Cliffside Malibu - Hazy Beach Cliffs

Painkiller Detox

If there is one thing that characterizes almost every addict who seeks treatment for any addiction, it is fear of detox. When the “dope sickness” or the jitters start to set in, the fear escalates.

The nausea… The cold inside your bones… and then the craving… It all conspires to get you to go out and use “one more time” until all the “one more times” become the rest of your life.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Prescription painkiller detox can be safely supervised and made relatively comfortable. Most of our clients compare the worst of the withdrawal symptoms to a mild flu. You can do this. We can help.


While opioid or opiate withdrawal can be agonizingly uncomfortable to go through alone, it is not often life threatening. Detox, the process of separating the addict from his/her drug of choice, is perhaps the most terrifying prospect for addicts, but is really only a short-term issue. When medically supported through detox, the symptoms of withdrawal can be managed.

There are two stages of withdrawal from prescription painkillers – early and late. Withdrawal symptoms will usually manifest between 12 and 30 hours after the last use, depending on which drugs have been taken, amounts used, and duration of the abuse.

Early symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Agitation
  • Sneezing
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose

Late symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps
  • Dilated pupils
Cliffside Malibu - Dual Diagnosis Behavioral and Mood Disorders


There are some people who look at the price of a quality medical detox and say, “I can detox on my own.” This is not a good idea. First, you may have other medical conditions that might complicate your detox. Most addicts don’t reach treatment in an optimal state of health. Having a medical doctor oversee your drug detox will ensure that not only are your symptoms mitigated as much as possible, but that you are also in close proximity to medical help should complications develop.

Second, those who detox themselves have a much poorer chance of remaining clean than those who receive a medical detox. The cold truth is that on your own, detox is agonizing. Every part of your body will hurt. You won’t be able to eat or keep anything down. You can suffer from dehydration in addition to your other withdrawal symptoms; that can become a life-threatening complication… and you will want to use. There are few people who can fight through the physical and emotional difficulties of withdrawal on their own. But with help, you can be successful. We see it every day.


We want you to be as comfortable as possible, not only because we care, but because we want you to be successful. Therefore we have some of the industry’s finest physicians on call to oversee your personal detox needs. These physicians will work with you to provide you with an individualized regimen that will detox you from all the drugs you’re abusing while managing your symptoms to minimize them as much as possible.

Our medically supervised detox involves both supportive care and short-term use of medications. These medications can include anything from medicine to help with nausea and vomiting, reduce feelings of anxiety, and of course, step you down from the prescription painkillers you’ve been abusing. When appropriate, we also provide medically supervised detox programs where the individual is anesthetized for a short period, and basically goes through the “worst” of detox in their sleep. We will do whatever is necessary and possible to make your detox as easy as we can.

Why? Medical detox is the most humane way to approach detox from any substance, and it has quickly become an industry standard. More than that, however, a medically supervised detox allows you to focus on your recovery, not the pain and fear often associated with detox. We want to get you off drugs as quickly as possible, so that your mind and body are clear enough to get into the heart of recovery, uncovering and working through the root causes of the pain that caused you to use in the first place. Detox is the first step in a new life, a life that we want you to live to the greatest possible extent, fulfilling all of your dreams.


Call now to speak confidentially with an admission counselor.

(424) 320-3061