Opioids have been the subject of controversy over the last decade as the rates of opioid addiction and overdose have increased. Drug overdose deaths reached record numbers in 2020, with a 20% increase from 2019. More than 93,000 people died in overdose deaths that year, and many of those cases involved opioids. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl have fueled the recent surge in opioid-related overdoses. The drug is extremely powerful and can be deadly in doses as small as 3 milligrams.

The most recent spike in overdose deaths may be related to problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. In Los Angeles County, there were 347 opioid overdose deaths from March to July in 2019. During the same period in 2020, which was the beginning of the pandemic, there were 611 overdose deaths. 

Both prescription and illicit opioids have contributed to increased addiction and overdose rates in Los Angeles. Overcoming an opioid use disorder often starts with medical detox. Detox can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms, allowing you to reach sobriety. Learn more about medical detox in Los Angeles.

California Highlands Opioid Detox in Los Angeles

Opioid detox is an important part of addiction treatment for many. Though it’s not all you need when you have a substance use disorder, it may be an essential start to treatment. Learn more about opioid withdrawal and how detox works at California Highlands. 

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

The opioid withdrawal symptoms are a frightening aspect of quitting an opioid addiction for many people. While opioid withdrawal is very unpleasant, the good news is that it’s not usually life-threatening. Still, it may feel like you’re severely sick. Opioid withdrawal mimics a particularly uncomfortable case of the flu. It can cause symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Increased body temperature
  • Insomnia
  • Body aches
  • Increased yawning
  • Increased tearing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Abdominal pain

While most people don’t encounter life-threatening symptoms during opioid withdrawal, it may be difficult to get through withdrawal without relapse. On top of the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, you may also experience powerful cravings to use the drug again. Opioid withdrawal can become dangerous when you don’t have access to water or if you can’t keep fluids down. Opioid withdrawal symptoms like sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea can cause you to dehydrate quickly. Like the flu, withdrawal should be treated by drinking plenty of fluids. Because opioid withdrawal can be difficult to get through, many people go through a medical detox program. 

How Opioid Detox Works

Opioid detox is the highest level of care in addiction treatment. In detox, you will be treated by medical professionals as you go through withdrawal symptoms. Detox is reserved for people with significant medical needs going into addiction treatment. This usually includes people with a high likelihood of going through severe withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox usually lasts for five to ten days, depending on your needs. The length of time withdrawal symptoms last depends on several factors, including the length of time you were dependent on the drug, the size of your last dose, and the specific kind of opioid you were taking. 

Opioids cause withdrawal symptoms after your brain and body adapt to the presence of the drug, which is called chemical dependence. Opioids bind to receptors all over your body, which is why you feel full-body symptoms when you quit, like body aches. Withdrawal symptoms may be the most uncomfortable when you take opioids consistently for a long time before quitting cold turkey. Tapering can help alleviate severe symptoms in some cases. Tapering involves the use of a prescription opioid medication that you take in smaller and smaller doses as your body adjusts back to normal. Tapering may cause the detox period to take longer, but it may help some people get through withdrawal.  

Medication-Assisted Treatment Alternatives

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an approach to treating opioid use disorders that utilizes specific medications that are approved to treat withdrawal and addiction directly. MAT is also used to treat alcohol use disorders, but opioid MAT is more common. Medications are usually supplemental to therapies designed to address the psychological and social aspects of addiction.

Medications may make it easier for people with SUDs to participate in addiction treatment without having to go through uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms first. For many, withdrawal is a significant barrier to effective treatment, and MAT is often reserved for people that have attempted traditional treatment multiple times. 

MAT medications include methadone, buprenorphine, and Suboxone. Methadone is a synthetic opioid that can alleviate withdrawal symptoms and opioid cravings. Methadone is used in maintenance programs, which involve the indefinite use of a medication to replace a more harmful opioid. However, it may also be used alongside treatment in MAT. 

Buprenorphine is becoming more popular than methadone in MAT. It’s a partial opioid agonist, which means that it has a weak effect on opioid receptors. This allows it to stave off withdrawal symptoms and cravings without causing intoxicating side effects. It also has a lower overdose potential than other prescription and illicit opioids. 

Suboxone is a brand-name medication that contains both buprenorphine and a drug called naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means that it binds to opioid receptors and stops them from activating. Naloxone is sold as Narcan, which is used to treat opioid overdoses. Suboxone is taken sublingually, which means it’s placed under the tongue. When Suboxone is taken as directed, naloxone isn’t active because it can’t get through your mouth and tongue to your bloodstream as easily as buprenorphine. However, if you try to use Suboxone in another way to achieve a euphoric high, the naloxone will bind to receptors and cause withdrawal symptoms. The inclusion of naloxone helps safeguard the drug against misuse., which makes it useful in treating substance use disorders. 

Rather than going through detox and withdrawal at the beginning of treatment, MAT medications satisfy cravings and avoid withdrawal without causing intoxication. This allows clients to go through addiction treatment and form relapse prevention strategies before tapering off of the MAT drug.


Opioid Detox in Los Angeles FAQ

If you’re looking for opioid detox in Los Angeles, there may be some common questions you have that are answered here. If not, feel free to call California Highlands and ask. 

How Long is Rehab?

The length of time you will spend in rehab is a concern for many people that are seeking addiction treatment. Like most aspects of effective addiction treatment, the length of time you spend in rehab will depend on your needs. People with high-level needs usually need more time than people with low-level needs. However, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has identified an ideal minimum amount of time for treatment to be effective. Research shows that treatment that’s shorter than 90 days is limited in its effectiveness. 

But that doesn’t mean you will spend all 90 days away from your home, family, and responsibilities. Medical detox is the highest level of inpatient care, and it typically lasts for a week to ten days, depending on your needs. Other levels of inpatient care may last for two to three weeks. Again, your treatment plan will be tailored to you, and the length of time you spend in treatment will be unique to your specific plan. 

Do I Have to Travel?

Whether you live across town or across the country, if you want to attend California Highlands, you will have to travel. California Highlands offers inpatient treatment and in-person therapies that require you to be here. There are pros and cons to attending addiction treatment away from home. Though you have to go through the challenge of traveling and living away from your hometown, you will also be removed from the environment in which you were in active addiction. For many, it feels like a fresh start. However, if you can’t travel, there may be treatment services in your area that can help you overcome addiction. 

Does California Highlands Provide Transportation?

Transportation can be a challenge for many people. California Highlands will help you get to treatment in any way that we can. If you need to fly to California Highlands, you will need to manage your flights. But when you land, we can pick you up and bring you to the treatment center. While you’re going through inpatient treatment, many of your appointments with doctors, clinicians, and therapists will be on-campus. However, if you do need to attend an appointment with a doctor or specialist off-campus, we can drive you to and from appointments. 

How Much Does Drug Rehab Cost?

The cost of rehab will vary from person to person, depending on the specifics of your treatment plan. Like many healthcare procedures and programs, rehab can be costly, ranging from a few thousand to several thousand dollars. However, like medical care, it may be essential in allowing you to live a healthy and productive life. For most people with moderate to severe substance use disorders, addiction threatens their health, relationships, and livelihood. For that reason, it’s worth the cost if you need it.

What Insurance Carriers Does California Highlands Take?

While drug rehab can be costly, insurance can help offset the cost, making it more affordable. California Highlands accepts insurance coverage from most private insurance providers. We are in-network with several major providers, including Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna. However, even if we are not in-network with your insurance provider, you may be able to get coverage.

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