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If you’ve taken opiates for more than 5 days, your body is likely already dependent on them quitting them requires a medical detox, not just a taper protocol.


If you've been on opioids to help ease pain during cancer treatment, quitting them when your treatment is over can be a painful process.

At Relieve Medical Detox we have designed an easy seven day protocol to help you detox safely.

When you no longer need opioids:

If you have been taking opioids for longer than five days, you have likely developed a physical dependence on them and will experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit.

If you stop taking opioids suddenly you will likely develop a flu-like illness, excessive sweating, and diarrhea. For this reason, self-tapers and doctor prescribed self-taper protocols usually fail.

Doctor Prescribed Self-Taper Protocol

Many physicians place the responsibility on the patient to taper on their own, by halving their doses for example.  

This is not a realistic expectation, because once the body is dependent self control is NOT the issue. The body experiences very real and very upsetting symptoms. This leads to patients never completing a self taper, they get cut off and now they are going cold turkey. This pain can be too much to handle for many people, causing them to seek other sources for opioids to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Our Medical Detox Treatment is NOT the same as a prescription taper protocol.

During the detox process we use using specific medication substitutes to decrease detox time, comfort medications to ease any withdrawal symptoms, and medications to any curb cravings you may encounter. We also offer supplemental services to help your body heal throughout the process. 

Opioids for Cancer Pain:

Opioids (narcotics) are used with or without non-opioids to treat moderate to severe pain. They are often a necessary part of a pain relief plan for cancer patients.

Doctors and cancer care teams may prescribe opioids for patients having increasing or severe pain from their cancer or their treatment.

Common opioids used for cancer pain

Here are some of the opioids used in cancer care. Some of the more common brand names are in parentheses.

  • Tramadol (Ultram)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)
  • Morphine (Apokyn, Avinza, Kadian, MS-Contin, and others)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, OxyIR, Roxicodone)
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxymorphone (Opana)
  • Fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, Lazanda, Subsys, and others)
  • Tapentadol (Nucynta)

Opioid tolerance

You might find that over time you need larger doses of pain medicine. This may be because the pain has increased or you have developed a drug tolerance.

Drug tolerance occurs when your body gets used to the opioid you’re taking, and it takes more medicine to relieve the pain as well as it once did. Many people do not develop a tolerance to opioids. But if you do develop drug tolerance, usually small increases in the dose or a change in the kind of medicine will help relieve the pain.

Having to increase your dose of opioids to relieve increasing pain or to overcome drug tolerance could be a sign of opioid induced hyperalgesia or physical dependence that will result in withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit.

Side effects of opioids

The most common side effects are usually sleepiness, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. Some people might also experience dizziness, itching, mental effects (such as nightmares, confusion, and hallucinations), slow or shallow breathing, or trouble urinating.

Many side effects from opioid pain medicine can be prevented. Some of the mild ones such as nausea, itching, or drowsiness, often go away without treatment after a few days, as your body adjusts to the medicine.

The Next Step...

If you or your loved one is ready to take the next step to be free from opioids, please call us today at 480-549-2220!