Addiction to heroin and/or opiate painkillers that are oxycodone- or hydrocodone-based turns lives upside down. The physical dependence is crippling, but the psychological dependence on the drug can make it seem like the disorder is insurmountable.

Many drug rehab programs are designed to meet the needs of clients who are in active opiate addiction. Some offer medical detox to address the physical withdrawal symptoms, either on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Others focus on the provision of addiction treatment only, while still others offer both detox and addiction treatment services.

When looking for an opiate drug rehab program, it is essential that families consider the individual needs of the person seeking treatment as well as the addiction treatment center’s ability to support family members at home.

Top Opioid Rehab Programs


Serenity At Summit

Serenity at Summit is located in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and it is the northernmost location for the Serenity family of rehab programs located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. It offers:

  • Detox and medical care
  • Clinical stabilization and acute treatment services
  • Residential, inpatient treatment that provides access to cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, individual therapy, and group therapy sessions
  • Holistic treatment options


The Pennsylvania location of Caron Treatment Centers offers inpatient as well as outpatient treatment for clients in recovery from opiates and other substances. Services include:

  • Medical detox
  • Family support
  • Schooling and other education options on site
  • Mental health treatment


Arete Recovery

Arete Recovery is located in Pembroke Pines, Florida, and it offers people living with an opiate addiction the opportunity to enroll in an all-inclusive rehabilitation program. Services provided include:

  • 24-hour detox that includes high-quality medical care
  • Inpatient treatment that connects clients with substance abuse treatment experts
  • Residential care that provides around-the-clock support
  • Case management to ensure that treatment is personalized for  the individual’s needs

Mount Sinai Wellness Center

Mount Sinai Wellness Center offers a rural spot for drug addiction treatment in Dahlonega, Georgia. Services include:

  • Treatment for both addiction and co-occurring mental health services
  • Alternative therapies like acupuncture and yoga
  • Family program and support
  • Aftercare and alumni services

West Coast

California Highlands Addiction Treatment (CHAT)

California Highlands is located in Banning, California, and serves people all over the West Coast. Services include:

  • Detox and medical care.
  • Residential treatment for constant support.
  • Luxury amenities, including a private chef.
  • Research-based therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • Holistic treatments to augment a personalized treatment plan.

The Clearing

The Clearing is a non-12-step drug rehab program located in Friday Harbor, Washington, that offers dual diagnosis treatment for people living with both an addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder. Services include:

  • Medical detox and alcohol detox
  • Inpatient, residential treatment
  • Group therapy sessions
  • Disordered eating treatment

Eastern Seaboard

Maryland House Detox

Located in Linthicum, Maryland, Maryland House Detox is the first and only detox program in the state that stands on its own. Here, clients can take the first steps toward recovery in a protected environment that provides all the medical and mental health support needed to build a strong foundation for therapeutic recovery. Services provided include:

  • High-quality medical detox services
  • Connection to an inpatient drug addiction treatment for follow-up care
  • Cozy accommodations
  • Expert treatment and support


Sagebrush has locations in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. It offers residential treatment as well as intensive outpatient addiction treatment programs. Services include:

  • Family support programs
  • Transitional or sober living opportunities
  • Coed as well as single-gender residential facilities
  • Holistic care and treatment options

Is It Necessary To Begin Recovery From Opioid Addiction With Medical Detox?

In most cases, yes. Opioid addiction is characterized by both physical dependence and a psychological dependence on opiate drugs. With opioid use stops, the very first symptoms to kick in are usually physical. The experience is often intense, especially for people who are living with high-dose addictions when they stop using.

It is not easy to manage the withdrawal symptoms that come with opiate detox alone. In the first 24 hours after the last dose of an opiate drug, the first withdrawal symptoms appear. These include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Eyes tearing
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Achy or sore muscles

Symptoms usually intensify after the first day, lasting for a week or longer before plateauing and eventually dissipating.

The Following Symptoms Are Common:

  • Stomach cramps and diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Continued inability to sleep
  • Increase in muscle and bone aches and pains

Because of the psychological nature of addiction and the intensity of physical withdrawal symptoms, the first response is often to get more of the drug of choice to end the pain and discomfort. With a medical detox program, or an opioid addiction treatment program that offers medical detox, it is far more likely that a person will avoid relapse throughout the process and come out of the experience prepared to move forward with therapy in recovery.

What Medications Are Used To Treat Opiate Detox?

Medications to treat opiate detox have increasingly become the standard in detox and addiction treatment. Though they treat only the physical aspect of addiction and are not meant to be used as the only source of treatment for someone seeking a sober life, they can be an incredible tool in helping people to successfully transition from active drug use to active sobriety.

They are also touted as beneficial because they allow the individual to avoid going through a harsh opiate detox process that can be psychologically as well as physically devastating. Instead, medications allow for the person to immediately begin the treatment and care needed to learn how to live a new life without drugs of any kind.

Some of the medications often employed for opiate detox in combination with treatment include:


Methadone was considered the gold standard in opiate detox and addiction treatment for decades and still is the medication of choice for long-term or high-dose opiate addictions. Though prescribed for the treatment of pain for some patients in need of chronic pain management and itself an addictive drug, its liquid form is often used for the treatment of opiate addiction because of the ability to lower the dose milligram by milligram and tailor the detox process to the individual’s needs.


In 2002, buprenorphine became the first drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for nothing other than the treatment of opiate addiction. Legal for prescription on an outpatient basis, it was groundbreaking for patients with low-dose opiate addictions who could not afford inpatient treatment or who wanted to increase their ability to stay sober without going to a methadone clinic each day.

Subutex, the brand name for buprenorphine, is often prescribed for the first few days of detox as opiates leave the system. It is then replaced by Suboxone, the brand name for buprenorphine plus naloxone, a drug that stops the person from getting high should they relapse on an opiate drug.


Naltrexone is available in pill form, but it is most often administered by injection because of its long-lasting effects that relieve the client of the burden of medication management. Naltrexone blocks the drug of choice from taking effect, essentially stopping the person from being able to experience a high.

One study provided a systematic review of all studies up until 2015 that had investigated retention rates for those who used medications like buprenorphine and naltrexone to manage opiate detox and those who did not. It was found that there was a significantly higher ability for patients to stay sober for the long term when they used opiate detox medications.

What Criteria Should I Consider When Looking For An Opioid Rehab?

An opiate drug rehab program should offer everything that someone needs to heal from substance abuse and/or addiction. In recovery from opiate addiction, this means that a medical detox program should be provided as well as an intensive treatment plan that is personalized to address the issues that drove the substance abuse.

It is not a quick or easy process, and many people feel that once they are done with detox, they are ready to go back to their lives. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Not only is therapeutic intervention recommended, but a long-term aftercare plan is essential to helping individuals successfully transition back to the real world.

One study comparing the efficacy of different types of medication for the treatment of opiate detox found that it wasn’t the medication that made the most impact on the person’s ability to stay sober but whether or not they had an aftercare plan that was supportive.

Creating a new life takes time. Even if someone has months of sober time under their belts, medications to support detox in their pockets, and lots of great lessons on how to live a healthy life in their heads, the ongoing support of a sober community often makes the biggest difference in their ability to stay sober.

What Makes One Opiate Addiction Treatment Program Better Than Another?

Ultimately, there is no one perfect opiate detox or addiction treatment program that is going to be 100 percent effective in all cases. For example, one drug rehab that is far from home may provide one client with the space they need to focus on their recovery and heal, while another client will do much better in drug rehab that is close enough to home to include family members.

Each situation is unique, and it is important to take that into account in the beginning. Families are encouraged to talk to their doctor, speak at length with the mental health professionals treating their loved one, discuss the circumstances with different substance abuse treatment professionals, and tour the different programs they are considering to identify the right one for their needs.

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