Why Opiate Detox is Based off an Individual’s Needs

Home > Why Opiate Detox is Based off an Individual’s Needs

One of the main responsibilities Northbound holds as a leading opiate detox option in Orange County is continuing to ensure that the vast range of unique medical and clinical needs of an individual are satisfied during the process.

A proper opiate detox certainly isn’t a single size-fits-all.

Any person making the brave decision to break the intense cycle of addiction to prescription medication or heroin deserves to have his or her health stabilized by the detox most effective for them. Their illness has a biological basis — brain abnormalities resulting from chronic use. Levels of chronic use actually tend to differ significantly. There is a variance of severity depending on:

  • Narcotics used (i.e. heroin, morphine, codeine, fentanyl, meperidine, oxycodone, hydrocodone/dihydrocodeinone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, etc.)
  • Amount used (Number of dosage units)
  • Duration of use (Length of maladaptive pattern of abuse)

At Northbound, for instance, a client cannot begin their medication assisted detox at our comprehensive OneEighty Detox Center in Newport Mesa until a full medical evaluation has been completed by Medical Director Dr. Edward Kaufman’s staff and a corresponding individualized treatment plan is in place. Which treatment agents to help the client alleviate the painful symptoms of early withdrawal are determined by:

Blood and urine exam results (if the insurance provider sees it as medically indicated)

Neurological disorders identified

Psychological content

Patient’s discretion and compliance

Opiate and heroin relapse rates at the OneEighty Center have been held low due to the abundance of opiate antagonists available to accommodate each specific diagnosis. (It should be emphasized that medication-assisted treatment is only administered to a client in detox at Northbound if it’s categorized as the appropriate level of support for sustained recovery.)

The duration of time needed to treat opiate withdrawal is also contingent on a patient’s distinct brain and body changes related to the addiction. Research has shown there’s a general trend to the timeline of an opiate detox: the most painful and uncomfortable physical symptoms occur in the first two days, a significant decrease in those symptoms occurs in three to five days along with the onset of increased anxiety and depression, and all physical symptoms resolved within a week in addition to decreases in detox-related forms of anxiety and depression. But studies have also noted overall health, body weight and age severely impacting that timeline, along with psychotic disorders.

Opiate withdrawal is not life-threatening, but application of the process has proven critical to length of abstinence from opiate abuse. Opiate detox for someone suffering from addiction has a critical impact on his or her long-term recovery (It’s important to note that detox alone might help a person suffering from addiction abstain in the short term, but without follow-up care and therapy, the risk of relapse into problematic use increases greatly). Patients are able to best position themselves for one year continuous sobriety by adhering to an opiate detox tailored for their individual needs through the assistance of licensed medical professionals.


Kleber H. Opioids: detoxification. In: Galanter M, Kleber, HD, eds. Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press; 1999:251–269.

National Institutes of Health. (2015). Opiate withdrawal: Medline plus medical encyclopedia. Retrieved on December 28, 2015

Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 40. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2004.


An adequate suboxone detox in Orange County can be difficult to find. To inquire about Northbound’s application of suboxone as an effective opiate agonist, call 866-311-0003 or visit our Detox Program page.

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