Opiate detox: An effective way to fight opiate dependency

Opioids are a class of medications used to treat severe pain. However, around the world, they are also often utilized as psychoactive substances. However, they are highly addictive, which leads to opiate dependency. Trying to overcome the addictive opioids leads to opioid withdrawal syndrome. Drugs like morphine, heroin, oxycodone, codeine, Methadone, and hydromorphone hydrochloride are examples of opioids. They result in feelings of euphoria, pain alleviation, and mental relaxation. However, chronic opioid use causes consumers to develop an incapacitating dependence.

Opiate dependency raises healthcare expenditures, unemployment rates, absenteeism, and premature mortality. In addition, it affects the drug user and places a heavy financial burden on society.

Opiate dependency

When a patient dependent on opioids abruptly reduces or stops using opioids, they experience opioid withdrawal. It can also occur when naloxone or naltrexone is given to a patient abusing it. Naloxone and naltrexone are the opioid antagonists.

The causes of opioid withdrawal are numerous. Studies using diverse in vivo and in vitro animal models have shown that the pathways of adenylyl cyclase superactivation-based central excitation are strongly related to the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

In the US, heroin, and prescription opioid abuse has long been a problem. Additionally, opioids are the most widely used class of illicit narcotics in regions like Asia, Europe, and Oceania, and opioid usage is rising quickly globally.

In the world, there are roughly 15.6 million illegal opioid users, and this number is rising quickly. An estimated 11.5 million Americans, 12 years or older, misused opioid painkillers in 2016.

Of those, 1.8 million had substance use disorders brought on by medically prescribed painkillers. An estimated 500,000 individuals died from opioid overdoses between 2000 and 2015. Each adult in the United States received an opioid prescription from a doctor in 2012, 259 million prescriptions.

How to Choose a Suitable Detox Program?

It is a good idea to consult an addiction professional before enrolling in an addiction treatment program. They help narrow down programs if you need help figuring out where to start. You can also conduct your study to find out the best-suited programs.

Before choosing a detox program, it is crucial to decide what your priorities are. When contacting different detox programs, you can ask:

  • Is the detoxification technique to be used—social or medical?
  • What is the program’s usual duration?
  • What is the program’s cost?
  • Does the program accept health insurance? If so, what strategies?
  • What qualifications do the employees have?
  • What services and amenities are provided?
  • Are the rooms shared or private?

Following are some proven ways to overcome opiate addiction:


Detoxification under a professional’s care is the first step of treatment. Opiate detox for some opioid addicts has proved useful. However, opiate detox is not enough. Patients with opiate addiction need additional treatment and care, or they restart using the substance.

The withdrawal symptoms of opiate addiction include:

  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Trembling
  • Muscle aches
  • Hot and cool flashes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

These symptoms are exceedingly uncomfortable but not life-threatening. The dose and withdrawal time also affect the intensity of the reaction. Heroin and other short-acting opiates cause more short-lived but more severe side effects.

Not every detoxification strategy will always be effective for all patients. For example, many heroin users with heavy addiction are shifted to Methadone. Methadone is a synthetic opioid that has a longer half-life. They can be injected or taken orally and reduce craving for opioids. The medical professionals then gradually decrease the dosage.

Sometimes, the patients are also given Clonidine. It is a blood pressure-lowering anti-hypertensive medicine. In addition, Clonidine shortens the opiate withdrawal period and relieves the physical symptoms.

Social” Detox or Non-Medical Detox

Social detox is a non-medical detox program. Social detoxification aims to help the addict to overcome opiate addiction completely. However, it has been done in the care of medical professionals.

In social detox, doctors and therapists help the addicts emotionally and psychologically. However, the addicts do not receive any medicine or treatment to deal with their withdrawal symptoms.

Although this approach can aid in successful drug withdrawal, there are still specific difficulties. The most significant problem with natural detox may be the possibility of an unpleasant withdrawal syndrome.

A person must go through several potentially distressing withdrawal symptoms as their body gets used to having no drugs in its system. In addition, the severity of withdrawal symptoms might vary depending on the substance, causing the user significant distress and, in rare situations, even placing them in danger.

People may relapse due to an effort to state their symptoms and drug cravings.

Methadone maintenance

Ground-breaking research at Rockefeller Institute scientists resulted in the discovery of Methadone in 1965. The early research proved the effectiveness of Methadone in reducing the desire for opiates. The medication also enhances the social and emotional functioning of addicts while reducing withdrawal symptoms.

In recent years, Methadone has become crucial in opiate detox. It has also led to a drop in HIV infection, drug abuse, overdose, and addiction-related crimes.

They are evidence that Methadone and Buprenorphine (Suboxone) are helpful in reducing opiate addiction. That is why other medicines have been added to the WHO’s list of essential drugs. However, due to stigmas attached to it, just a small number of programs provide methadone treatment.

Buprenorphine (Suboxone)

Buprenorphine is one of the medication-assisted treatments (MAT) for opiate addiction. It replaces the consumption of life-threatening opiates with daily ingestion of a safer opioid.

Buprenorphine is a partial opiod agonist. Due to its “ceiling effect,” it is hard to overdose on Buprenorphine. It means that it can only stimulate the opioid receptors partially. It has been proven that Buprenorphine reduces death by overdose. Buprenorphine helps addicts to lead fulfilling lives once again.

Buprenorphine is most frequently used in conjunction with the opiate antagonist naloxone. Naloxone has a limited duration of action. Under the tongue, it has little impact, but it counteracts the effects of injectable opiates. It is available for sale as Suboxone.

Overcoming an opiate addiction is hard. Opiate addicts need constant love and support from their families and doctors. At Buprenorphine Doctors, you can find help for yourself or your loved ones battling addiction.

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