Opiate Detox and Withdrawal

Detoxing from opiates can result in difficult withdrawal. Speak to our team if you need support.

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Opiate Detoxification

When taking the difficult decision to quit opiates, you have already taken a huge leap towards improving your life and overall health. At the Providence Projects, we believe that everyone can recover from opiate dependency with the right support.

We believe in safe and controlled detoxification and our goal is to make you feel comfortable and safe throughout the withdrawal process. For this reason, our addiction treatment experts first take time to assess your opiate use. This initial assessment, will help us decide on the best route to treat your dependencies. To account for any withdrawal symptoms you may feel, we will ask you a number of questions.

Treating Opiate Dependency

Prescribed to offer relief from chronic pain, opiates (including illicit types such as Heroin) have strong addictive potential both psychologically and physically. Because of the high possibility of developing tolerance, you should consider a managed detoxification to reduce difficult withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal is a process that help you get off the medications by reducing the amount of the substance in your body (through a tapering process). The main purpose of withdrawal is to achieve abstinence — being completely free from the drugs you have been taking.

Withdrawal from opiates is potentially dangerous because the symptoms that accompany the process can be painful, both physically and mentally, if not managed by qualified medical personnel. Going through withdrawal without medical help could make the process painful and may result in relapse.

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Commonly reported opiate withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Irritability
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Body chills
  • Fever

Mild or severe, what your detoxification would include depends on:

  1. The amount – If the opiate drug was abused in high amounts, the withdrawal symptoms will be severe. Why? After getting off the drug, the body will crave opiates in high doses.
  2. How long you have been using for – if there was heavy use of opiates for an extended period, the withdrawal symptoms will be serious since the body is heavily dependent on the drug to function.
  3. Any underlying medical condition – This can worsen the withdrawal symptoms.

The type of opiate also dictates whether the withdrawal symptoms will be bearable or more difficult to manage. These substances can be classified into two groups based on how they affect your system: Short-acting opiates and long-acting. The first group offer quick pain relief (in minutes) when taken; they produce intense withdrawal symptoms because they are usually abused in high or more often doses for immediate pain relief.

They include:

  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Heroin

Long-acting ones take hours to provide pain relief when taken; they have moderate withdrawal symptoms:

  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl Patch
  • OxyContin

Timeline of Withdrawal Symptoms

When you begin the detoxification process, you should expect to feel withdrawal symptoms to occur within a few hours to three days after quitting or reducing the dose. The duration it takes for side-effects to appear mostly depends on the type of opiate being abused.

If you have been abusing a short-acting medication, it would take less than 24 hours for the symptoms to kick in. Your body will detect the absence shortly after you cease the intake. The symptoms will persist for 4-10 days. However, if you have been abusing a long-acting opiate drug, the withdrawal symptoms would take longer to appear (about three days or more) or be felt in full. It takes a while before the body detects the absence of a long-acting medication. The withdrawal symptoms of long-acting substances can last for 20 days or more.

On average, opiate detox and withdrawal can last a few days to a week. However, the presence of other medical conditions & drug use can play a huge part in detox length.

The Goal of Detox

Providence Projects was created to heal people from addiction. As most of our staff have had a personal experience with addiction, and all our medical specialists have expertise and knowledge on all the protocols that must be adhered to, we offer a service with the unique attention to detail. For you, we will develop an individualised opiate detox programme that will help ease the withdrawal process.

Our goal is to ensure recovery is as comfortable as possible, and focus on progressive healing and continued wellbeing. To maintain your safety at all times, we carefully select any required medication. Based on our over 25 years of working in the addiction treatment field, we will give you full access to our medical team to ensure that you recover in a safe, therapeutic space.

With us, you’ll feel supported, valued, and cared for throughout the process.

Opiate Detox Programme Get Help Now


Our approach is designed to help you successfully quit using opiates without suffering from the pain of withdrawal symptoms. We carry out a detailed assessment of your drug use and provide a personalised detox treatment plan specific to your symptoms, medical history, any co-occurring conditions and ongoing treatments. Doing so helps us ensure we do not create a treatment plan that might cause more harm than good to our patients.

Our opiate detox approach involves both medicated and non-medicated residential detoxification. We offer substitute or supporting medications if you experience a more serious dependence and especially if you have chronic pain conditions which ask for continued pain control. If your symptoms are milder, and a shorter opiate addiction history is present, priority is given to non-medicated detox treatment.

We Provide Safe Detox for the Following Opiates and Opioids:

  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone
  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl Patch
  • Morphine
  • Meperidine
  • Dilaudid
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Heroin

Need help quitting opiates?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is opiate drug detox dangerous?

Opiate drug detox is not dangerous if done in a residential, medically supervised setting. During this process, you may be given approved opiate detox medications that significantly reduce pain or address any complications from the withdrawal. You’ll also be under the close watch of medical specialists. Therefore, if any emergency arises, they’ll handle it immediately.

Can I go ‘Cold Turkey’?

Please don’t. Cold turkey withdrawal could make you experience life-threatening opiate withdrawal symptoms. When you go cold turkey, your body will feel shock and overcompensate with irregular functions such as rapid heartbeat, worsening of past conditions and more. You risk getting seizures or overdosing from opiates because the withdrawal symptoms may be too tough.

Does my insurance cover opiate drug detox?

Most health insurance providers offer almost 100% coverage on addiction treatment. Opiate drug detox is part of addiction treatment. For this reason, your insurance will cover opiate drug detox. When thinking about entering inpatient detox centre, you can also contact your chosen treatment provider to have them check with your insurer.

Will I need a replacement medication after I detox?

In most cases, you will. A replacement medication may be necessary to lower your opiate drug cravings and prevent any serious withdrawal symptoms as you recover. The medication will relieve any additional discomforts you’ll experience during the detoxification process.

Will I heal from my condition without my prescribed medication?

Yes, you will. We will perform an evaluation to uncover the health condition you have that’s making you abuse the opiate drug, discuss your current treatment with your GP or other medical specialist who have prescribed the medication to you, and make sure we find the right replacement schedule.


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