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Opiate Detox and Withdrawal


Struggling with Opiate Withdrawal

The process of going through an opiate withdrawal can be extremely difficult and uncomfortable. For those who are addicted to opiates like heroin, methadone or prescription opioids containing hydrocodone or oxycodone, it is recommended to do this detoxification in a medically supervised environment. Our caring medical team at Cirque Lodge can help with managing the withdrawal symptoms and struggles of addiction. We are a privately located facility committed to providing the most comfortable, caring and compassionate addiction treatment program for those that struggle with substance abuse and co-occurring dual diagnosis.

We are an abstinence based program. Our drug detoxification services do not use alternative or opioid replacements to treat addiction withdrawal. We feel that there are many effective and safe ways to assist in the opiate detox process that do not require the replacement of one addictive substance for another. As you detox, around-the-clock medical supervision and support is provided to assist with any concerns that arise.

Opiate Withdrawal Q&A

How serious is opiate withdrawal?
While it is very uncomfortable and difficult, it is generally not considered life threatening like with alcohol detox. Still it is good sense to undertake this process under experienced supervision than on one's own. This is specifically the case for those who are dealing with a long-term dependence on heroin, methadone or prescription opioids.

How quickly do withdrawal symptoms start?
These symptoms can occur a few hours after one ends their use of a drug. With heroin, withdrawal occurs about 12 hours after last use. For prescription opioids typically it occurs 12-24 hours after last use, but can vary based on the time-release aspects of some medications. Methadone stays in the system a little longer and can take anywhere from 30-36 hours before symptoms start to show.

How long does opiate withdrawal last?
The duration of these symptoms as well as the severity of them can depend on a number of factors. These are age, length of use, the type of drugs used and the amounts. Typically the first 24-48 hours are considered the acute and intensive stages of withdrawal. Conditions generally improve within 72-hours. From a medical detox standpoint, detoxification for opiates is generally 3-7 days.

What are things that can help these symptoms?
If you are in our drug detoxification facility, our medical staff will provide you with a number of supportive treatments to help manage the symptoms. Other recommendations include:

  • Stay hydrated (drink a lot of water)
  • Stay comfortable
  • Get as much sleep as you can
  • Take safe medications to manage pain, and any intestinal discomfort

Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal

Symptoms manifest themselves both physically and mentally. With most cases of substance use disorders the common and acute withdrawal is that of intensified craving. Short term-opiate symptoms begin to occur after one ends their use of the drug and include:

  • Profuse Sweating
  • Anxiety / Depression
  • Excessive Yawning
  • Muscle aches / pains
  • Insomnia
  • Runny Nose
  • Teary Eyes

During the peak of these struggles, symptoms can intensify in the next 24-36 hours and can involve:

  • Goosebumps
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • High Blood Pressure

Transition into Treatment

After opiate detoxification it is strongly recommended that you transition into an addiction treatment program. For those who detox at Cirque, transition into treatment involves enrollment into one of our private facilities. With detox, we get the drugs out of our system. Through treatment we learn to live again without the need to use those drugs. This is done through evidenced based therapeutic programs in one of the most beautiful treatment environments in the world, our majestic mountains.

A long-term plan and support plays an important part in recovery over opiates. We work with each client in developing the best program and approach to achieve this when addiction treatment is completed. As a 12-step facility, we introduce clients to the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous, and have them work with a temporary sponsor during their stay. We always consider each client as "one of ours". Former residents are always welcome back to guest, to take part in aftercare and stay connected to the place they got sober. As the mantra proclaims, "what we cannot do alone, we can do together."

For more on our detoxification services and caring addiction treatment program, we encourage you to contact our facility directly at 1-800-582-0709.

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