Detox is the first step of opiate addiction treatment, and it’s important to know what happens during the process. A recent report states that there’s an increase in opiate-related hospitalizations.

The hospitalization rate increase is a sign that you need to start treatment by going for detox. However, there are procedures you have to undergo to achieve a proper opiate detox. Also, you need to know about the different treatment programs available for opiate detoxification.

In this article, you’ll learn more about what opiate detox is about and how you can position yourself to receive quality detox treatment. You’ll also understand what happens during opiate detox.

What Happens During Opiate Detox?

Opiates are drugs that individuals can use to suppress pain and reduce anxiety. Even physicians use some kinds of opiates to treat pain for their clients. Opiates are gotten from the seeds of the opium poppy or synthesized in laboratories, e.g. oxycodone, heroin, hydrocodone.

However, these opiates have very high addictive tendencies due to the euphoric effects they provide. As a result, many people take these drugs either by smoking or snorting. At the same time, others prefer injecting these drugs for stronger and quicker pleasure.

Addicts always end up taking unprescribed lethal doses due to the inability to control themselves. As a result, the addicts or people with opiate use disorder problems have to resort to treatment to save their lives. That treatment is known as detoxification.

Detoxification Process

Detoxification can also be known or referred to as medically supervised withdrawal. It is the process of taking off an individual from an opiate they are physically dependent on. The detox process simply manages the symptoms of withdrawal an individual may experience when trying to stop opiates.

However, the detox process is different for individuals based on different factors. For instance, the type of drug or opiate and the intensity of addiction directly affect the detox process. Also, the length of time the individual has been using opiates can create a more intense reaction when detoxing. There are common symptoms that indicate the need for detoxification and they include:

  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Intense headache
  • Skin problems
  • Uncontrolled emotions
  • Symptoms of fever
  • Unstable blood pressure
  • Body pain
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Moodiness  (aggression in most cases)
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Runny nose
  • Insomnia
  • Constricted pupils
  • Loss of appetite
  • Regular

When you register for a detox program, you’ll get serious support in a hospital environment. The professionals or medical experts will administer opiate detox treatment to help remove the substance from your body or system. Note that it’s advisable to go for detoxification before entering a residential recovery treatment program.

Related Article: An overview of Outpatient and Inpatient Detox

Procedure for Opiate Detox

Realizing that you need to combat opioid addiction by first detoxing is a big step in the right direction. However, first, note that certain things are to be in place before you get detox treatment. It’s because opiate detox treatment doesn’t start when you get to the hospital. Instead, the procedure starts from the moment your need for detox comes up. These procedures include:

Gathering Information

Gathering knowledge is the first step in the opiate detox procedure. It’s important to collect enough information on how to go about opiate detox. The garnered information will help to equip you with knowledge on how to conduct the whole treatment process.

You’ll discover the best treatment plan for you, how much it’ll likely cost and how long the detox process will last. In addition, it’ll help you arrange your objectives and organize your life during the whole process, so you don’t get to miss out on much.

Financial Planning

financial planning

Opiate detoxification doesn’t come at a free price. After gathering information, you must come across the likely cost of the detox process. Next is to start planning towards opiate detox either by saving or budgeting for it.

The reason for planning financially towards opiate detox is that it doesn’t have a fixed price. So after making the necessary enquiries and discovering the right opiate detox services to go for, you need to make payments.

Some people make use of insurance while many others try to access government treatment facilities. Although government-funded facilities are cheaper, the waitlist and quality of treatment you may get is a big turn-off for most people.

On the other hand, private facilities are costlier than public facilities. But you’ll get quality treatment in a conducive environment with medical experts that are always ready to attend to you. You may want to weigh your options properly during the financial planning stage because it directly affects what happens during opiate detox.

Change of Lifestyle

It’s quite difficult to quit opiate addiction. But you can try to play a little part morally before going for an opiate detox process. In addition, you can make certain changes in your lifestyle that can significantly help you out before, during and after the whole detox process.

You can try to avoid a particular group of friends that try to lure you to illegal or unprescribed use of opiates. Also, you can avoid hanging out in some places that can expose or make you prone to abuse opiates.

Join support groups, go for counselling, seek healthy counteractive measures and just be about positivity generally. As small as this may sound, it can be a big game-changer for you.

Getting a Suitable Treatment Plan

Getting a suitable treatment plan is a part of why you have to gather information before going for opiate detox. It’ll enable you to get an appropriate treatment program. Then, you’ll come across the different opiate addiction treatments available and make a perfect choice.

You can go for the inpatient treatment programs where you’ll have to stay in the treatment facility as long as the opiate detox process requires. The outpatient program will have you living your normal life but with regular doctors appointment. Understandably, inpatient treatment costs more than the outpatient program due to accommodation and feeding costs.

Although, there’s no particular approach to opiate detox that’s guaranteed to work well for everyone. Medical experts in opiate treatment facilities switch opiates for a synthetic and medically approved opiate known as methadone. It can be taken by injection or orally.

Recovery and Follow-up

After the period of treatment elapses, it’s okay to resume your normal activities before the detox treatment. But you still have to keep visiting your doctor or medical expert for follow-up. In addition, you may still have to complete a particular dosage or minor process.

Follow-up is also important because the professional will closely monitor your vitals for signs of relapse. In addition, it’ll help the professional avail better treatment services to you, which will help you stay healthy.

How Long Does Withdrawal from Opiates Last?

Withdrawal from opiates doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a process that must complete its cycle. See the explanation of the withdrawal stages below.

Anticipatory Stage

This first stage occurs just 3 to 4 hours after the last dose. Your body is just getting used to functioning without opiates. At the anticipatory phase, you may start to experience anxiety, cravings, and display drug-needing habits.

Early Acute Stage

At this stage, you may begin to observe an increase in anxiety and restlessness and flu symptoms. The early acute stage usually starts 8 to 10 hours after your last dosage. Then you may begin to become nauseous, vomit and sweat more and experience stomach aches: your cravings and drug-needing habits.

Fully-formed Acute Stage

The fully-developed stage starts giving signs from 1 to 3 days after your last dose. This stage is the toughest because all the symptoms are heightened. You may begin experiencing increased muscle spasms, insomnia, diarrhea and blood pressure. Opiate cravings are at the highest level at this point.

Post-acute Withdrawal Syndrome Stage

post-acute withdrawal syndrome stage

This withdrawal stage occurs 24 months after your last dosage. There are no symptoms at this stage. However, individuals may still have depression, insomnia, poor concentration and mild cravings. In addition, you may still be vulnerable to environmental triggers that may encourage relapse.

Cost of Opiate Detox Treatment

The cost of some drug detox centres ranges from $5000 to $10000. However, it all depends on the intensity of your case. But your case may cost below $5000 or more than $10000. Moreover, the type of treatment you choose considerably affects the cost of opiate detox.

The cost of opiate detox treatment is unstable due to certain factors like the length and severity of treatment. Due to this, you’re to look for centres that are within your budget. Some of the   factors that affect the cost of opiate detox are:

Type of Treatment

At the start of rehab, some individuals may not need to detox. For instance, cocaine addicts don’t experience dangerous withdrawals when they quit. So there is no need for technical detox. Instead, they just have to be closely monitored by a medical expert.

Contrastingly, heroin users mostly experience dangerous withdrawals during detox. So they need medication during detox. It all boils down to the fact that different individuals require different treatment programs. So the cost of treatment can’t be the same. See a list of the medications doctors can use to combat addiction during detox.

  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone
  • Naltrexone

Type of Treatment Program

They include:

Inpatient Detox Program

The inpatient detox program is mostly costlier than the outpatient program. It costs between $200 and $500 daily. It equates to $6300 for a two-week detox stay. You may end up spending more depending on your treatment requirements.

Individuals seeking treatment have to reside in the treatment facility. Therefore, the cost of accommodation and feeding is a major contributor to the pricing of inpatient programs. Also, you’ll have access to the round-the-clock care the treatment facility offers.

For patients with severe addiction problems, it’s advisable to go for the inpatient treatment program. It’s is because medical experts are available to monitor you 24/7 on what happens during the opiate detox treatment process.

Inpatient detox programs take over your life until you the detox process is over. So, it makes the program have a higher success rate than outpatient programs.

Outpatient Detox Program

Outpatient treatment programs cost between $1500 and $2000, and you don’t have to reside in the treatment center. You simply have to book appointments with the doctor in charge. So it’s more flexible and cheaper than the inpatient treatment program.

The downside of outpatient detox programs is that you may miss appointments and risk more exposure to triggers. Therapies like counselling can also affect how much you’ll have to pay for opiate addiction treatment. However, most detox centres have lower prices.



The amenities in an opiate addiction rehab also affect the cost of detox treatment. Facilities with amenities like a tennis court, acupuncture, spacious rooms and exquisite cuisines will cost more.

Luxury rehab centers with sophisticated amenities can cost you tens of thousands of dollars monthly. Other rehab centers may not be this costly. But basically, more amenities mean an increase in the detox treatment price.

Length of Program

Detox programs can last for a month or even up to six months, depending on the severity of the problem. But, of course, the longer you need to get treatment, the more you have to pay for it. So, you don’t expect a one-month program cost to be the same as a six-month plan.


Insurance can help you cut the cost you’ll be paying for an opiate detoxification process. Most insurance companies have the responsibility to assist in addiction treatment issues. The reason is that drug addiction is a part of healthcare, so it’s within insurance coverage.

Related Article: Opiate Withdrawal and Symptoms: Is it Bad?

Final Take

Opiate addiction is a major problem worldwide, and Canada is one of the countries topping the chart. It’s great that you want out, but it takes certain steps to make it possible. You first have to go for an opiate detoxification process.

Depending on the severity of your case and budget, you may have to go for an inpatient or outpatient detox treatment program. It’s better you start to detox on time to avoid further health complications.

At Medical Detox Ontario, our team of experts is waiting to begin your recovery journey with you. It’s going to be worth it! Call us today!

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