Opioid detox is delicate and complex medical procedure, just like surgery and maintenance protocol for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and other chronic diseases. It’s important that clients opioid use disorder sufferers get the help they need from an experienced and qualified medical professional. Opiates and opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers have become the single-most dangerous addiction threat in the United States. This is because, on an individual level, they hijack users’ brain-chemistry and disable their ability to make decisions for themselves.

These powerful drugs have proven remarkably effective in the treatment of conditions like cancer-related pain; however, their potential for diversion and misuse has led to the single greatest addiction epidemic and public health crisis this nation has ever seen, with tens of thousands dying each year. Proper opioid detox and withdrawal management is the first step in the treatment process for these potent drugs and is a critical part of recovery.


The legal use of prescription painkillers (opioids) has blurred the lines between acceptable use and abuse. It’s easy for abusers to mask their addictive behavior by hiding behind a physician’s prescription. In the meantime, they’re taking too many pills too often and many are secretly nursing a dependency problem. When a user starts to experience significant behavioral changes or physical withdrawal symptoms as a result of their opiate and opioid use, they need thorough and comprehensive treatment, beginning with medically supervised detox. It will often be up to loved ones to monitor behavior and step in to offer help if the problem persists.

Although each person’s situation is unique to their substance abuse history, some of the more common physical and behavioral indicators of the need for opioid detox, include:

  • Lying about their Opioid Use

  • Rationalizing their Behavior

  • Extreme Changes in Weight

  • Heightened Sensitivity to Pain (Hyperalgesia)

  • Erratic Changes in Behavior

  • Violent Outbursts

  • Watching the Clock between Dosage

  • Doctor Shopping

  • Marks on the Skin

  • Fever

When it becomes apparent that you or your loved one are on the cusp of opioid dependency, it’s imperative that you get help, beginning with opioid detox and withdrawal management.

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Photo by Nik Shuliahin

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

The opiate and opioid detox process involves expelling the substance abuse-related chemicals from the body. This process is inevitably accompanied by a moderate to severe withdrawal period, some of the symptoms of which may include:

  • Lack of Energy

  • Fever and Flu-Like Symptoms

  • Runny Nose

  • Convulsions and Seizures

  • Abdominal Cramping

  • Hallucinations

Other symptoms may include fatigue, stomach illness, hyperalgesia, trouble sleeping, headache and migraine, watery eyes, joint and muscle pain and more. The moment you or a loved one start experiencing these symptoms, or any others related to your opioid use, it’s critical that you seek professional opiate or opioid detox. Withdrawal is a common cause of relapse and it’s important that symptoms are managed by an experienced and qualified medical professional who can offer effective and compassionate treatment intervene in the event of a severe medical emergency.

Integrating Music into Opioid Detox

In a tragic and cruel sort of irony, opioid withdrawal can actually exacerbate chronic pain, and lead to a condition called hyperalgesia. As recovery from any sort of illicit substance progresses, pain is one of the most common types of long-term withdrawal symptoms. There is a mounting body of data to indicate that music can be effective in the management of moderate levels of chronic. Recovery Unplugged integrates music into every element of treatment, including detox and behavioral rehab. You don’t have to live your life trapped in the vicious and self-defeating cycle of opioid relapse and addiction. Music and other holistic interventions, combined with cutting-edge clinical care can yield very real physiological benefits, including increased circulation, improved blood flow and more. Recovery Unplugged is committed to showing our clients how music can help them improve their mood, physical health and overall quality of life.



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