If you’re struggling with opioid addiction, deciding to get help is already a huge step. In this guide, we’ll help you find the best addiction treatment in your area.
What is Opioid Detox?
Opioid detox is the process of eliminating the toxins from your system when you suffer from opioid addiction, and it’s the first step toward recovery. However, it’s usually accompanied by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
If you have a substance abuse problem, such as opioid use disorder or opiate addiction, your body becomes too accustomed to opioid drugs or pain medications to the point it can’t function without them.
When you decide to stop, your body craves these opioid drugs. This leads to acute opioid withdrawal symptoms, which can be unbearable for some people.
Medical detox programs can remove all traces of opioids from your system while helping you manage these symptoms. Depending on how severe your symptoms are, there are different types of opioid treatment programs.
Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction
Before signing up for an opioid treatment program, whether for you or a loved one, you should make sure the person in question has an opioid addiction.
You suffer from opioid use disorder if you display at least two of the following symptoms over the course of a year:
- Affected Daily Activities: You can’t function properly in your daily activities and at the workplace or at school; you also refrain from social interactions that could prevent you from using opioids.
- Opioid Tolerance: Your body has gotten accustomed to opioids, so you need to take higher doses for them to work.
- Withdrawal Symptoms: You experience symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, and insomnia when you stop taking opioids or use them less.
- Opioid Cravings: After a few hours or days since you took your last opioid, you feel a strong urge to take another dose.
- Uncontrolled Opioid Use: You can’t control and stop taking opioids, even if you want to.
- Exceeding Prescribed Doses: You take larger doses of opioids than your doctor prescribed or for a longer period.
Types of Opioid Detox Programs
Opioid addiction involves both mental and physical symptoms. That’s why medically supervised detox programs include a combination of medication and mental health therapies.
Inpatient treatment usually involves an intensive care setting where doctors or healthcare providers supervise you around the clock. This kind of treatment is usually the most expensive because opioid treatment centers have limited beds, amenities, and trained staff.
Inpatient programs can take three to six weeks, which also contributes to the high opioid rehab cost.
An outpatient setting is when you go through an opiate detox without it affecting your day-to-day life. You go to work or school as you normally would, and you can stay at home.
You just have to attend a few scheduled appointments at a rehab center or treatment facility.
As you recover and get used to the withdrawal process, you can decrease the frequency and duration of your visits.
Counseling, whether solo or group sessions, is an important part of your opioid detox plan. It can motivate you to stay sober and boost your willpower by learning about other people’s struggles and triumphs.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Medication-assisted treatment means using drugs to fight the effects of opioids and help your body clear them from your system. It can help minimize withdrawal symptoms while managing chronic pain.
The SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) recommends several drugs in medication-assisted treatment plans.
Here are some of the most common medications you might encounter in a detox center.
Methadone is a synthetic opioid drug that binds to opioid receptors and activates them much like opioids would. However, unlike illicit opioids such as heroin and fentanyl, methadone doesn’t cause euphoria. It gives you the pain relief you need from opioids without the risk of drug abuse.
Methadone slowly decreases your opioid cravings, and with time, you can stop taking opioids altogether.
Buprenorphine works similarly to methadone but much slower. It binds to opioid receptors in a way that doesn’t cause euphoria or any kind of rewarding sensation, so you don’t experience any cravings.
Buprenophrine’s slow action makes it ideal for long-term recovery plans.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means it blocks the action of opioids.
If you overdose on illicit or prescription opioids, naloxone can save your life by reversing the overdose. However, it could cause severe withdrawal symptoms, which is why naloxone is usually combined with other medications.
Suboxone is a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine. Together, they can block the effects of opioids in case of an overdose while minimizing the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
Naltrexone is another opioid antagonist similar to naloxone but longer lasting. It’s best for long-term treatment plans to curb your urges and keep you from relapsing.
How to Find Detox Centers Near You
One of the best ways to find a detox treatment center in your area is the SAMHSA Treatment Finder Tool. It points you to the nearest rehab facilities for different substance use, such as opioids and alcohol.
The American Addiction Centers also offer several trusted detox centers throughout the country. They accept lots of health insurance plans, so you won’t have a hard time managing the financial side of your detox journey.
If you’re having trouble finding one, you can call the American Addiction Centers support team. They have a 24-hour hotline dedicated to people seeking addiction treatment programs.
How Long Does Opioid Detox Take?
Opioid detox can last from a couple of days to several weeks. It depends on the type of opioids you’ve taken, the dose size, and the amount of time between doses.
Some short-acting opioids like heroin can cause withdrawal symptoms for up to a week following detox. Other long-acting opioids, like extended-release hydrocodone, can last up to 14 days.
Treatment facilities will usually offer different detox plans with different durations based on your needs.
Seeking help for opioid addiction is a brave step towards a healthier life. Take the step today and get the opioid detox you or your loved ones need and deserve.