Understanding Opiate Detox

For people in the greater Phoenix area, opiate detox in Sun City can be a crucial step in substance treatment. Effective detox helps you safely withdraw from opiate drugs or medications. It also helps you get ready to continue your sobriety journey in an opiate treatment program.

Immediate Placement in Opiate Detox

What Are Opiates

Opiate is a term used to describe drugs and medications based on the opium poppy.You may also know these substances by another common term, opioids. Is there a difference between the two? Technically, yes.

Experts only use the word opiate to describe opioids not made synthetically in a laboratory. However, in everyday language, opiates and opioids tend to mean the same thing. Examples of these substances include:

  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl which is synthetic
  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone which is partially synthetic
  • Morphine
  • Hydrocodone also partially synthetic

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The Need for Detox

If you’re addicted to an opiate, you’ll need to go through some form of detox in order to quit. Why? When you take opiates, they make some important changes in your normal brain function. From an addiction standpoint, the most important change is increased output of the chemical dopamine.

Dopamine is responsible for triggering feelings of pleasure in your brain and body. You feel its everyday effects when you do such things as:

  • Eat tasty foods
  • Take part in your favorite leisure activities
  • Experience sexual arousal

Compared to these pleasurable things, opiates release much more dopamine into your brain. This is what creates an addiction risk.

If you take opiates long enough, your brain will start to count on their presence. When you reach this state, known as physical dependence, you will experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking opiates. You can also experience withdrawal if you make significant cutbacks in your opiate use.

Common symptoms of opiate withdrawal include:

  • Pain in your muscles
  • Unusual yawning
  • Feelings of agitation or anxiousness
  • Nausea
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Vomiting
  • A rapid heart rate
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea

People affected by opiate addiction also show signs of psychological dependence. These signs often include strong cravings for more opiates. In addition, they may include drug-seeking behavior.

You cannot deal with physical and psychological opiate dependence without going through detox. This process is the only way to reach a state of sobriety. Supervised detox helps you get through withdrawal with as few problems as possible. It also helps you get ready to enter an opiate treatment program.

You may have heard about people going through detox without professional help. However, this is a dangerous thing to try. When you detox on your own, you increase your chances of relapsing before you get fully sober. You also increase your chances of overdosing if you relapse.

Available Treatments for Opiate Detox in Sun City

Most of the treatments used in opiate detox are designed to make withdrawal less distressing and uncomfortable. Medications used for this purpose include methadone, buprenorphine and clonidine.


Methadone is a member of the opiate family. However, when given in controlled doses, it reduces your withdrawal symptoms without getting you “high.” In this way, methadone makes it easier for you to complete opiate detox. As you move through withdrawal, you will need less and less methadone. At the end of the process, you will completely stop taking the medication.


Like methadone, buprenorphine is an opiate. It is not as strong as methadone. However, during detox, it still provides enough of an effect to help you through withdrawal. When you are done detoxing, you’ll stop taking buprenorphine.


Some people experience lingering effects of opiate withdrawal during or after detox. If this happens to you, your doctor may prescribe clonidine. This medication helps lessen the effects of lingering withdrawal. In this way, clonidine makes it easier for you to get or remain sober.

Other Medications

During opiate detox, some people experience major symptoms of anxiety. If you develop serious anxiety, your doctor may prescribe a sedative. This medication will help you feel less anxious and more able to cope with withdrawal.

Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Opiate Detox

The best way to make it safely through opiate detox is with 24/7 medical supervision. For this reason, you should strongly consider enrolling in an inpatient detox program. Programs of this type provide the easiest access to needed medication and other services. They also provide you with a stable environment that lets you focus on completing detox successfully.

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When Do You Need Opiate Detox in Sun City

Anyone affected by opioid use disorder or OUD should go through opiate detox. Potential symptoms of OUD cover opiate addiction, as well as damaging, non-addicted abuse. Only a doctor can diagnose OUD. However, you should be concerned if you notice problems such as:

  • Rising tolerance to the effects of an opiate drug or medication
  • Failure to stop taking opiates, even when you know you want to quit
  • Loss of control over how often you take opiates
  • Loss of control over the amount of opiates you consume
  • Symptoms of withdrawal if you cut back on opiates or stop taking them

How Long to Detox From Opiates

How long does it take to detox from opiates?

Each case differs. Ask your doctor for additional guidance on what to expect.

What About Rapid Opiate Detox

You may have heard about something called rapid opiate detox. The idea behind this approach is to decrease the time needed to withdraw from opiates.

However, experts strongly recommend that you avoid rapid detox. Why? The methods used to speed up detoxification can harm your health. In a worst-case scenario, they can even kill you. For this reason, you should stick to standard detox methods that are proven to be effective and safe.

Paying for Opiate Detox in Sun City

Many people in Sun City and greater Phoenix have health insurance that covers the cost of opiate detox. However, if you do not have this kind of coverage, you can still get help from detox experts.

Medicaid is a good option for those who qualify. In addition, you can look for programs that allow you to pay through installment agreements or some other affordable method.

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Overuse of opiate drugs or medications can lead to addiction. If you become addicted, you will need to go through detox if you hope to recover. You may wonder how to detox from opiates.

By far, the safest and most effective option is a supervised detoxification program. This type of program will help you avoid the many risks of going through opiate withdrawal on your own.

Withdrawal medication is a standard treatment for people detoxing from opiates. Your medication options include methadone, buprenorphine, clonidine, and sedatives.

Each of these options helps you complete withdrawal and reach a sober state.

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How Long is Opiate Detox

How long does opiate detox last? Many people experience different outcomes.

No matter how long it takes you, you should enter active opiate treatment when detox is done.

Some people try to shorten the length of withdrawal with rapid detox methods.

However, these methods can do much more harm than good. For this reason, experts recommend that you follow standard detox procedures.

Want to learn more about opiate detox in Sun City? Contact our specialists today at 855-613-0620.