Adult withdrawal management services, also known as detox, provide nursing care and physician support for a safe, supportive environment for people experiencing acute withdrawal from substances.

Detox is the process of removing toxins, such as drugs, from the body. There is no set time frame for detox to be completed. For some, the process will take a few hours or days. For others, it may take weeks to clear the body of the drug completely.

Two ways of managing detox

Clients are seen as outpatients or offered overnight stays. In general, people with opioid addiction can go through detox as outpatients, which means patients don't stay overnight. 

There are risks with “detoxing” from opioids too quickly. When people go through withdrawal management alone with no other treatment, research shows they are at a higher risk for overdose (since they have less tolerance to opioids), HIV and Hepatitis C infection and relapse to opioid use. For most people, it is safest to have a period of stabilization with medication rather than a “rapid detox.”

Medications to treat opioid disorder

Addiction to opioids, also known as opioid use disorder (OUD), like heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone, is one of the most challenging forms of substance use disorder to overcome.

Find more information on medications to treat opioid disorder

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