Patients are often prescribed opioid medication to treat pain. Opioid medication can be made synthetically and doctors may prescribe patients methadone, hydrocodone or oxycodone to treat pain. Medicine can also be derived from the poppy plant. These opioid medications include heroin, opium, codeine, and morphine.
Opioids are great for reducing pain, but their power comes with a price. They are extremely addictive. An opioid user that decreases the number of opioids they consume, may go through physical withdrawal from the medication. Individuals that take opioids in high doses are especially at risk of experiencing physical detox.
The body’s systems are changed when taking high doses of opioids for long periods. Withdrawals occur due to the body re-adjusting to no longer having the large doses of the drug in your system.
Opiate detox treatments
Opiate detox can be incredibly uncomfortable for an individual to experience. Many opioid users continue to use the addictive drug to prevent detox and withdrawal from occurring. Fear over the uncomfortable nature of giving up the drug and experiencing detox can prevent a person from ever trying to stop using.
The good news for opiate users is that supervised medical detox is available. Opiate detox in a controlled environment makes it possible to experience treatment comfortably and achieved success. Individuals can go through a mild detox using acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen. An individual must take in fluids and rest. Opiate detox is made even more comfortable by using medication like loperamide (Imodium). This may help with diarrhea while hydroxyzine (Vistaril, Atarax) is taken to ease nausea.
An opiate user may experience more severe detox symptoms. Detox supervisors may offer a client clonidine.
Clonidine for Opiate Detox
Clonidine is used to reduce the intensity of detox symptoms. The medication may reduce a user’s symptoms by up to 75%.
Clonidine can help with:
- muscle ache
- runny nose
Making opiate detox more comfortable
The previously mentioned medications and treatments are not the only ones used to help patients. Another medication used for opioid detox is suboxone, which is a mixture of a milder opioid such as buprenorphine and an opioid blocker like naloxone. The combination of medications offers help to patients but they do not receive the addictive effects. Constipation is prevented by the opioid blocker. If taken by mouth, suboxone can treat detox symptoms and reduce the intensity.
Methadone is a long-term medication used to help individuals detox from opiate addiction. It can be given in a controlled manner to reduce the symptoms and their intensity. Methadone is still a strong, addictive medication.
Rapid Opiate Detox
Patients rarely go through rapid detox. However, it is a method that some residential treatment centers deploy. Rapid opiate detox is done with the patient under full anesthesia. Opioid-blocking drugs like naltrexone and naloxone are then given to the patient. A limited amount of evidence has found opiate detox symptoms may be lower. The amount of time going through detox may not be reduce, however.
Individuals suffering with opioid addiction have options to achieve detox. It doesn’t have to the scary uncomfortable experience that many believe it to be.