What is an Opiate Addiction?opioid detox at home

Opiates are substances that are derived from the opium plant, poppy. They elicit a pain-relieving effect by binding to the opioid receptors in one’s brain and depressing the central nervous system. When abused, opiates can cause feelings of euphoria, as the brain is flooded with dopamine. When the feelings of the “high” begin to wear off, the individual will physically crave more of the substance. This can quickly become an unhealthy, cyclical pattern of abuse that can lead to physical dependence (needing opiates in one’s system to function) and subsequently addiction.

The term “opiate” is often incorrectly used interchangeably with the term opioid. All opiates are accurately categorized as opioids, but not all opioids are actually opiates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that opiates refer to the natural version of opioids (e.g. morphine, codeine, and heroin), whereas opioids encompass all natural, semisynthetic, and synthetic opioids. Opioids are a class of drugs often used to relieve chronic and/ or intense pain.

Should I Do Opioid Detox at Home?

When the negative consequences from an opiate addiction continue to pile up, eventually a day of reckoning will come. Some individuals battling opiate dependency feel stuck in their addiction, fearing the detox and withdrawal phase as much as the devastating effects of the drug itself. Although it seems daunting, home detox from opiates will provide the medical support and oversight needed to successfully wind through the process and get into active recovery.

Of course, anyone who says that heroin or opioid detox is a piece of cake is not being truthful.  There is no way to dress up that pig; opiate detox is quite simply a pig. However, there are a plethora of supportive and therapeutic measures that can definitely ease the discomfort of the withdrawal symptoms and help guide one through those few days of suffering.

The detox process, whether at home or in a detox facility, is the same. A medical doctor will oversee the process and a trained detox nurse will be assigned to monitor the patient and provide medical support. Vital signs will be recorded over a period of 5 days through the acute phase of withdrawal, as heart and respiratory rates can be affected during detox.

Can I Stop Opioids Suddenly?

Going cold turkey and attempting to manage one’s own opiate detox is never, ever a sound idea. With the potential health risks that can present during withdrawal, it is prudent to have medical supervision monitoring the process. With this understood, the detox options boil down to either entering an inpatient detox facility or to undergo home detox from opiates.

The most cited reasons for choosing the home detox option are privacy and comfort.  Instead of spending several days in a sterile facility, home detox provides the peace of being in your own personal space while winding through the difficult withdrawal phase.  At home there is more freedom, there may be a family support system, and an in-home detox offers privacy and discretion.

An individual who has struggled with a substance use disorder should not attempt to abruptly stop using the substance and attempt to complete the detox and withdrawal process on his or her own. It is always recommended that detox be overseen by a professional who is trained in addiction recovery, as these experts are knowledgeable about managing withdrawal symptoms and recognizing serious health events that may emerge during the process.

Prescription Opioid Detox Symptoms

While the entire detox and withdrawal process will take about a week, it is days 2-4 that withdrawal symptoms peak.  Symptoms first arrive within 6-12 hours of the last dosing of heroin or prescription pain medications. As the body reacts to the absence of a new dose, withdrawal symptoms will be anywhere from mild to severe based on the history of drug use, whether there is a co-occurring mental health condition, and the person’s overall health.

In the first two days of opiate withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Eyes tearing
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Agitation
  • Excessive yawning
  • Increased heart rate
  • Runny nose
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

Days 3-7 opiates withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Chills and goose bumps
  • Drug cravings
  • Depression

To help manage the withdrawal symptoms, the medical professional will administer medications that can treat most of the uncomfortable symptoms. To help reduce drug cravings, methadone, Suboxone, or buprenorphine can be prescribed for a limited period of time, which helps prevent relapse. In addition to the medication interventions, the private detox nurse can be a strong source of emotional support during the detox process.

Next Steps After Home Detox From Opiates

Once the substance has been successfully removed from the body and withdrawal symptoms have generally subsided, the next step of the recovery process is a structured addiction treatment program. Again, there are options, such as an inpatient treatment program or an outpatient program whichever is the better fit for the individual. Each has merit, so the decision as to which one to enter will likely be dictated by the severity and history of the opiate addiction, and personal resources.

Relapse prevention is the top priority in early recovery when individuals are most vulnerable. For this reason, it is advised that, along with a treatment program, the individual participate in a recovery support group, such as N.A., A.A., or SMART Recovery. All of these steps—detox, active treatment program, and peer support—are stepping stones towards a new life in recovery.

Who Provides Our Care?

Our care is provided by Kinkaid’s team of in-home nurses with decades of experience caring for your detox needs. Our nurses are trained to provide high-quality care in a kind, safe and professional manner.

Where is Our At-Home Care Available?

Our in-home opioid detox is provided throughout the Los Angeles area. Specifically, we cover Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood, Westwood, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Malibu, Holmby Hills, Cheviot Hills, Culver City, Beverly Glen, Beverlywood, and surrounding cities in California.

Why Choose Kinkaid?

Kinkaid Private Nursing Care offers premium in-home services to patients looking for the best and most intensive care on the market. We only take on a few clients at a time, so we always provide specialized care to meet the needs of each client. Additionally, not only do we specialize in premium care, but we also practice proper management techniques to ensure your care is organized, efficient, and best for you.

Overall, we create a concierge medical experience for each of our clients. Our approach starts with building relationships with each of our clients and their families; we get to know you in the comfort and privacy of your home to better understand your exact needs. We then create a personal care team for you consisting of at least a clinical nurse specialist, clinical case manager, and care coordinator. Our compassionate teams are clinician-led and available to you 24/7 to provide unparalleled service and attention to detail.

For more information, please call us at 866-337-4596 or fill out our contact form below.

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If you have any questions or would like additional information on the services that we provide, please contact a nurse specialist by calling us or filling out the following form.

(866) 337-4596