What Is the Conventional Detox for Opiates?

Question by Paul: What is the conventional detox for opiates?
A patient was detoxed from a high milligram of opiates by using one night of phenobarbital and then the prescribed does of Loritab. I assumed the correct detox from opiate abuse was methadone. The hospital didn’t know the true elevated dosage the patient was taking. The result was that the 77 year old patient was rendered senile with just a few days.

Shouldn’t this patient have been detoxed using methadone?

Best answer:

Answer by Jennifer
There are multiple ways to detox a patient from opiates. Methadone is not one of them; methadone is itself an opiate, so, technically, any patient prescribed it is still on opiates. (There’s a reason it’s called “methadone maintenance.”)

The way a patient “should” be treated is based on a doctor’s opinion of what the best treatment is based on the information given by the patient and the patient’s family, and found in prior medical records and lab tests. It is also based on the patient’s preferences and opinions; under most circumstances, the patient has the final word on what treatment he or she will accept. When you refer to the “true elevated dosage,” I’m not sure whether you mean the other opiates or the Lortabs; one piece of information doctors frequently use is the results of lab tests that show levels of opiates, barbiturates, etc. I would assume that, in a hospital, these tests would be used to determine “true dosages” or blood levels of all the substances involved. If not, I would question *why* not.

It would not surprise me to hear that detox from alcohol caused brain damage (“senility”) because of the increase in blood pressure. I have not personally seen it in opiate detox. Has a disease process been identified in the “senility”? How has this been related to the opiates?