numa recovery center logo

How to Detox From Opiates & Opioids

Last Updated on May 22, 2024
adam zagha of numa detox and rehab in los angeles
Writer: Adam Zagha
Clinical Reviewer: Ariana Gravanis

Knowing how to detox from opiates and opioids is vitally important, as this involves the process of tapering opioids to manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent severe pain. It’s a delicate process that also requires the supervision of healthcare professionals. This article what takes place during opioid detox, its withdrawal symptoms, and more.

As one of the leading detox and rehab centers in Los Angeles, NUMA Recovery Centers provides comprehensive and personalized treatment options to individuals struggling with opioid use disorder. We are dedicated to managing opioid withdrawal symptoms and helping people lead healthier, opioid-free lives. Start your recovery journey with us; contact NUMA Recovery Centers today.


Start Recovery Here.
Call (323) 970-9379

Quick Points

  • The withdrawal symptoms for fast-acting opioids like heroin can manifest within 6 to 12 hours after the last dose.

  • Opioids can be detected in urine within 2 to 4 days and in hair for up to 90 days.

  • Opioid withdrawal symptoms usually peak within 24 to 72 hours after last use and gradually subside after the third day.

  • Opioid detox should be supervised by a healthcare professional to manage withdrawal symptoms and ensure the patient's well-being.

  • A clinical opioid withdrawal scale and medication-assisted treatment may be used for patients undergoing opioid detox to effectively manage and monitor withdrawal symptoms.

What are Opiates and Opioids?

Opiates and opioids are a class of drugs used to treat chronic pain. Despite its effectiveness in managing pain and joint pain, taking opioids carries a high risk of addiction, dependence, and drug abuse. Long-term use of opioid drugs can result in opioid use disorder.

A healthcare professional should practice due diligence when prescribing opioid medicine given its potential for substance abuse. As a result, the use of opioids and other drugs for pain management requires close monitoring to prevent drug abuse and ensure patient safety.

Different Types of Opioids and Opiates

Here are the different prescription opioids and opiates that are often subject to abuse and addiction:

  • Morphine

  • Codeine

  • Oxycodone

  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco)

  • Oxymorphone (Opana)

  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)

  • Fentanyl (Duragesic)

  • Methadone

  • Buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex)

  • Tramadol

  • Tapentadol

  • Meperidine (Demerol)

There are also non-prescription opioids that are often subject to addiction and substance abuse. Heroin, an illicit drug, and designer opioids, such as U-47700 and AH-7921, are common examples.

What is The Opiates Detox Process?

The opiate detox process involves gradually reducing the dose of opioids to minimize withdrawal symptoms. This procedure helps manage opioid dependence, alleviate severe withdrawal, and support long-term recovery.

The detox process can take a few weeks and may require the involvement of support groups and mental health services. Healthcare providers should supervise this process to monitor progress and adjust the treatment as needed.

Is Detox Enough for Opioid Addiction Treatment?

Detox alone is often insufficient to address opioid addiction. For opioid-dependent patients, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) or monitored use of certain opioid medicines is crucial to effectively manage opioid withdrawal symptoms and achieve long-term recovery.

Utilizing the clinical opioid withdrawal scale can help healthcare providers tailor treatment plans effectively. Additionally, a strong support system and a comprehensive aftercare plan are essential for maintaining sobriety post-detox.

What Withdrawal Symptoms Should I Expect?

The symptoms of opioid withdrawal usually manifest within 6-12 hours after the last dose of short-acting opioids. On the other hand, the withdrawal symptoms for long-acting opioids, such as oxycodone, methadone, fentanyl, etc., manifest within 24-48 hours.

Early symptoms of opioid withdrawal include anxiety, muscle aches, sweating, and a runny nose. During the later stages of the detox process, the opiate withdrawal symptoms can involve nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe drug cravings.

Here’s a breakdown of the timeline of the opioid detox process:

Timeline for Manifestation of Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms During Detox

6-12 Hours After Last Dose

  • Onset of opioid withdrawal symptoms after the last dose

  • Manifestation of opioid withdrawal symptoms occurs among users of short-acting opiates like heroin and other opioid medications with immediate-release formulations, such as oxycodone.

  • Common symptoms of opioid withdrawal

    • Anxiety

    • Agitation

    • Muscle aches

    • Sweating

    • Yawning

    • Runny nose

12-24 Hours After Last Dose

  • At this point, symptoms of opioid withdrawal after the last dose intensify and become more uncomfortable.

  • Increased restlessness felt along with the initial opioid withdrawal symptoms.

24-72 Hours After Last Dose

  • All opioid withdrawal symptoms usually peak within this period.

  • Common Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Severe Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

    • Rapid heartbeat

    • High blood pressure

    • Severe muscle and joint pain

    • Intense cravings for opioids

72 Hours to 1 Week

  • At this point, all acute symptoms begin to gradually subside. However, there can still be some discomfort.

  • Common Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Severe Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

    • Persistent muscle aches

    • Increased heart rate

    • Depression

    • Anxiety

1 Week to Several Weeks (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome or PAWS)

  • Some of the symptoms of opioid withdrawal can linger for weeks or even months after the acute phase. While not typically life-threatening, these symptoms can be challenging.

  • Common symptoms experienced during this period are:

    • Persistent sleep disturbances

    • Fatigue

    • Mood swings

    • Anxiety

  • Some of the severe opioid withdrawal symptoms include:

How Long Will Opioids Stay in My System?

There are several factors that may influence the duration opioids stay in your system. Examples of these factors include:

  • Type of opioid

  • Dosage

  • Metabolism of the individual

  • Frequency

  • Duration of drug use

Generally, opioids can be detected in urine for two to four days, and in the hair for up to 90 days. However, opioids last no longer than 6 to 24 hours in the bloodstream after consumption. This is due to the metabolic properties of opioids and the efficiency of the body’s elimination process.

Is it Possible to Taper Off?

Yes, it is possible to taper off opioids. However, the process should be done under the guidance of healthcare professionals. Tapering opioids involves the gradual reduction of the dose of opioid medicine to minimize the withdrawal symptoms and manage symptoms.

This method is often recommended for patients who have been using opioids for an extended period and have become physically dependent on opioid use. With this approach, the body can adjust and recover slowly.

Furthermore, healthcare providers may use tools like the clinical opioid withdrawal scale for patients treated with this method to tailor the tapering schedule and manage opioid withdrawal symptoms effectively. Incorporating medication-assisted treatment and additional support services can also improve the chances of successful opioid withdrawal management and long-term recovery.

What are the Risks?

The risks involved during opioid withdrawal include severe symptoms such as dehydration, high blood pressure, and serious mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Without proper medical supervision, these risks can become life-threatening.

Moreover, going cold turkey or suddenly stopping opioids can lead to severe opioid withdrawal symptoms in opioid-dependent patients. These symptoms can include flu-like symptoms, anxiety, and insomnia. A healthcare professional can carefully manage opioid withdrawal symptoms to ensure the safety and well-being of patients.

How Can NUMA Help?

NUMA Recovery Centers offer specialized programs to help individuals detox from opiates and opioids safely. Our addiction treatment options include medical detox, therapy, and support groups, which are all designed to address both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.

Our facility has a strong support system, which allows us to help patients manage withdrawal symptoms and achieve long-term recovery. Additionally, our dedicated team of healthcare professionals works tirelessly to ensure each patient receives personalized care. At NUMA Recovery Centers, your recovery is our mission; contact us today to get started.

Start Recovery Here.
Call (323) 970-9379
Post Categories: ,
adam zagha of numa detox and rehab in los angeles
Adam Zagha
Adam Zagha is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles with over a decade of experience in addiction treatment and recovery. He holds a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology and is certified in EMDR therapy, CBT, DBT, and ACT. Prior to Numa Recovery Centers, Adam was CFO and the Director of Clinical Outreach at Transcend Recovery Community. Adam is committed to providing top-quality care to individuals seeking treatment for addiction and mental health issues. He also provides trainings and workshops on addiction, mental health, and mindfulness.
Full Writer Profile
About Numa
Numa Recovery Centers is a leading drug and alcohol detox and rehab company based in Los Angeles, providing evidence-based treatment for substance abuse and addiction. With a team of experienced professionals, Numa offers a comprehensive range of personalized services to help clients overcome addiction and achieve long-term recovery.
Contact Us

    Related Posts
    numa recovery centers white
    Numa Recovery Centers is a comprehensive drug and alcohol detox and rehab facility in Los Angeles, California dedicated to helping individuals overcome addiction and achieve lasting recovery. Our team of experienced professionals provides individualized care and support to address the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of those struggling with substance abuse.


    826 N Mariposa Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90029

    California License Number: 191284AP

    Expiration Date: 01/31/2026

    Call Now Button