Several methods exist to support a person who is detoxing from opiates. The proper way is to connect with a treating physician and providers who understand how opiate addiction and detoxification work including the effects it can have on the mind and body. Here are some of the methods a person may utilize to detox from opiates.


Medical Detox

Safety is a priority when experiencing opiate detoxification. A person should be under the care of a physician with experience in detox from opiates. Drinking alcohol or using other drugs may create physical dependence which can create withdrawal symptoms which are increasingly severe and uncomfortable (and potentially unsafe). Medical detox works well for individuals who have experienced addiction for a longer period of time are are more likely to have severe symptoms. Inpatient detoxification allows the person to be closely monitored through the entire process. Appropriate medication can prevent severe withdrawal symptoms. Gradual administration of decreasing doses (tapering) may be involved.


Rapid Detox

Drug withdrawal occurs in rapid detox while a person is asleep under anesthesia. The individual is given IV injections of medication called opiate blockers. The blockers stop the action of narcotics and opiate drugs to reduce symptoms of withdrawal. Rapid withdrawal from physical effects of addiction occurs within 4 to 8 hours. An individual is checked into an intensive care unit of a hospital to ensure safety and discharged within 48 hours following recovery and post treatment assessment.


Stepped Rapid Detox

Small doses of Narcan (Naloxone) are injected under skin. Naltrexone is provided orally every hour or so together with reduced withdrawal management medications. Pacing can be more controlled and responsive to any withdrawal symptoms which develop in the person by giving Buprenorphine tablets under the tongue. Detox and stability is possible on Naltrexone Maintenance Therapy with 2 to 4 small manageable bites.


Ultra Rapid Detox

Individuals go under general anesthesia and are given the drug Naltrexone which blocks all endorphin receptors. The withdrawal process is accelerated which pushes for 100% detoxification within a 5-30 minute period which can result in a more painful (but manageable) process with significant cost and medical risk involved.

Outpatient Detox

People who have mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms may benefit from outpatient detox. An outpatient primary care setting can provide medications such as buprenorphine-naloxone or clonidine. Buprenex can be given on an outpatient basis by physicians who receive the required eight hour training. Detox may take anywhere from 7-14 days.



Opiate detoxification requires use of Methadone in an approved clinic which slowly tapers the person from the usual dose to zero over a period of approximately 21 days. The process is uncomfortable at first but gets better as time goes on before full withdrawal symptoms abate.


Detox from opiates is not a pleasant or easy experience but the flip side is to remain in addiction which harms a person’s physical, mental, emotional and financial well being in addition to harming relationships, work opportunities and social circles. Recovery starts with a difficult first step of detox to move forward into the rest of a person’s life beyond opiate addiction.


If you or a loved one struggle with addiction to opiates, there is help available. Treatment Now provides education and resources tailored to meet your needs. Call today for more information 844-438-8689.