Opioid Detox

Have you or a family member been dealing with opioid or opiate addiction? Do you want to overcome opioid use disorder and end the cycle of opioid overdose?

Opioid Detox

Opioid use disorder is a severe health condition characterized by recurrent and compulsive opioid abuse. As the misuse of opioids can lead to an overdose, people must be aware of the signs and symptoms associated with withdrawal from these drugs.

This article takes a closer look at opioid and opiate withdrawal, including its causes, symptoms, and treatment options available. We will also explore how mental health can be affected during this difficult time. By understanding the unique challenges of opioid withdrawal, individuals and their loved ones can work together to find hope in recovery, so let’s get started!

What are Opioids and Opiates?

Opioids and Opiates are a type of drugs used as powerful painkillers, as they affect the nervous system to reduce physical pain. They bind to receptors in the brain, causing several effects, including pain relief, sedation, and relaxation.

These drugs are derived from the opium poppy plant and are generally more powerful than over-the-counter painkillers.

Opiates are chemical compounds obtained from the sap and fibers of the poppy plant. Some examples of opiates include:

  • Opium
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Heroin

In contrast to opiates, opioids are a group of compounds that can be natural, semisynthetic, or synthetic and have similar effects. These compounds are derived from natural plant matter but can also be synthesized or created in a lab as chemical compounds.

Examples of opioids include:

  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone

While their use for medical purposes is essential in some cases, they can also be highly addictive. This is due to the feeling of euphoria they often produce when taken in higher doses than prescribed. As a result, opioid and opiate addiction has become an epidemic across America and other countries.

What Effect do Opioids have on the Body?

Opioids affect the body by attaching to opioid receptors in various brain areas and the central nervous system. These receptors are responsible for regulating pain, pleasure, breathing rate, blood pressure, and other essential functions.

The brain produces opioids to alleviate pain, lower respiratory rate, and prevent depression and anxiety. However, the amount of opioids the body creates is insufficient to treat the severe pain caused by many chronic conditions.

Therefore, synthetic opioids such as morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone are used to supplement the naturally produced ones. When taking opioid medications, it is essential to follow instructions given by a healthcare professional and not take more than prescribed, as this can lead to physical dependence and tolerance over time, meaning that more of the drug is needed to achieve the same effect as before. This can increase the risk of overdose and other complications.

Opioid and Opiate Drug Abuse – Why It’s Dangerous

What makes opioids and opiates so dangerous is their ability to become habit-forming and quickly lead to a cycle of dependency. People who misuse these drugs often develop psychological and physical dependence. Opioid use is incredibly addictive because it can cause intense feelings of euphoria and relaxation when taken in large doses. Over time, users can become physically dependent on the drug, even if they don’t want to be.

Prescription opioids can also be abused, leading to addiction and severe withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped or reduced abruptly. Opioid dependence puts individuals at risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms that may even be life-threatening when they try to quit or reduce their dose. This is why it’s so essential for anyone struggling with drug or alcohol abuse to seek help as soon as possible. Without proper medical treatment and monitoring from professionals, it can be challenging to get through opioid or opiate withdrawal safely.

Opioid and Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

The symptoms of opioid withdrawal can vary depending on the drug type and the amount and frequency of use.

Generally speaking, though, users may experience symptoms of withdrawal such as:

  • Intense cravings for the drug
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Stomach issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Sweating and chills
  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Tremors or chills
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Chronic pain
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Flu-like symptoms, which include fatigue, low-grade fever, runny nose, aches and pains,

The duration of withdrawal symptoms depends on the type of opioid used and how long the person has been taking it. Some people experience withdrawals for hours, while others may struggle for weeks.

It’s important to note that these symptoms can be very intense and, in some cases, may even lead to death. This is why it’s essential for anyone struggling with opioid use disorder to seek help from healthcare providers as soon as possible.

How To Prevent Opioid Abuse and Addiction 

The first step in preventing opioid abuse and addiction is understanding the risks associated with these drugs.

It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider or qualified clinician about any questions you may have about opioids before taking them.

It’s also important to take opioids precisely as your doctor prescribes, never increase the dose to prevent opioid overdose, and only take them for short periods.

Opioid use disorder can also be prevented by not sharing opioids with others, storing them safely, and properly disposing of unused medications.

Finally, if you or someone you know is dealing with opioid addiction, make sure to seek assistance from healthcare professionals. Don’t try to quit suddenly without getting proper medical treatment and supervision.

Opioid and Opiate Withdrawal Treatment Options

The most crucial step in overcoming opioid addiction is to seek professional help.

Fortunately, several treatment options are available for those struggling with opioid or opiate use disorder. Depending on the severity of the addiction, doctors may recommend different treatment options, such as:

1. Detox Program

Detoxification is the first step in overcoming opioid addiction. It involves gradually reducing the dose of opioids over a period of time to minimize withdrawal symptoms. This can be done with medications such as buprenorphine or methadone, which are opioids designed to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms while slowly weaning off opioids. Depending on the circumstances, a detox may be done in an inpatient or outpatient setting.

However, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends hospitalization or 24-hour medical care for opioid detoxification because the side effects and withdrawal syndrome from opioids can be severe and dangerous.

The treatment plan for opioid detox and addiction will vary for each person based on their specific needs. A detox is just part of a larger substance abuse treatment plan, which may include tapering strategies, counseling, therapy, and rehabilitation techniques to prevent relapse.

2. Medication-Assisted Treatments (MATs)

To manage pain, mild withdrawal symptoms can be treated by non-opioid medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. However, for those struggling with a more severe addiction, medical oversight and support are recommended during withdrawal to minimize symptoms and prevent relapse.

This treatment uses medications such as:


Methadone, an opioid medication, is used to aid addiction recovery by alleviating withdrawal symptoms. Unlike other opioids, it does not produce euphoric effects. Methadone can help individuals cope with detoxification and reduce the likelihood of relapse.

Methadone must be administered at a clinic where the dosage can be closely monitored. Patients have the option to visit the clinic daily or stay at a facility while taking the medication.


Buprenorphine works like methadone, but it’s not as strong. It can be used with medications like Naltrexone. Naltrexone won’t stop withdrawal symptoms, but it will make it impossible for a person to get high. A combination of Buprenorphine and Naltrexone under the care of a professional can help a person make it through withdrawal and eliminate the euphoric feeling that got them addicted to opioids in the first place.

Buprenorphine is a medication that activates opioid receptors as a partial agonist to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. It is a longer-acting drug with lower abuse potential than other opioids used to treat dependence.

FDA has cautioned that dissolving buprenorphine in the mouth may lead to dental problems like cavities, tooth decay, oral infections, and tooth loss, even if you have never had dental issues before. However, they acknowledge that buprenorphine is a crucial treatment for managing opioid use disorder, and the benefits of the therapy outnumber the risk of these dental issues.

Buprenorphine and Naloxone medication

Drugs such as Suboxone and Zubsolv contain a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid agonist, which means it helps activate parts of the brain. Naloxone blocks opioids from activating these parts of the brain, so they don’t work. Naloxone can also cause withdrawal symptoms if someone tries to abuse it by injecting it. But when taken correctly, naloxone usually stays inactive.


When your withdrawal symptoms become severe, you may need to be hospitalized and prescribed additional medications, such as clonidine, which is often used in an inpatient or hospital setting.

Clonidine is a non-opioid medication that can be used to reduce the intensity of opioid withdrawal symptoms. Clonidine works by decreasing the levels of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that plays an essential role in the body’s stress response. It is used to help reduce symptoms such as sweating, agitation, muscle aches, nausea, and insomnia.

3. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) 

CBT is used to help people in various situations and is an effective tool for those trying to overcome addiction. CBT teaches people to recognize how their feelings and thoughts impact their actions. This type of therapy helps people realize their negative thoughts and feelings to change how they think of themselves and their choices, changing decisions and actions.

4. Inpatient Rehabilitation

Other treatment options include residential rehabilitation, in which patients are medically monitored 24 hours a day during their stay. This type of treatment provides a safe, structured environment in which to detoxify and recover. Patients receive counseling sessions and medication management during their stay.

5. Outpatient Programs

Outpatient programs allow patients to remain at home while still receiving regular counseling sessions and medication management. These addiction treatment programs generally involve group therapy, 12-step meetings, individual counseling, relapse prevention planning, and other support services to help individuals in recovery stay on track and avoid relapse.

These programs are commonly utilized for patients to maintain communication and be responsible. Patients attend meetings that allow them to be in the company of individuals battling similar struggles. Additionally, such programs provide sponsors who can be contacted during difficult periods, allowing patients to avoid drug use during moments of temptation.

6. Contingency Management

Humans respond to incentives, and that’s why contingency management is an excellent treatment for those hoping to overcome addiction. This type of therapy offers tangible rewards for success and ensures people are rewarded for meeting small and large goals.

Motivational interviewing is a counseling technique used to help people in recovery gain insight into their behavior and make positive changes. This type of therapy helps patients develop personal motivation by exploring the advantages and disadvantages of changing their thoughts, behaviors, or lifestyles. Furthermore, it pinpoints the root causes of their substance abuse that may impede their efforts to quit. The therapist works with the patient to identify what drives their addiction and how they can better manage triggers and cravings.

7. Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a counseling technique used to help people in recovery gain insight into their behavior and make positive changes. This type of therapy helps patients develop personal motivation by exploring the advantages and disadvantages of changing their thoughts, behaviors, or lifestyles. Furthermore, it pinpoints the root causes of their substance abuse that may impede their efforts to quit. The therapist works with the patient to identify what drives their addiction and how they can better manage triggers and cravings.

8. Matrix Model

Addiction can take a significant toll on a person’s sense of self-worth. The Matrix Model addresses this and helps recovering individuals believe in themselves. The Matrix Model is a therapeutic intervention for those with substance use disorders. It is based on cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and 12-Step facilitation principles. It offers education, individual counseling sessions, group therapy, urine drug tests, family counseling, relapse prevention planning, and other support services.

The Matrix Model provides a practical, comprehensive treatment plan for those dealing with opioid use disorder. It combines structure, support, and positive reinforcement techniques with psychiatric services and medical management to help the patient achieve sobriety. The Matrix Model is used when relapse prevention is the primary goal.

9. Family Therapy

Family therapy is an essential component of addiction treatment, as it can help build communication and understanding between family members affected by the drug use disorder. This type of counseling has been proven effective in treating substance abuse disorder, providing support, education, and guidance to those close to the person struggling with addiction. Family therapy helps families better understand their loved one’s addiction, how to cope with the symptoms, and how to support them in recovery better.

10. Aftercare Planning 

Individuals must have an aftercare plan once they finish active treatment for opioid use disorder. This plan should include continuing therapeutic sessions, 12-step meetings, and recreational activities that the individual enjoys. An aftercare plan should include relapse prevention techniques, such as avoiding high-risk situations, establishing a strong support network, and finding hobbies or activities to occupy their time.

Individuals need to have realistic expectations about their recovery process. They must understand that it will take time to recover from opioid use disorder fully and that relapse is a possibility. However, with the proper treatment and support, individuals can lead a life free of opioid use disorder.

Opioid addiction

Why Choose Garden State Detox Rehabilitation Center

Overcoming an addiction is not an easy task, but conquering addiction is possible with the appropriate assistance. Patients tend to succeed when they find a specialized facility and compassionate staff who can cater to their individual needs, offering the right detoxification program and motivational support.

Garden State Detox is the premier facility for those looking to overcome opioid addiction in New Jersey. Our facility is staffed by experienced medical professionals and certified counselors who use evidence-based treatments to guide you through withdrawal and recovery. We specialize in rapid detox treatments to help you get off opioids faster. Our methods include medication-assisted treatment, behavioral therapy, and holistic approaches. We work with you every step of the way to create a personalized plan that meets your individual needs. We aim to ensure that everyone who comes through our doors has the best chance of leading a substance-free life.

We understand how difficult it can be to overcome an opioid addiction, and we are here to help. The journey to recovery from addiction can be lengthy, but taking that first step is definitely worthwhile. Contact us today to learn how Garden State Detox can help you achieve a successful recovery from opioid addiction.


  • What are the symptoms of opioid withdrawal?
  • What causes opioid withdrawal?
  • How is opioid withdrawal treated?
  • What can I do to reduce my risk of opioid withdrawal?
  • What medication is best for withdrawal?