed clinical assessment at a treatment center. During this phase, medical professionals gather information from their clients to create a personalized treatment plan to help them conquer opioid addiction. They use interviews and diagnostic instruments to:

  • Determine how long opioids have been used
  • Assess the severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms
  • Look for any pre-existing medical conditions or co-occurring mental health disorders

This information-gathering phase helps addiction professionals create a customized opioid detox plan to ensure a safe and effective drug abuse treatment process.

2. Stabilization

The next stage of opioid detox is referred to as stabilization. The stabilization phase focuses on providing targeted treatments and therapies to alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms and help people feel comfortable and safe through this difficult period of addiction treatment.

This includes medication-assisted treatment (MAT), a technique that combines psychotherapy and pharmaceutical medications that have been proven to drastically reduce physical and psychological opioid withdrawal symptoms.

MAT uses several different medications to achieve this goal. Buprenorphine, a partial agonist of the opioid receptor, is particularly effective at reducing or eliminating physical opioid withdrawal symptoms.

By targeting the same receptors as illicit opioids in a controlled manner, people in an opioid detoxification program can experience tangible relief of their opioid withdrawal symptoms without the intense euphoria of illicit drugs.

3. Transition

The final stage of opioid detox is the transition phase. After patients have stabilized from opioid withdrawals, our team begins working on helping them transition to residential addiction treatment. While opioid detox is an important first step, it must be followed by treatment in a professional drug addiction treatment facility to ensure long-term recovery from substance abuse.

Opioid detox focuses primarily on helping people overcome opioid withdrawal symptoms, but this must be followed by intensive behavioral healthcare to help people build healthy coping skills, resist future drug cravings, and learn to live a fulfilling life in sobriety.

The transition stage prepares patients for this next stage in their drug addiction treatment plan and makes the process as simple and easy as possible.

At 4 Seasons Detox, our team has dedicated themselves to helping people who are physically dependent on opioids achieve recovery. Our targeted opioid detox program helps relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms, provides a safe and secure place to work toward recovery, and sets the stage for effective addiction treatment.

Our program covers the full continuum of care, with residential opioid treatment programs and dual-diagnosis treatment options. We can also help with opiate withdrawal.

When you’re ready to begin care, reach out to our team by filling out our confidential online contact form. Our substance abuse treatment team can inform you about our treatment options and help you to make the right choice in a medical detox program. We know how difficult it can seem to overcome opioid addiction, but you can recover, and Four Seasons Detox can help you along the way.

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