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Prescription Painkiller Detox Process And Protocols

Prescription painkillers are opioid medications that manage pain and, furthermore, exhibit activity throughout the brain’s pleasure centers. Their interaction with opioid receptors in the brain results in a down-modification of the sensations of pain and, in a dose-dependent manner, ultimately produces feelings of euphoria.

While prescription painkillers are used safely and effectively by millions of people, they also carry a high risk of abuse. Detoxing from painkillers is a process of the opiods being flushed from your body.

With that said, if you can’t stop yourself from using painkillers and want to quit, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. Detox from painkillers is helped from medical monitoring to relieve symptoms. 

Why Choose Painkiller Detox?

Chronic pain is incredibly difficult to live with and manage. This condition is made even worse by having to manage prescription opiate painkillers that are highly addictive. Now, you’re not only dealing with chronic pain, but you’re also facing a drug dependency.

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Procedures For Detox From Painkillers

Even though opiate painkillers are effective for relieving serious pain, long-term use can be incredibly dangerous. The good news is that you don’t have to be a slave to this addiction. There are treatments available that will allow you to stop taking the drugs without too much discomfort.

Medical Detox

The detox methods offered at our treatment center include medically assisted detox. Medical staff use prescription medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and make the process more tolerable.

These analgesics help reduce acute anxiety, cravings for opiates, nausea, and other unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.  This is handled in one of our inpatient residential rehab facilities.

Painkiller Detox procedures will provide you with new coping skills and strategies, many of which rely on the use of alternative therapies like acupuncture or yoga.

Your detox program will not only teach you how to live without drugs but will also help make your body healthier and stronger by introducing healthy coping mechanisms into your life.  

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that the combination of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and behavioral therapy can be very effective for both treating substance use disorders and maintaining recovery.  Specific treatment medications may vary depending on the clinic, hospital or treatment center you attend.

Social Detox

It’s important to note, however, that you can detox without the use of prescription medications. It is possible to detox from opioid painkillers at home or in a nonmedical (“social”) detox program where you will simply be monitored and given support during the process.

In fact, while use of medications in detox and drug treatment has become widely accepted, there are still a number of treatment centers that will eschew medications in lieu of more natural methods and supportive care.

Risk of Detox At Home

If you’re considering detoxing without help at home, understand that you may face significant discomfort that may increase the risk of relapse – especially if you continue to have access to the abused prescription painkillers.

This risk is the reason that many people choose to enter into formal detox programs even if they decide to forego medical-assisted techniques. Even without pharmacologic intervention, the support and structure provided in a detox center can help an individual undergoing withdrawal to successfully complete the process.

Painkiller Detox: Inpatient or Outpatient Addiction Treatment?

Many people who are dealing with addiction to painkillers prefer inpatient detox methods. This means that the entire treatment takes place at a specific facility, where trained people monitor your withdrawal and provide you with medication for relief. 

One good approach is holistic; it utilizes non-drug therapies like herbal remedies and other natural options that will relieve your discomfort and help you rebuild your strength and self-confidence but if supplements are used outside of an inpatient setting without medical care, it can be extremely dangerous and won’t be enough to counteract withdrawal.

Through education about how opiate painkillers affect the mind and body, you will be able to avoid relapses by recognizing cravings earlier on before they become too powerful.

While many patients going through a detox choose inpatient care because of the comfort and convenience, this isn’t the only way to detox. If one prefers outpatient care, that is offered as well; it’s important to find treatment that is completely tailored to your lifestyle and needs.

Outpatient care is great for those who may not be able to take time away from family responsibilities or work obligations. It also allows them to stay in their own home and maintain a sense of normalcy while trained professionals provide the necessary treatment. 

What Happens During Painkiller Detox?

There are many effective ways to detox from painkillers, but what does it entail? Detoxing isn’t just about stopping use; it’s about getting your body healthy and making long-lasting lifestyle changes. 

True recovery means focusing on more than just treating withdrawal symptoms; it also includes establishing healthy habits that keep you from experiencing cravings in the future.

Detoxing can be difficult and uncomfortable, but with the right help, the entire process is made as comfortable and tolerable as possible while the victim is guided through it. Detoxification protocols begin with a comprehensive intake process so treatment can be tailored to suit your unique needs. 

All of the available options for relieving discomfort during withdrawal should be discussed. These include options such as acupuncture or hypnosis therapy. You may even get to take part in your choice of alternative therapies like yoga or meditation if it helps ease your pain and anxiety.

The right medical staff has extensive training in addiction medicine and withdrawal management, so you can trust that they know everything about opiate detox and how to make it as comfortable as possible. When choosing treatment, find a team that has a high success rate at transitioning people from painkillers to sobriety.

In our case, we support our patients throughout their entire journey starting with a comprehensive initial consultation before treatment begins and until full recovery is achieved. If you feel like you cannot go through this on your own, let us help you on your way to recovery today.

Post Detox Painkiller Addiction Treatment

Detox is only the first step in addiction recovery. Once detox has been completed, post-detoxification treatment should begin with therapy to address any underlying causes of your substance use and help you get back on track towards long-term wellness.

With Post- detox treatment, you are able to get the help that is needed after withdrawal. Therapy will be used in order to uncover and address any underlying causes of your addiction while working on restoring balance within yourself or someone else who may need it most.

Therapy can be quite different depending on the type of rehab center that you enter. For example, if an individual is going through outpatient therapy then they might only see their therapist once every week while others may have more frequent sessions and rely heavily upon self-help materials to get them through tough times between appointments – this would depend largely based on what philosophy or approach of each person.

Find Help For Painkiller Addiction

Don’t wait to get help for your addiction. If you are addicted, the longer you wait to get treatment, the higher your risk for overdose becomes. Call our intake counselors today to find out about our outpatient or inpatient drug rehab programs so you can start living a healthy life again.

Frequently Asked Questions: Painkiller Detox

Why Should Your Enter An Outpatient Treatment Program After Detox?

Someone addicted to opioids can benefit from entering a formal detox program. However, if consistent work and accountability don't continue, relapse is quite likely to happen. The most important thing to remember about addiction is that it's not just physical. It can affect your mental health, and relationships with family and friends as well.

How long do withdrawal symptoms last after stopping a substance?

The answer to this question depends on various factors. The severity of your misuse and whether or not you have been physically dependent upon it will determine how long or short detox takes. On average painkiller detox lasts 3-7 days but can be longer or shorter based on weight, genetics, and amount of use as well as the duration of use.

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Adams, T. (2018). Opiate addiction: The Painkiller addiction epidemic, Heroin Addiction and the way out. Rapid Response Press.

Schuckit, M.A. (1995). What’s Going on There? A Guide to Detoxification. In: Educating Yourself About Alcohol and Drugs. Springer, Boston, MA.

Wilens, T., Zulauf, C., Ryland, D., Carrellas, N., & Catalina‐Wellington, I. (2015). Prescription medication misuse among opioid dependent patients seeking inpatient detoxification. The American Journal on Addictions, 24(2), 173–177.

Medical Advice Disclaimer

Magnified Health Systems aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

Picture of This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

Dr. Bickley graduated from U.C. Irvine with honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honor Society, Cum Laude. He has been featured on national radio and print media. He is also a frequent lecturer at National Conferences. He holds an A.S. degree in Drug & Alcohol Studies, and two B.A. degrees in Criminology & Psychology, and masters and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. He is a licensed California Drug & Alcohol Counselor Level II, a licensed Clinical Supervisor and is certified in treating Eating Disorders.

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