Medical Opioid Detox
Assisted Pain Pill Detoxification

The initial step on every journey of addiction recovery is admission to a medically assisted detoxification center. Those who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for any period of time almost always undergo some degree of withdrawal upon abrupt cessation of use. More often than not, the symptoms of withdrawal will lead a person back to substance use before the detoxification process is over. This is part of the reason why entering into an inpatient detox program is so important. At Immersion Recovery Center we provide a comprehensive detox program; one that focuses on more than a safe, pain-free drug and alcohol withdrawal. In addition to providing around the clock medical care, we actively prepare our clients for the next appropriate stage of their personal recovery journeys. During pain pill detox, we conduct an individualized, in-depth evaluation, which helps us determine the length of our clients stay, what kind of medical intervention is necessary, and the next step for each client once they become physically stabilized.

If you or someone you love has been suffering from pain pill dependence, detox is an important initial step, and we are available to help. At Immersion Recovery Center we effectively treat the physical and psychological symptoms associated with pain pill withdrawal, making the entire detox process as comfortable as possible from start to finish. We utilize a combination of evidence-based medications, therapeutic practices and holistic treatment methods to provide the most integrated and effective care available. To learn more about our program of pain pill detox or to learn more about our multi-staged addiction treatment program as a whole, contact us today.

What are Pain Pills?

Pain pills, also called narcotics or opioid painkillers, are a type of medication most commonly used for the treatment of moderate or severe pain. Opioid painkillers work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, effectively blocking feelings of pain. It is recommended that pain pills like hydrocodone, oxycodone and codeine are only taken for several weeks at a time seeing as they can be habit-forming.

Most Commonly Misused Pain Pills

The most commonly misused pain pills include:

  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Hydrocodone
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Percocet
  • Vicodin

Pain Pill Addiction Facts & Statistics

Since the mid-1990s, rates of pain pill misuse and dependence have been on the rise throughout the U.S. Pharmaceutical companies began to heavily market pain pills like OxyContin, suggesting they were non-habit-forming and otherwise safe to use. It was soon discovered that these medications were highly addictive, and even patients who had been taking the medication as described were developing physical dependencies. A tolerance would build, meaning a higher dose was required in order for the desired effects to be achieved. When use was stopped abruptly, withdrawal symptoms would develop, leading to a vicious cycle that could not be effectively interrupted without professional help.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 10 percent of American adults used one or more prescription pain medications within the past 30 days between the years 2015 and 2018. The CDC states, “The number of drug overdose deaths increased by nearly 5 percent from 2018 to 2019 and has quadrupled since 1999. Over 70 percent of the 70,630 deaths in 2019 involved an opioid.” The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports, “3.3 percent (or about 9.3 million people) reported misusing prescription pain relievers in the past 12 months.” The scope of the problem continues to increase, and thousands of innocent people are losing their lives to painkiller overdose every year. If you or someone you love has been misusing pain pills, there is help available — and recovery is always possible.

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Signs & Symptoms of Pain Pill Addiction

If you believe you or someone you love has been suffering from a diagnosable pain pill use disorder, there are several signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) outlines a list of diagnostic criteria used to identify the presence of a painkiller use disorder. If you answer “yes” to two or more of the following questions, seeking professional help from a medical detox center is likely a good idea.

  1. Do you sometimes end up using a higher dose of pain pills than you originally intended, or do you use pain pills more frequently than you intend to?
  2. Have you wanted to cut back on your dose or quit entirely, only to find you were unable to do so for any significant period of time?
  3. Do you spend a significant amount of time obtaining pain pills, using pain pills and recovering from their effects?
  4. Do you often think of using pain pills/do you ever experience intense cravings?
  5. Has your drug use interfered with your ability to fulfill personal obligations or negatively impacted your performance at work or at school?
  6. Have you experienced interpersonal problems as a direct result of your pain pill use?
  7. Have you given up activities which were once interesting or important to you in order to engage in pain pill use?
  8. Have you been engaging in risk-taking activities more often than normal, like driving while under the influence of pain pills or combining pain pills with other substances like alcohol or opioid narcotics?
  9. Do you continue to use pain pills despite physical or psychological health concerns directly related to the prescription medication?
  10. Have you developed a physical tolerance, meaning a higher dose is required in order for the desired effects to be achieved?
  11. Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when pain pill use is stopped abruptly?

Pain Pill Withdrawal Signs & Symptoms

There are both physical and psychological symptoms associated with pain pill withdrawal. Because pain pills are predominantly opioid narcotic medications, the symptoms of withdrawal mimic the same withdrawal symptoms that one might experience when coming off of heroin or fentanyl. The severity and duration of the symptoms will vary on a person-to-person basis, but most people can expect the same general symptoms.

The Physical Symptoms of Pain Pill Withdrawal

The most common physical symptoms of pain pill withdrawal include:

  • Flu-like symptoms including runny nose, low-grade fever, upset stomach, chills and body aches.
  • Profuse sweating/night sweats.
  • Persistent headaches.
  • Uncontrollable shaking/body tremors.
  • Severe stomach cramping.
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Sleeplessness and insomnia.
  • Increased blood pressure or heart rate.

The Psychological Symptoms of Pain Pill Withdrawal

The most common psychological symptoms of pain pill withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety and panic attack.
  • Depressed mood.
  • Mood swings, typically characterized by irritability and agitation.
  • Confusion and disorientation.
  • Intense opioid cravings.

Pain Pill Withdrawal Timeline

How long does pain pill withdrawal last? The duration of withdrawal depends on the severity of the substance use disorder, but in most cases symptoms will completely resolve within one to two weeks.

Pain pill detox timeline pain pill withdrawal

A standard pain pill detox timeline looks like this:

  • 8 to 24 hours after the final dose – Withdrawal symptoms begin to develop. Symptoms are not yet severe, and might include mild physical discomfort and intense drug cravings.
  • 24 to 72 hours after the final dose – Symptoms peak in severity, and might resemble the symptoms associated with a severe cold or flu. Typical symptoms include nausea, vomiting, body aches and pain, stomach cramping, body tremors, cold sweats and agitation, among others.
  • 1 to 2 weeks after the final dose – The more severe physical and psychological symptoms subside. Symptoms of post-acute withdrawal persist, including mild anxiety, sleep-related issues and drug cravings.

What Causes Pain Pill Withdrawal?

When a person takes pain medication, the medication binds with opioid receptors in the brain in order to reduce feelings of pain and discomfort. When taken as prescribed, this type of medication is generally effective and safe to use. However, if a person takes a higher dose than recommended, they might experience feelings of euphoria — which can be psychologically addictive in and of itself. If a person consistently takes a higher dose than prescribed for a prolonged period of time, they will eventually develop a physical tolerance. When they stop using the medication suddenly they will experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping, body tremors, profuse sweating and joint pain. In order to find relief from these symptoms, a person who has been struggling with pain pill dependence often reaches for the drug rather than professional help. However, help is available. Contact Immersion Recovery Center today to begin your personal recovery journey.

Is Pain Pill Detox Always Necessary?

Even though the physical symptoms associated with prescription painkiller withdrawal are rarely severe, the psychological symptoms should be closely monitored in order to prevent complications — more specifically, the intense cravings that typically accompany opioid withdrawal and often lead to relapse. There are numerous benefits which go hand-in-hand with inpatient detox, including:

  • Clients have access to professional, around the clock medical care.
  • Clients are able to relax in comfortable, private bedrooms.
  • In addition to medical care, clients can take advantage of professional therapeutic care by way of individual, group and family therapy sessions.
  • Clients have 24/7 access to a fully stocked kitchen and daily, chef-prepared meals, including highly nutritious foods geared towards physical healing.
  • Clients work directly with a case manager who helps them develop a personalized aftercare plan, including an immediate transition into the next appropriate level of care.
  • If a potentially dangerous symptom develops, clients have access to medication assisted treatment options.
  • Clients are able to find effective alternatives to any pain medications they might have been prescribed.

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Treatment Options for Pain Pill Withdrawal

The best treatment options for your unique case depend on several factors, including:

  • What dose of the pain medication you were taking on a daily or near daily basis.
  • Whether or not you were combining pain pills with other chemical substances.
  • The duration and severity of your substance use disorder.
  • The presence of any underlying physical or psychiatric health conditions.
  • Your age, body weight and gender.
Pain pill detox options pain pill withdrawal

In most cases, the symptoms associated with pain pill withdrawal can be effectively treated with a combination of rest, relaxation, over-the-counter pain relievers, non-addictive sleep aids and behavioral therapy. However, if a person has a history of seizures or another major medical condition, additional medications might become necessary.

Medications Used for Pain Pill Withdrawal

The most common medications used for pain pill withdrawal are sleep aids and over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. However, the following medications might also be used to help alleviate more severe physical symptoms and reduce overwhelming drug cravings:

  • Buprenorphine – This long-acting partial opioid agonist attaches to opioid receptors in the brain, mimicking the effects of painkillers in order to reduce physical symptoms of withdrawal. Although buprenorphine does not result in a “high” the same way prescription painkillers might, use is closely monitored by a prescribing physician in a medical detox setting.
  • Naltrexone – This medication is an opioid antagonist, one that actively reduces the drug cravings which often lead to relapse. It is important to note that Naltrexone is only effective after all traces of painkillers have been removed from the system.

Long-Term Pain Pill Addiction Recovery

At Immersion Recovery Center we break our medical detox program down into three distinct stages: evaluation, stabilization and preparation. Upon admission to our detox program each client undergoes a detailed and in-depth addiction assessment, or evaluation. We ask a series of pertinent questions, including:

  • What type of substance/substances were being used, and for how long?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed or treated for an underlying mental or physical condition, such as a mental illness or chronic health concern?
  • Have you undergone treatment for a substance use disorder in the past?
  • How much of the pain medication were you using on a daily basis/what dosage were you taking?

The questions we ask during the initial assessment help our clinical and medical team determine which detox methods are the most appropriate for each unique case. Next, we focus our attention on physical stabilization. Clients are able to relax in their private or semi-private bedrooms, and they have the opportunity to participate in group workshops and behavioral therapy sessions if they are feeling up to doing so. The physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal are treated as soon as they develop, seeing as our team of licensed medical professionals are available 24-hours a day.

Our main priority is making the detox process as comfortable as possible. Once physical stabilization has been achieved, clients make a smooth transition into the next appropriate level of clinical care. In most cases, this means transitioning into a residential inpatient treatment center. At Immersion Recovery Center we offer a multi-staged program of recovery, which includes:

Long-term drug addiction recovery is always possible. With an individualized and effective treatment program in place, even the most severe cases of painkiller dependence can be overcome. Contact us today to learn more or to get started with our simple and straightforward admissions process.

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Immersion Recovery Center provides a licensed, individualized and integrated detox program to people of all ages who have been struggling with addictive disorders of all types and severities. We offer a step-down curriculum of clinical care, designed to help our clients make a smooth and seamless transition from medical detox into the next level of care and eventually back into independent living. We understand how difficult it might seem to choose the best drug and alcohol detox in Florida for your unique personal needs. Fortunately, we are available to help make the decision easier. The moment you contact us, either directly through our website or over the phone, you are put in touch with one of our experienced and compassionate Treatment Advisors. They ask a short series of questions, ultimately helping you determine which level of care is the most appropriate for your unique case. If we believe our program is a good fit we conduct a free, no obligation insurance benefit check and facilitate local travel to our Delray Beach, Florida treatment center. Contact us today to begin.

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