Table of Contents
Written by Amethyst Recovery
Amethyst Recovery is a foremost authority on addiction and a trusted online source of substance abuse information. Their expert team of addiction professionals provide well researched content for people in the grip of addiction. All posts are fact checked and sourced.
What is Opium Withdrawal?
Opium is a natural opiate, and it’s the basis for drugs like heroin and certain prescription pain medicines. When someone uses opium, it binds to opioid receptors which are found throughout the body. In doing so, opium alleviates pain. Opium can also cause a sense of euphoria and a pleasurable high.
The use of opium changes the brain and can lead to a psychological addiction. Addiction is defined as a disease of the brain, characterized by the compulsive and out-of-control use of a substance like opium.
There’s also the issue of physical dependence. Physical dependence can occur with opiates even if a person isn’t addicted. Dependence means that when someone tries to stop using opiates suddenly, they may go through withdrawal symptoms.
What Is An Opiate Detox Center?
Opiate detox centers are places where people can go to receive medical care and monitoring as they try to stop using these drugs. Is opiate detox easy? No, the opiate detox experience can be very unpleasant, but it is possible to make it through it.
Opiate Detox Symptoms
Opiate detox side effects and opiate detox withdrawal duration can vary depending on certain individual factors. For example, how long someone used an opiate like opium plays a role, as well as how much they were regularly using. The opiate detox process can also be affected if someone is also using other substances at the same time.
Common opiate detox symptoms that many people experience regardless of their individual usage history of opium include:
- Agitation and irritability
- Insomnia and sleep disturbances
- Changes in blood pressure
While it’s uncomfortable, there are minimal opiate detox risks of death or complications. The biggest risk of trying to go through opiate detox and withdrawal on your own is that you will relapse. Relapsing after a period of not using opium or opiates can increase the risk of an overdose.
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Opiate Detox Options
There are a few different options that people have available to them if they’re going through opioid withdrawal and want to detox from opiates. These opiate detox options include:
- There are inpatient opiate detox programs. Opiate detox inpatient programs are often offered at the start of an addiction treatment program. A medical opiate detox can ensure a patient is safe and comfortable during this time. They are provided a high level of care and supervision, and opioid detox medicines if necessary.
- Opiate detox outpatient treatment is also available. This still provides help and support as someone goes through opiate withdrawal, but without the overnight, 24/7 component of inpatient detox.
- Going through it on your own is another option, but this is probably the least advisable option. It’s very difficult to detox from opiates on your own without medical help. For example, if you’re going through opiate detox while working, it’s going to be extremely challenging to keep up with your responsibilities.
How Long Does Opiate Detox and Withdrawal Last?
Among all of the opiate detox questions, one of the most common is the opiate detox length. The length of time it takes someone to fully detox from opiates can vary.
The initial symptoms of opiate withdrawal will usually start to occur within a few hours after the last dose of a drug is used. During this period, symptoms can feel flu-like.
Symptoms of Withdrawal
Within one to three days after the last dose of an opiate is used, symptoms of withdrawal will start to peak. This is when people may experience spasms, diarrhea, increases in blood pressure and in some cases, tremors. This is also a time when cravings are the most powerful for many people.
While acute symptoms tend to disappear after around a week, some people do have lingering symptoms. These symptoms are often psychological, and these are called protracted withdrawal symptoms.
Opiate Detox Medications
There are certain opiate detox meds that can be used during this time. These include:
- Methadone which is a long-term maintenance drug for people dependent on opiates and opioids
- Buprenorphine which is also a maintenance drug for people dependent on opiates and opioids
- Naltrexone is a drug that can help prevent relapse
- Clonidine is used to treat many of the symptoms of opiate withdrawal including anxiety, aches, sweating and cramping.
While medications can shorten the opiate detox duration, they’re not always the best option. This is especially true of medications such as methadone and buprenorphine, which can lead people to replace one dependence with another.
Opiate Detox and Rehab
The best course of action for most people searching for opioid detox facilities and opioid detox guidelines is to contact a rehab center. An opiate detox should be part of a larger and more detailed addiction treatment plan. Medical opiate detox is not in and of itself a treatment for addiction. A medical detox for opiates may help someone clear their system of the drugs, but it’s very likely they will then relapse.
Medical detox can reduce the opiate detox recovery time, and can increase comfort but again, addiction treatment should be sought out as well.
Opioid Detox Tips
One of the best opioid detox tips is for people to attend a medical detox that’s part of a rehab facility they’re going to attend when they finish detox. This allows the person to move straight from opiate detox to treatment without having to change facilities.
If someone doesn’t go from an opiate detox to addiction treatment and they do relapse, it’s very dangerous. Opiates slow breathing and heart rate when they’re used. If someone stops using opiates for a period of time and then relapses, their tolerance is lower than it was previously. This makes it more likely the dose they take could lead to fatal respiratory depression.
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Opiate Detox Centers Near You
If you’re wondering about opiate detox centers near you, we encourage you to contact Amethyst Recovery. We can help you explore the opiate detox facilities near you and understand more about what the detox timeline and treatment process may look like for you. Reach out to our opiate detox hotline for more information and to have your questions answered.
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