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.
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.
Opiate Withdrawal & 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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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.
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.
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.
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Treating Opium Addiction
Opium is an opiate, meaning it’s a naturally occurring and naturally-derived substance from the poppy plant. While opiate specifically refers to natural narcotics, opioid is a term used interchangeably with opiate. Overall, whether it’s opium, morphine, heroin or any other narcotic, they all affect the brain similarly.
Opium and other opioids can quickly lead to addiction because of how they activate and impact certain receptors in the brain and body. When someone is addicted to opium, they typically require professional treatment. Options include inpatient opioid detoxification, inpatient opioid treatment, and outpatient opioid treatment.
Therapeutic Treatment of Opium Abuse
There are treatment options for opium and opioid abuse and addiction. There is also treatment for physical dependence. Treatment for opioid addiction should be thorough, comprehensive, and based on evidence. Opioid abuse treatment should also be compassionate, however.
Opium treatment for addicts will usually begin with the treatment of opium withdrawal. This occurs in a medical detox. The treatment of withdrawal and opioid detox only deal with the physical elements of drug dependence. This isn’t a treatment for the addiction itself.
Different Forms of Rehabilitation
Along with treating opium withdrawal, there are different forms of rehab including inpatient and outpatient rehab. There is also medication-assisted treatment which utilizes medications like methadone and buprenorphine.
People often have to try different opium treatment options before finding the right fit for them. In addiction science and treatment, relapse isn’t considered a failure. It’s viewed as part of the process.
Behavioral therapy is one of the pivotal parts of opium treatment and opioid addiction treatment. While there are different types of behavioral therapies, they all seek to help people stop using drugs and remain drug-free.
Behavioral therapy for opioid addiction can help people change their beliefs and attitudes with regards to drugs. They can also help them better deal with stress and triggers that could lead to relapse. Many behavioral therapy techniques for addiction can also help someone deal with cravings.
Some of the types of behavioral therapy used in addiction treatment for opioids and other substances include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Contingency management therapy
- The Matrix Model
- Family behavioral therapy
The use of 12-step programs is also frequently used to help treat opioid addiction. This works well because following treatment, patients can return home and continue participating in these programs.
Types of Opioid Treatment Centers
There are different types of opioid treatment centers available. Medical detox is where people go through withdrawal, but addiction isn’t necessarily treated. There is also inpatient rehab. Inpatient rehab treatment may last for around 28 to 30 days, and patients sleep in the facility. Treatment is very intensive, and patients don’t have the option to come and go as they please.
There are partial hospitalization or day treatment programs as well. These are often a step-down following inpatient rehab. During a partial hospitalization program, people have intensive therapy all day but return home or to their sober living house at the end of each day.
Outpatient treatment for opium addiction is available as well. Outpatient treatment is the least formal and intensive of the treatment options. Rehab programs can be very simple and basic, and they can also be luxury centers with many amenities and supplemental activities and therapies.
12-Step and Recovery Support Groups
12-step and recovery support groups can be an extremely important part of addiction treatment and staying sober after rehab. Many rehabs will use 12-step meetings and programs within their treatment framework.
Then, when patients leave rehab, they can go home and join a local 12-step meeting. For people addicted to drugs including opium and opioids, there is Narcotics Anonymous. Along with traditional 12-step programs, there are other recovery support groups such as Smart Recovery.
Treatment for Opium Overdose
Opium and opioid overdoses are becoming increasingly common, and many lead to death. When someone is experiencing an opioid overdose, there are treatment options available, but these need to be accessed quickly.
Signs someone is experiencing an opium overdose or opioid overdose include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Nonresponsive to stimulus
- Not able to talk even if awake
- Slow, shallow or irregular breathing
- Stopped breathing
- Skin becomes purplish or grayish in color
- Choking or gurgling sounds
- Clammy skin
- Slow or nonexistent pulse
If someone appears to be overdosing on opium or opioids, emergency medical help should be sought immediately. Medications like Narcan can be administered in some cases, but even if this happens, emergency medical treatment is required.
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