The First Steps In Opiate Detox

Opioids are drugs effective in managing pain. However, they are very addictive and dangerous. Physicians often recommend opioids for patients dealing with short-term or long pain conditions. The opiate drugs quickly relieve pain and induce a sense of euphoria, which propels most patients to abuse them. Besides suppressing pain, opiates lower anxiety.

Note that even the prescribed opioids may have a detrimental impact on the users’ mental and physical health. Hence, Design for Change Recovery provides opiate detoxification programs to assist opiate addicts to live a drug-free life.

The commonly abused opioids include heroin, morphine, codeine, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. The drugs are associated with physical dependence, and the addicts will continue to abuse them to evade unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. At Design for Change Recovery, Lancaster, California, our specialists are ready to assist you or your loved ones live a purposeful life free from drugs.

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Addicts need time to recover after the termination of opioid abuse. Some of the early opiate withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, muscle aches, anxiety, agitation, yawning, and sweating. Late withdrawal symptoms are vomiting, nausea, dilated pupils, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and goosebumps.


The withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant but not life-threatening. We offer individualized opiate addiction treatment  based on the patient’s needs and condition. Examples of such care include a medically monitored detoxification program for opiate addicts.

The detoxification program provides chemical, physical, and mental support required to ease the withdrawal symptoms. Besides, the detox program prepares the patients psychologically for the impending hard work during the addiction treatment.

At Design for Change, detoxification is one of the first steps in treating addiction. Our aim at the detox program is to eliminate or reduce the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Our specialists ensure that our patients are comfortable going through the detox program successfully before moving into the subsequent phases of addiction treatment.

When opiate addicts visit our facilities, we enroll them into the inpatient detox program because of the addictive nature of opioids. We expect the patient to focus on recovery and keep off his immediate lifestyle. The inpatient setup allows our specialists to monitor the patients throughout and provide assistance where necessary. Focusing on addiction recovery is a critical step towards holistic and successful recovery among the addicts.

In the detox program, our professional staff will enlighten you on the importance of completing addiction treatment. While in the detoxification program, you will attend group therapies or meet counselors for one-on-one sessions. Overlapping rehab programs and detox programs will keep you motivated and give you the momentum to move forward.

Medication Management

In ensuring our patients’ comfort during the detoxification, our medical team may prescribe some medications. Note that medically supervised detoxification does not cause sustained opioid abstinence, neither does it solve the reasons that lead to the abuse of opiates. However, the program focuses on the safe and successful transfer of the patient to medication-assisted treatment. For effective recovery from opiate addiction, holistic management is vital.

NSAIDs such as ibuprofen are effective in managing mild opioid withdrawal symptoms. Rest and enough fluid for hydration are also necessary. Our physicians may prescribe loperamide and hydroxyzine to control diarrhea and nausea, respectively. Clonidine minimizes the intensity of various symptoms such as the runny nose, tears, sweating, restlessness, muscle aches, cramping, and anxiety.


Based on your condition, the physicians may recommend suboxone, a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine. Naloxone is an opioid blocker that is free of the numerous addictive effects of opiates. Naloxone prevents constipation in the gastrointestinal tract. Suboxone is associated with less abuse potential. When taken orally, suboxone shortens the detoxification period, and it alleviates the withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, Suboxone eliminates the intense craving associated with opiate withdrawal.

Buprenorphine is the drug of choice in replacing opioids. The drug is a partial agonist at the opioid receptors. It partially activates the receptors leading to a ceiling impact that makes it hard to overdose the substance. Studies reveal that buprenorphine reduces deaths associated with opioid overdose by 50%. The drug gives addicts the opportunity to live more fulfilling lives.

Suboxone binds to the opioid receptors in the brain to prevent intoxication with opioids. Moreover, it inhibits craving and allows addicts to regain normalcy. Before consuming the drug, the addicts must completely stop opioid abuse, and our physicians will confirm this.


In managing opioid addiction, our physicians may recommend naltrexone. The drug will block the harmful effects associated with opioids. The drug aims at reducing cravings for opioids. Naltrexone is only effective in addiction treatment when the therapists combine it with other programs.

Our physicians will advise you to keep off the opiates for at least ten days before using naltrexone. Abstinence is necessary to minimize withdrawal risks. Note that the period may differ based on the type of opioid abused and the severity of the addiction. Recovering from an opiate addiction takes time, hence the need for patience among patients.

Naltrexone blocks the desire to take opioids, unlike other medications that prevent cravings only. Patients on naltrexone will be devoid of both sedative and euphoric effects associated with opiates. The drug is available as an implant, injection, and tablet. To achieve maximum benefit, our specialists will ensure you regularly get this medication.

The physicians will enlighten on the possible side effects of the medications used in detoxification, and they will be available at the facility to monitor for any adverse effects. Successful treatment of opioid addiction requires a holistic approach. It is the reason Design for Change, Lancaster, California incorporates individual therapies, group therapies, intense therapies, medically supervised detoxification, and education on addiction.

We also provide relapse prevention, family support programs, and after-care program to ensure opiate detoxification is a success. No single detoxification program is effective for all opiate addicts. Hence, the reason our specialists embrace individualized management depending on the patient’s condition. Short-acting opioids such as heroin produce intense withdrawal symptoms, but they last for a short period.

Visit us at Design for Change Recovery to assist you or your loved one live a fulfilling life free from opiates.

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