MS Contin Detox

  • Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Morphine

MS Contin detoxification is a treatment for patients who are dependent on this drug. MS Contin is a controlled-release pain medication that contains morphine sulfate. Morphine is an opioid drug extracted from the opium poppy plant.

Doctors prescribe MS Contin to control moderate to severe pain, usually from cancer or a serious trauma. MS Contin is for patients who need around-the-clock protection from pain. Morphine and other opioids work with the central nervous system to change the way the brain perceives pain signals. Other neurological effects include sedation, relaxation and a pleasant feeling of euphoria.

With continual use, opioids make more-permanent neurological, physical and changes that alter the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. These alterations can negatively affect the individual’s ability to work, fulfill responsibilities or engage with others on a healthy emotional level.

Most people use MS Contin as prescribed to treat pain associated with a real medical condition, especially those with chronic illnesses suffering from pain expected to be severe and last for a long time. Some people use MS Contin for non-medical reasons, either to get high or to treat a condition different from the one the doctor had intended to treat when she wrote the prescription. Approximately 5 million Americans use MS Contin and other painkillers for non-medical reasons each year.

Anyone who uses MS Contin regularly for more than a few weeks can become physically dependent on morphine, whether the individual used this drug for therapeutic or for non-medical reasons. A person’s body adjusts to the presence of MS Contin and, in time, begins to depend on a certain level of morphine to feel normal. If the individual skips a dose or takes an inadequate dose, opioid levels drop and his body struggles to regain chemical balance. Doctors refer to this as detoxification.

Currently, about 2 million Americans are opioid-dependent. Detoxification causes withdrawal symptoms in an opioid-dependent person. These withdrawal symptoms begin a few hours after the last dose of MS Contin and continue for several days. The discomfort of withdrawal fades as the body completes the detoxification process. Someone who completes MS Contin detoxification is in a drug-free state. Withdrawal symptoms will not return unless the individual returns to an opioid-dependent state.

MS detoxification can also refer to the medical procedure that controls detoxification and eases withdrawal symptoms through a variety of proven medications. Patients can participate in medication-assisted detoxification through an outpatient or inpatient facility.

MS Contin detoxification brings a patient to a drug-free state, which facilitates his entry into rehabilitation where he learns how to lead a drug-free life. Complete MS Contin detoxification helps patients remain in treatment long enough to reverse some of the changes made by drug abuse, and restore as much of the patient’s former life as possible. Detoxification from MS Contin improves the patient’s thought processes, emotional responses and behaviors in a way that benefits his ability to work, take care of family and engage in personal relationships.

MS Contin detoxification promotes abstinence, decreases relapse rates, and reduces the frequency and severity of drug use episodes when they do occur.

Types of Detox

People arrive at opioid-dependence in a variety of ways: one person may have become dependent after using MS Contin as directed to treat ongoing cancer pain while another might have used this drug to get high. Individuals may overcome opioid-dependence in different ways as well, with some responding to the flexibility of outpatient treatment while others requiring the strict supervision provided in an inpatient hospital setting. Healthcare providers have responded to this wide variety of personal needs by creating several types of detoxification approaches designed for maximum participation and completion rates.

Of those who needed help for MS Contin detoxification and other substance abuse issues, only about 10 percent of them received it in a specialty facility, such as an inpatient hospital, outpatient clinic or mental health institutions staffed with professionals who have received extra training in detoxification or rehabilitation procedures. Everyone else engaged in self-help, worked with their personal physician, went to an emergency department or got help while incarcerated in a local jail or in prison.

All are viable choices, as there is no single treatment plan that is right for everyone. Sometimes a person will engage in several forms of treatment before finding one that provides the perfect balance between flexibility and supervision.

Self Detox

Patients will often seek help from the prescribing physician when they realize they are having trouble discontinuing MS Contin at the appropriate time. Doctors will typically recommend patients try self-detoxification, gradually reducing the daily MS Contin dose until they no longer feel withdrawal symptoms. Self-detoxification will eventually bring the patient to an opioid-free state.

Cold turkey

The tapering method works well for many patients but persistent withdrawal symptoms prevent some people from weaning themselves from MS Contin. These individuals might be tempted to quit cold turkey, discontinuing MS Contin abruptly. Someone who quits cold turkey faces withdrawal symptoms head-on, unaided by medicine or professional guidance. If he can endure these symptoms long enough, he will complete the detoxification process and be in a drug-free state.

Natural remedies

Some people hope to weaken withdrawal symptoms and improve the chances of completing the detoxification process through natural remedies, such as acupuncture, meditation, yoga and massage. Others use a nutritional approach, consuming only certain herbs, vegetables, fruits, soups and juices to cleanse and calm the body during MS Contin detoxification. Certain herbs and spices ease specific withdrawal symptoms; ginger and peppermint relieve nausea, for example, while chamomile and cayenne curb diarrhea.

Others take a scientific approach to MS Contin detoxification and create a homemade treatment plan that includes prescription and non-prescription drugs to ease withdrawal. One well-known self-medication method is The Thomas Recipe, which includes a benzodiazepine such as Valium or Xanax to calm anxiety and help the patient sleep. Imodium stops diarrhea, while L-Tyrosine helps with malaise and vitamin B6 with supplements soothe muscle aches and quiets restless leg syndrome.

Medical Detox

Recovery specialists often recommend medication-assisted detoxification, or the use of prescription drugs to control the MS Contin detoxification experience. These medications alleviate withdrawal symptoms to make it easier for the patient to endure the detoxification process long enough to achieve a drug-free state. Patients may participate in medical detoxification as an inpatient or through an outpatient clinic.

Outpatient medication-assisted treatment usually includes weak opioid drugs, such as methadone or buprenorphine, that prevent withdrawal symptoms from occurring as the patient weans himself from MS Contin. Patients start out on a high dose during the initial induction phase then gradually reduce dosages over the course of a few days or weeks during the tapering phase.

Outpatient detoxification is appropriate for those patients that have been dependent on MS Contin for more than a year, have no underlying medical conditions that could cause complications, and who require little supervision during the detoxification process.


German laboratories first synthesized methadone in 1939 for use as a pain reliever. Doctors soon realized it was effective in suppressing withdrawal symptoms in opioid-dependent people so, in 1964, doctors developed methadone as a response to an epidemic of heroin use sweeping across New York City. In 1972, The FDA approved methadone for use in the treatment of opioid dependence.

Today, about 100,000 Americans use a methadone maintenance program. Because it is an opioid, methadone acts as a replacement drug to mimic the effects of MS Contin. Methadone raises opioid levels enough to stop the detoxification process from beginning, thereby preventing the onset of withdrawal symptoms. Methadone maintenance patients come to the methadone clinic each day to drink a beverage containing methadone while participating in counseling regularly throughout the week or month.

Some patients use methadone for outpatient MS Contin detoxification. The clinic will dispense a stronger methadone drink mix during the induction phase and serve the patient a weaker beverage when he arrives each day.


Patients can use buprenorphine for outpatient MS Contin detoxification. The patient receives a prescription from his physician. He places a buprenorphine tablet under his tongue, where it dissolves and enters the bloodstream.

He takes a stronger dose of buprenorphine during the induction phase than he does during the tapering phase. There is no set schedule; some patients complete MS Contin detoxification in as little as one week, spending the first one to three days in the induction phase and tapering during days four through seven.

Suboxone and Subutex

People have abused buprenorphine intravenously by dissolving the tablets before injecting the drug into a vein. Drug makers reduce the potential for abuse by adding naloxone to name brand buprenorphine products, Suboxone and Subutex. When taken under the tongue, naloxone has little to no effect but when taken intravenously this drug neutralizes the effects of buprenorphine. Not only does intravenous use of naloxone prevent the consumer from getting high but it also causes withdrawal symptoms in opioid-dependent users.

Inpatient care provides the most structure and professional support of all the various forms of treatment. Along with close patient monitoring and quick response to complications, patients receive a variety of anti-withdrawal drugs. He may receive one drug for anxiety, for example, another for nausea and a third for muscle pain.

Anyone who needs or wants the benefits of safe, effective medications and professional guidance can participate in inpatient MS Contin detoxification. Inpatient treatment is appropriate for anyone who has a documented history of poor participation in treatment plans or who did not benefit from less restrictive programs.

Patients at risk for severe withdrawal symptoms or dangerous complications should engage in inpatient MS Contin detoxification. This type of care is right for anyone with pre-existing medical conditions or co-existing substance abuse problems that make outpatient care unsafe.

Inpatient MS Contin detoxification is mandatory for anyone who has suffered an overdose or who cannot otherwise receive safe or effective treatment from an outpatient facility. Those with severe psychiatric problems that prevent them from participating in treatment, including depression with suicidal thoughts or acute psychosis, should check into an inpatient detoxification center, as should anyone who exhibits behaviors that pose a danger to the patient or to others.

Rapid Opiate Detox

Rapid opiate detox is the most humane and efficient approach to MS Contin detoxification. Rapid detox patients receive anesthesia and sedatives prior to the usual detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs. This extra measure of protection allows patients to rest in a comfortable “twilight sleep” during the difficult detoxification process. Rapid detox patients awaken a couple of hours later - refreshed, renewed and ready for rehabilitation.

Our detox center: Who we are and what we do

We are a group of board-certified anesthesiologists and other highly trained medical professionals who deliver compassionate and effective care. Thousands of patients have received treatment in our accredited facility since we opened our doors more than a decade ago.

We treat our patients as people, not as drug addicts. First, we screen patients in our accredited facility to discover any underlying conditions that may complicate MS Contin detoxification. We then offer complete detoxification through rapid detox, bringing patients to an opioid-free state in one to two hours. Patients may then receive additional treatment in our qualified aftercare center.

Detox Comparisons

Every form of MS Contin detoxification has its benefits and drawbacks, so it is helpful to compare each treatment approach. Without the expense of anti-withdrawal drugs or the inconvenience of visiting a public outpatient clinic or hospital, self-detoxification is the least expensive and most private form of treatment. The lack of medications and professional guidance puts those who attempt self-detoxification at the highest risk for complications due to uncontrolled withdrawal symptoms.

Outpatient detoxification uses drugs and professional monitoring to ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk for complications. Because it provides little supervision, patients who participate in outpatient MS Contin detoxification face a greater risk for incomplete detoxification or relapse to MS Contin use.

Inpatient care provides the greatest protection from withdrawal symptoms and complications. State-of-the-art medications and sophisticated approaches to MS Contin detoxification combined with close patient monitoring increases the likelihood the patient will complete the detoxification process and achieve a drug-free state. Inpatient care usually brings the patient to an opioid-free state sooner than if he were to participate in outpatient care: the average length of stay for detoxification is 4 days, compared with 197 days for medication-assisted therapy.

As compared with any other approach to MS Contin detoxification, rapid detox provides the most efficient and humane treatment today. Rapid detox brings the patient to an opioid-free state in a few hours, not a few days or weeks as with other forms of treatment. Rapid detox spares the patient from uncomfortable and demoralizing symptoms that can interfere with his recovery.

Detox Possible Complications

MS Contin detoxification is not normally a life-threatening procedure but uncontrolled and prolonged withdrawal symptoms, pre-existing conditions, co-existing substance problems and pregnancy can cause dangerous complications. Long-term or severe MS Contin abuse increases the risk and severity of complications.

The primary complications associated with any form of MS Contin detoxification is relapse, which could result in a toxic overdose. The detoxification process reduces the individual’s tolerance to morphine, making him more sensitive to the effects of opioids. This lowered tolerance makes it possible for someone to overdose on a lower dose of MS Contin than he used to take before experiencing even moderate symptoms of withdrawal. Overdose from prescription opioids including MS Contin claimed the lives of more than 14,800 Americans in 2008, killing more people than overdose from cocaine and heroin combined.

Self Detox Possible Complications

Without drugs to curb withdrawal symptoms or professional guidance to assist patients, those who attempt self-detoxification are at high risk for complications. Intense diarrhea and vomiting can cause dehydration and imbalances in the patient’s electrolyte levels, including low sodium or potassium levels.

The detoxification process can worsen undetected underlying conditions and, without professional supervision, lead to unexpected and potentially serious complications. MS Contin detoxification can increase blood pressure and heart rate and cause sweating; these effects can worsen underlying heart condition. The detoxification process can cause a fever. The discomfort of the process can cause the patient to feel anxious, especially if he suffers from a pre-existing anxiety disorder. MS detoxification can cause pain to return in patients who were taking it to control discomfort associated with chronic or severe medical conditions.

Outpatient Care Possible Complications

Those who participate in outpatient MS Contin detoxification risk a different set of complications. Some patients have trouble quitting the replacement drug. Methadone is associated with an increasing number of deaths due to overdose: in 2009, there were 5.5 times as many deaths associated with methadone as there were in 1999. There is some risk for buprenorphine abuse, as the abuser dissolves and injects the buprenorphine tablet.

Inpatient Detox Possible Complications

Even though inpatient care provides the greatest protection from complications, co-existing conditions and withdrawal from multiple substances, especially alcohol, benzodiazepines, sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs, can pose a problem during inpatient MS Contin detoxification patients.

Rapid Detox Possible Complications

Rarely, someone can suffer an allergic reaction or other problem associated with the drugs used during rapid detox procedures. Strong sedatives can interfere with breathing, blood pressure and pulse. A patient may experience infection, bruising or swelling at the anesthesia injection site.

Detox Myths

Despite decades of medical research and the cumulative experience of thousands of real patients and counselors, myths shrouding MS Contin detoxification prevent many people from participating in effective, safe medical care for opioid-dependence. Learning the facts about MS Contin detoxification improves the individual’s chances for completing the detoxification process and achieving a drug-free state.

Self Detox Myths

Myth: Self-detoxification just takes self-control - anyone can do it.
Fact: Self-control is an important feature in abstaining from drug use but MS Contin detoxification is an intense physiological process that affects the individual’s chemical and neurological balance.

Myth: MS Contin detoxification is always safe to perform at home, especially for those who use prescription and non-prescription drugs to control withdrawal.
Fact: Combining medications increases the risk for dangerous drug interactions.

Outpatient Detox Myths

Myth: Methadone rots your teeth and bones.
Fact: Like other drugs, methadone can cause a dry mouth, which promotes plaque, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Drink water, brush and floss daily. Inadequate methadone doses may cause bone ache, a symptom of methadone withdrawal.

Myth: Methadone causes weight gain.
Fact: Methadone may slow metabolism and cause urinary retention. Additionally, methadone restores a healthy appetite that leads to an increase in eating patterns and muscle mass.

Inpatient Detox Myths

Myth: MS Contin detoxification is a waste of time because everyone relapses, even with treatment.
Fact: Even with treatment, relapse rates for drug addiction are 40 to 60 percent, similar to other chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or asthma. Helping chronically ill people feel better is never a waste of time.

Rapid Detox Myths

Myth: Suffering is a necessary part of MS Detoxification.
Fact: Pain and suffering is never part of a compassionate and effective treatment plan. Rapid detox is a humane approach to medical detoxification as it allows patients to enjoy a pleasant twilight sleep instead of enduring endless days of detoxification.

Detox and Pregnancy
Detoxification is unsafe for pregnant women. Methadone is currently the only approved approach to treating opioid dependence in pregnant women.

Self Detox and Pregnancy

A woman should never attempt self-detoxification while pregnant.

Outpatient and Pregnancy

An outpatient clinic will start the pregnant woman on 10 to 20 mg of methadone and ask her to return that evening, where a doctor will adjust the next daily dosage based on the mother’s response to treatment. Doctors may increase dosages up to 60 mg of methadone daily. The pregnant woman will come to the outpatient clinic twice a day until doctors stabilize her condition, usually 48 to 72 hours after the first dose.

Women using methadone to maintain opioid dependence may suffer withdrawal symptoms late in pregnancy and require larger doses of methadone to control these withdrawal symptoms.

Hospitals will generally keep babies born to women taking methadone under close observation for 72 hours after delivery.

Inpatient and Pregnancy

A pregnant woman may start methadone treatments at an inpatient facility, staffed with trained professionals and equipped with fetal movement monitors to observe the baby’s reaction to methadone therapy. This inpatient stay typically lasts three days.

Opiate detox symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms associated with MS Contin detoxification include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Watery eyes
  • Yawning

What is the best method to detox from this drug?
The best method of MS Contin detoxification depends strongly on the personal needs of the patient. He should choose the most flexible form of treatment available that is still likely to deliver safe and effective care long enough to complete the detoxification process.