The growing prevalence of opioid addiction has made seeking treatment especially important for people and their loved ones. But knowing what to expect from withdrawal and your detox program can clarify what the experience is like so that you’re in control of your own recovery and sobriety.

You don’t have to go through opioid detox on your own, and finding the right program for your recovery is the best first step you can take.

Here we’ll answer any questions you might have about opioid withdrawal, addiction treatment, and finding the right program for you.

What Is Withdrawal Like?

Experiencing any sort of withdrawal is uncomfortable – to say the very least. Drug addiction affects our mental and physical health because we become dependent on that substance.

Someone using opioids – which can include opiates, heroin, methadone, Suboxone or other painkillers – will eventually develop a tolerance, making withdrawal from the substance painful. Many people fear (and avoid) the discomfort that comes from a detox, especially if they’ve tried quitting before on their own and know how taxing withdrawal can be.

Symptoms of withdrawal can range from mild to severe and look different for everyone depending on the opioid used, dosage, and length of use. The most common symptoms of opioid withdrawal include:

  • Fatigue, low energy
  • Insomnia
  • Mood changes, irritability, anxiety, agitation
  • Hot and cold sweats
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

Detoxing in an environment with professionals who understand and regularly treat addiction, however, is a good option if you’re looking to alleviate withdrawal symptoms since they have specialized knowledge and access to comfort medications not available over-the-counter.

Choosing the Right Opioid Detox Approach

There are a few different ways to go through detoxification. Depending on the substance and amount being used, patients should consider their options and find a method that best suits their needs and lifestyle.

Self-Detox or Going Cold Turkey

People may choose to self-detox and stop using an opioid on their own. Often the discomfort and pain of withdrawal are too much to tolerate without the support of a program or professional help, and most patients end up using again.

Inpatient Detoxification

Inpatient detox methods can be effective but are often costly, uncomfortable, and require patients to stay in a facility, such as a hospital or clinic, during their treatment. Most insurance companies won’t cover this care for the entirety of the treatment, and often patients aren’t able to fully detox without paying the costs.


Ultra Rapid Detox (URD), Ultra Rapid Opioid Detoxification (UROD), or Anesthesia Detox

During this procedure, patients are put under anesthesia during their hospital stay and given Naltrexone to quickly flush the drugs out of their system (sometimes in just five minutes). While URD has a high completion rate, it’s a considerable shock to the patient’s system and comes with many physical risks.

Accelerated Opioid Detoxification

Using sedatives to make detox as comfortable as possible, the Accelerated Opioid Detox at the Coleman Institute can take as few as three days of outpatient treatment, meaning you are not required to stay overnight at our office locations. With a 98% success rate for getting patients through the detox, our patients often can complete their detox over a long weekend or holiday break, without having to completely rearrange their personal lives or schedule. Additionally, we highly encourage our patients to begin Naltrexone therapy with us immediately the following detox in order to reduce the risk of relapse. Naltrexone is a non-addictive opioid blocker that reduces cravings and helps to reduce the risk of relapse.


What Happens During my Accelerated Opioid Detox Using the Coleman Method?

Before new patients begin our Accelerated Opioid Detox program, there are a few things to consider:

  • For short-acting opioids, patients are required to abstain for 12 - 16 hours before they begin detox. If using Methadone or Suboxone®, the patient would need to abstain for about 36 hours. All patients will be medically screened prior to their arrival.
  • Each patient must have a support person (family member or friend) with them during and after their detox (for 48 hours). Patients are monitored at all times and are not allowed to drive during this time.

During the first stage of detox, patients are given medicine to help with withdrawal symptoms and to keep them comfortable. Throughout the withdrawal management process, our patients typically sleep a lot.

On the final day of the Accelerated Opioid Detox, patients are taken to their own room for the day and given an IV line. Over a 6- to 8-hour period, we use small doses of “opiate antagonists” which gently flush the opiates out of the patient’s system. Sedatives are available to help with any discomfort.

Following this treatment, patients begin Naltrexone therapy. Most patients opt for the Naltrexone implant which dissolves under the skin over two months. This non-addictive medication will minimize cravings and block opioids to reduce the risk of relapse. After detox, the patient’s brain receptors will start to heal and endorphin levels will begin to normalize. Patients can experience Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS) after detox; this is typical for all types of detox treatments. Symptoms can vary between individuals, but our staff can prescribe medication to help with discomfort.

Seeking Treatment for Opioid Addiction at the Coleman Institute for Addiction Medicine

Addiction medicine is a highly specialized field, and you want to find the right program for your recovery. The program that you choose to support your detox should meet your own personal needs.

We encourage anyone looking for information on treatment to reach out with any specific questions; we’re committed to supporting your recovery and health. Whether you’re struggling through withdrawal symptoms or need support for a loved one, our Care Advocates are here to answer any questions you have. Give us a call at 877-773-3869 or schedule a callback from one of our team members.