August 23, 2017

Dealing with Opiate Detox Programs

[frame align=”left”]Opiate Detox - Hydrocodone[/frame]Anyone who has ever experienced an addiction understands that the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms can wreak havoc on the human body. They also understand that when trying to sober up or get clean from whatever drug they are using, they can get very sick, and relapse easily. This is especially true of opiate dependent people, as the rate of relapse is enormous. This is why it is recommended in most cases that opiate dependent persons seek medical help and enroll in some form of opiate detox program or treatment center.

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What is Opiate Detox Like?

Detox programs last for several days to a week or even longer depending on the extent of addiction. The experience can be painful and with proper supervision, a doctor can prescribe various medications to make the process easier. Despite not having concrete evidence, some doctors believe the pain and illness from detoxing out ways continuing abusing opiates. Either way, participating in a detox program under a trained medical staff is the best course of action.

Opiate Detox from Painkillers

People addicted to painkillers and other opiate-based pills are typically given one of two medications to help the opiate detox process along. The medication called Subutex 0r Suboxone is given instead depending on the patient’s medical history can both alleviate the physical withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone: This medication consists of naloxone/buprenorphine and it is manmade. Naloxone is the generic equivalent to Narcan, a powerful drug used to block the effects of other drugs. Narcam is used for drug overdoses because it is fast acting and completely rids the body of any opiates or other drugs quickly. Suboxone is usually only used as a maintenance medication and not in an opiate detox treatment center. When Suboxone is taken at home, the dose is tapered over a course of a few years, but never less than one year so that the chance of relapse is smaller.

Subutex: This medication consists of buprenorphine only, a man made opiate alternative. Subutex is indicated in opiate detox treatments and not for home use. This medication can be used for people on a home maintenance plan if the opiate dependent person is allergic to or has any bad reactions to the Suboxone, however, but it is rare. Subutex is given over a period of three – five days in smaller amounts until the patient takes the last one after the worst of the withdrawal symptoms are gone and the patient has finished detoxing from the opiates.

Both medications acts as opiates do on the pain receptors in the brain. Both Subutex and Suboxone in certain doses can stop the physical and psychological symptoms of opiate withdrawal, making it easier to go through the opiate detox in the treatment center and at home.

Opiate Detox from Heroin

People addicted to heroin, Dilaudid, or morphine is typically given methadone instead of Subutex or Suboxone to get through opiate detox. Because heroin and morphine are much stronger than any other opiate based substance, the Subutex or Suboxone would not work well enough to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, and the opiate detox would not be very successful in these cases.

Methadone comes in two forms, liquid and pill form. It is a synthetic opiate just like Subutex and Suboxone are, but works differently, as it does not block the effects of the heroin or other opiates. In fact, the person taking methadone feels the same opiate effects as they do while taking the heroin. When used in an opiate detox setting, methadone is very effective at helping the dependent person and his or her withdrawal symptoms, so that the chance of relapse is smaller.

However, the methadone in an opiate detox treatment program is ceased before the patient moves to the rehabilitation portion of the program, just as Subutex is. Methadone can be given as a maintenance medication as well, usually in liquid form. However, it is unlikely that people who choose methadone maintenance will ever stop taking it. This is why an opiate detox program in which the methadone is controlled is recommended if the dependent person wants to get sober.

Short and Long Term Opiate Detox Programs

The short-term opiate detox programs typically last from one to four weeks. They consist of a few days in a medical detox setting, and when the patient is detoxed from the opiates fully, he or she is typically moved to a rehabilitation program within the same treatment facility to continue education and treatment for psychological issues and addiction. Some opiate dependent persons only stay for the actual opiate detox portion of treatment for a variety of reasons.

Long-term opiate detox programs typically last from two to six months or more, depending on the dependent person’s will to complete the program and the type of insurance he or she has. In some cases, the state the person lives in will pay for treatment, but not always. The likelihood of success after completing a long-term opiate detox and rehabilitation program is much higher than the success of attending a short-term program. Because the dependent person will have cravings and other psychological issues to deal with, a short term program does not always address these problems and issues adequately. Long-term programs have more of a chance to address all the issues, and chance the dependent person’s habits and way of thinking so that he or she no longer wishes to take opiates.