Opiate detox

Alcohol detox center

Detox is a crucial first step in most people’s recovery journey. Detoxifying from addictive substances, especially opioids, presents a number of potentially fatal medical risks, psychological challenges, and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

SAMHSA’s recommendations for detox

“For alcohol, sedative-hypnotic, and opioid withdrawal syndromes, hospitalization or some form of 24-hour medical care is generally the preferred setting for detoxification, based upon principles of safety and humanitarian concerns.”

– SAMHSA Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment Improvement Protocol, TIP 45

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How do I know if I need opiate detox?

An opiate detox program is used to treat individuals who are struggling with opioid addiction and may meet the diagnostic criteria for substance use disorder.

What are opiates?

There are a range of opiates (formally referred to as a class of drugs called opioids). Opioids are narcotics either derived from opium poppy plants or synthetically manufactured. They can be used to induce sleep and alleviate pain or used recreationally to create feelings of euphoria. However, opiates have become the most popular form of pain relief, despite a lack of evidence that they are effective in the treatment of long-term pain. Long-term use can result in increased sensitivity to pain. 

Because these drugs affect the pleasure center of the brain, causing euphoria, they have the greatest potential for misuse, meaning they can lead to the brain becoming addicted and subsequently cause substance use disorder. Opioids can also lead to the body becoming physically dependent. This can mean that unpleasant side effects, or withdrawal symptoms, are experienced when use of the drug is reduced or stopped.

Opioids are the most powerful drugs available in the United States with some of the deadliest consequences. Found as both prescription medications for pain and illicit street drugs, opioids have the ability to cause changes in the body that can lead to physical dependence in a very short period of time.

Synthetically manufactured opioid drugs include codeine, oxycodone, methadone, fentanyl, morphine,  hydrocodone (Norco/Vicodin/Lortab) and hydromorphone (Dilaudid IR). Illicit opiates used most commonly include heroin, but also prescription opioids like oxycodone and fentanyl.

Some of the most potent opioids that are prescribed include fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, morphine, and carfentanyl. Between 1999 and 2011, the consumption of hydrocodone more than doubled and the use of oxycodone increased by nearly 500 percent. 

Street names for opioids include oxy, m30s, percs, demmies, black tar heroin, China, big whites, Captain Cody, act, Little C, Dro, purple drank, smack, footballs, morpho, roxy, ercs, greenies, rims, God’s drug, footballs, chill pills, trammies.

What is substance use disorder?

Dependence occurs as a result of changes within the body and brain when someone is chronically exposed to the drug. Substance use disorder (SUD) is defined as compulsively seeking a drug despite negative consequences. SUD is a serious medical condition affecting an estimated 20 million Americans (SAMHSA, 2017). On average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose (CDC). 

The effects of opioid or substance use disorders are wide-ranging and potentially fatal. They are highly addictive and very difficult to withdraw from without professional medical detox. Their effects include the risk of overdose, slowed breathing, heart rate and blood pressure, disorientation, coma, and gastrointestinal problems.

There are many reasons why people don’t seek the help they need, including feelings of shame and fear about the process of detoxification. Many fear that detox will be uncomfortable and painful. You will know if you need detox by seeking professional medical assistance from a qualified medical provider who can best advise you based on your personal situation and use history. Our admissions team would be happy to help advise you as to the best next steps.

Opioid detox and withdrawal symptoms

Without proper medical intervention and an individualized plan, opioid detox can be unpleasant and potentially fatal.

Common opioid detox and withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Inability to sleep
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Teary eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Goosebumps on the skin

We can help overcome uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms through effective, safe, and comfortable medical detox provided by addiction experts. Our patients are rarely uncomfortable because we provide an individualized plan for each patient and their needs.happy man sitting outside

Different types of opioid detox centers

There are various types of opioid detox. Not all detox options are the same, either. Many medical detox centers use outdated protocols and oral medications within the confines of psychiatric facilities, leaving patients feeling dehumanized while they stay in a sterile and cold environment.

The Gallus Method of Opioid detox

Gallus Medical Detox provides the comfort of a residential facility, but with clinical expertise that is far superior to most detox facilities. We offer safe, effective, and personalized treatment. We are so proud of our proprietary method that we named it The Gallus Method.

The key features of Gallus Medical Detox include:

  • Individual treatment plans
  • Psychological, physical, and social assessments
  • IV Therapy Program
  • 24/7 medical supervision
  • Cardiac telemetry and video technology
  • Adjustments to treatment plans to suit our patients’ needs
  • An individual recovery plan identifying resources and next steps toward a long-term recovery

We have addiction treatment centers in Arizona and Colorado, with more opening throughout the US this year.

What our patients say about Gallus Medical Detox

Our patients are the best judge of the quality of our care. Here is what they have to say:

  • “I was hopelessly dependent on opiates for day-to-day living and would have never believed I would become comfortably sober ever again. I simply did not believe it, even as I was reassured by staff that it would happen, until they made it happen. I’ll never forget the people that I met here and the treatment that I received.”
  • “The staff was extremely helpful! They did such a great job keeping me comfortable during my detox. For having a 2½gram-a-day heroin addiction I barely had any withdrawal symptoms. It was an amazing stay under the circumstances.”
  • “I cannot express in words my deep appreciation for the kindness and very individualized care delivered by motivated and professional caregivers.”


Gallus also offers a range of other detox services, including polysubstance use (more than one substance). For more information, visit our Medical Detox Program pages.

Call Gallus Medical Detox Centers today and see how we can help you or your loved one take the best first step toward recovery: 866-358-6446.