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The prescription drug and heroin epidemic has ravaged the nation, leaving Central New Jersey and the Tri-State Area particularly affected. New Jersey has one of the highest rates of emergency room visits due to opioid abuse. In 2016 nearly 2,000 people died from opioid overdoses in New Jersey alone, and with the rise of fentanyl abuse, that number is expected to increase.

Although symptoms of opiate withdrawal are not typically life-threatening, they can be extremely uncomfortable. A person abusing opiates should not attempt detox on their own, as the physical and mental symptoms can be overwhelming enough to lead to relapse and continued use. Opiate detox should only be attempted under medical supervision.

Detox Services

After halting opiate use, the body needs time to recover, and withdrawal symptoms set in. While not life-threatening, these symptoms can cause extreme discomfort. The opiate detox program at Princeton Detox & Recovery Center prioritizes client comfort and serves as a resource for the client’s loved ones.

Several types of medication are used to ease the intensity of symptoms and help clients feel comfortable. We use a combination of prescribed medications, including buprenorphine and naltrexone, administered by an on-staff medical professional. These medications wean the brain off of opiates, prevent opiates from reaching the brain and make opiates seem less desirable.

With exceptional round-the-clock care and a cozy, home-like setting, clients can detox comfortably, and their families can have peace of mind knowing their loved one is beginning their journey to recovery in the safest way possible.

How Long Does It Take to Detox From Opiates?

The detox period typically lasts 7-10 days, and many clients find it beneficial to continue treatment in a residential or inpatient program. The specific length of opiate detox is contingent upon a few factors, which include:

  • History of addiction
  • Severity of addiction
  • Medical history
  • Co-occurring disorders or conditions
  • The person’s physical, mental and emotional well-being

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Withdrawal Symptoms

When used for extended periods of time or in excessive quantities, narcotic pain relievers such as codeine, heroin, hydrocodone, methadone and oxycodone alter brain chemistry and lead to dependence or addiction. When a person quits using a substance cold turkey, withdrawal symptoms are usually inevitable and can start within 12 to 30 hours of last use.

Stages of Opiate Withdrawal

Opiate withdrawal symptoms occur in two stages with two distinct sets of symptoms similar to the flu. Early-stage opiate withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Body aches
  • Increased perspiration
  • Insomnia
  • Uncontrollable yawning
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation

Late-stage opiate withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Goosebumps
  • Loose stools
  • Dilated pupils

During either stage of withdrawal, it’s common for people to experience cravings for opiate use. We use the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale to measure the severity of 11 early- and late-stage withdrawal symptoms and estimate the intensity of the addiction. This scale allows us to understand an individual’s dependency or addiction and create an opiate detox plan that is both safe and effective.

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