Opioid Detox and Withdrawal
Opioid withdrawal refers to the uncomfortable symptoms that occur when a person stops taking opioids after using them for an extended period. Most people who use opioids will eventually develop some degree of tolerance, which means they need to take larger and larger doses to achieve the same effects. This can lead to physical dependence, which occurs when the body becomes used to having opioids in its system and begins to experience withdrawal symptoms when they are unavailable.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are a drug category that comprises both legal prescription medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone and prohibited drugs such as heroin. These drugs work by binding to opioid effectors in the spinal cord and brain, lessening pain signals and producing a sensation of euphoria. Opioids are typically only prescribed for short-term use due to the risk of addiction and overdose.
Opioids are mostly abused by taking them in ways other than prescribed, such as crushing pills, snorting the powder, or dissolving the pills and injecting them. Some of the most commonly abused opioids include the following.
Oxycodone is a prescription pain medication sold under the brand names OxyContin and Percocet. Oxycodone is only meant for short-term pain relief and is usually only prescribed after surgery or an injury. However, some people may end up taking oxycodone for more extended periods due to the development of tolerance or dependence.
Hydrocodone is another prescription pain medication sold under the brand name Vicodin. Like oxycodone, hydrocodone is only meant to be used for a short period to manage pain. However, because it is so effective at alleviating pain, many people find themselves taking it for longer than prescribed.
Heroin is an illegal opioid that is derived from the poppy plant. Heroin can be snorted, smoked, or injected, producing a powerful feeling of euphoria. Heroin is highly addictive and can be very dangerous, especially if injected.
Morphine is a powerful opioid prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain that can’t be controlled by other medications. Morphine can be taken orally in a liquid form or an extended-release tablet. Illicitly, the drug is often injected or inhaled as a powder.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is prescribed for pain relief. Fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and can be very dangerous, even in small doses. Fentanyl is often used as a patch or lozenge and is meant to be taken into the body slowly over time.
What Are the Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal?
The symptoms of opioid withdrawal can vary depending on the person and the drug they are withdrawing from. However, there are some common symptoms that people typically experience when withdrawing from opioids. These symptoms can include:
The client may experience intense anxiety and feel like they are in danger. As the withdrawal symptoms progress, the anxiety may become more severe and lead to panic attacks.
The client may feel restless and have difficulty sitting still or sleeping. This is because opioids can cause drowsiness and sedation that disappear once the opioids are no longer present in the body.
Most people who are withdrawing from opioids will have difficulty sleeping. This is because the drugs can cause changes in the brain that make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Insomnia can also be a symptom of anxiety and depression, which are common during withdrawal.
Withdrawing from opioids can cause muscle aches and pain. This is because opioids work in part by blocking pain signals from the brain.
Many people withdrawing from opioids will experience flu-like symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms are caused by the changes that opioids make in the brain and body.
What Is an Opioid Withdrawal Detox Program?
An opioid withdrawal detoxification program is a specialized treatment program that helps clients who are addicted to opioids detoxify from the drugs safely. The detox process can be difficult and uncomfortable, but it is an essential first step in recovery. There are various types of detox programs, but most will involve some form of medical supervision and support.
During detox, clients will be closely monitored for any medical complications and will be given medication to help manage the symptoms of withdrawal. As more and more people are struggling with opioid addiction, detox programs have become more common. These programs can be very helpful in managing the symptoms of withdrawal and helping the person detox safely.
The Process of Detoxing From Opioids
The detoxification process can vary depending on the person and the drug they are withdrawing from. However, there are some common steps that are typically involved in the detox process. These steps can include:
During this stage, the client will be assessed for their level of addiction and any medical or mental health conditions that need to be considered. This is significant in order to create a treatment plan that is tailored to the individual.
If the client is deemed at risk for complications, they may be referred to a hospital for detox. This is because hospital settings can provide more intensive monitoring and support. This evaluation will help determine the best course of treatment for the client.
During this stage, the client will be given medication to help manage the symptoms of withdrawal. This is important in order to make the detox process as comfortable as possible.
Furthermore, the client will be supported through the complex process of detox and be given resources to help them recover. If the client is deemed at high risk for relapse, they may be referred to a residential treatment program.
After the client has stabilized, they will be transitioned to a treatment program to help them recover. This could be an inpatient or outpatient program
During this stage, the client will slowly be weaned off of the opioids. This process can take a few days to a week, depending on the person. If a person is detoxing from a significant addiction, they may be given a medication called buprenorphine. This medication will help reduce withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process more comfortable.
After the person has detoxed from the opioids, they can begin the next phase of their treatment. This will involve working on the underlying issues that led to the addiction. Treatment can be a long and challenging process, but it is essential to remember that recovery is possible.
With the proper treatment and support, anyone can overcome addiction. This can involve therapy, support groups, and medication. The medical team will work with the client to determine the best course of treatment.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Programs for Opioid Withdrawal Detox
The type of program the client will need will depend on their addiction level and other factors. A number of things will be considered when making this determination. The most crucial factor is the level of care that the client needs. If they need a high level of care, they will likely need to be in an inpatient program. If they only need a moderate level of care, they may be able to be in an outpatient program.
There are also a number of other factors that will be considered, such as whether or not the client has a job or other personal responsibilities. If the client has a job or a family to take care of, they may be unable to take time off for an inpatient program.
Inpatient programs require that the client lives at the facility for the duration of the program. This can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The length of the program will depend on the severity of the addiction and the client’s needs.
Inpatient programs offer a higher level of care than outpatient programs. The client will have 24-hour access to care and will be able to participate in group and individual therapy. They will also have access to amenities like a gym and a library. Inpatient programs have a higher success rate than outpatient programs because the client is in a controlled environment and is not exposed to drugs or alcohol.
Outpatient programs do not require that the client live at the facility. The client will be able to come to the facility for treatments and then return home. The withdrawal detoxification process will take place over a while, usually a few weeks.
The client will participate in an initial assessment, which will help the medical staff determine the best course of treatment. After the assessment, the client can participate in group and individual therapy. For instance, a client addicted to heroin may participate in a group therapy session where they will share their experiences with other clients who are going through the same thing.
It’s important to note that there are different levels of outpatient care. The outpatient programs for opioids may include the following.
Standard Outpatient Program
In standard outpatient programs, the medical detoxification process is completed, but patients remain in close contact with their care team and participate in regular counseling and therapy sessions. These programs typically last one to three months, but some can last up to six months.
Partial Hospitalization Program
In this program, the client will come to the facility for treatment during the day and then return home at night. The client will participate in group and individual therapy sessions and other activities designed to help them recover from addiction.
Intensive Outpatient Program
Intensive outpatient programs are similar to partial hospitalization programs, but the client will only come to the facility for treatment a few days per week. The rest of the time, the client can live at home and participate in other activities such as work or school.
Aftercare programs provide support for clients after they have completed an outpatient or inpatient program. The client will be able to meet with a counselor regularly and have access to other resources, such as sober living houses.
Outpatient and Inpatient Therapies
Therapies may include Suboxone, a medication that helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone therapy is an outpatient program used to help clients detox from opioids. It is in the form of a daily pill that the client takes. Other treatment therapies may include:
Motivational interviewing is a form of therapy that helps clients explore their motivation for change. This type of therapy can help the client identify their goals and develop a plan to achieve them.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Most clients will benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a type of therapy that helps the client to identify and change negative thought patterns. This type of therapy can help the client to develop positive coping skills and to manage their triggers.
Family therapy can help the client to repair relationships with their loved ones. This therapy can also help the family understand the addiction and how to best support the client. The program will be designed specifically for the client. The client can choose the days and times they want to come in for treatment.
How to Find an Opioid Detox Program in Maine
If you are seeking an outpatient detox program in Maine, you may consider contacting a professional treatment center for more information. One of the best detox centers in Maine is Liberty Bay Recovery Center. At this center, you will be able to receive the care and support that you need to detox from opioids. Our staff at the center is experienced and will be able to help you through every step of the detox process.
At Liberty Bay Recovery Center, we also offer outpatient programs that can be customized to meet your needs. The client can choose the days and times they want to come in for treatment.
Overall, opioid withdrawal can be an uncomfortable and even dangerous experience. This is why it is crucial to seek professional help when going through withdrawal. A detox program can provide the care and support you need to get through withdrawal safely.