Stadol Detox

Stadol contains butorphanol, a synthetic drug that acts similar to morphine and other opioids that pharmaceutical companies make from the opium poppy plant. Butorphanol is stronger than Demerol.

The butorphanol in Stadol works like other opioids to relieve pain. Opioids act directly on the nervous system to change the way the brain interprets pain signals. Opioids cause other neurological effects, the most immediately noticeable being sedation, relaxation, and a pleasant euphoric feeling. Additionally, opioids can cause physical effects in various body systems, such as constipation or changes in blood pressure and pulse.

Doctors prescribe Stadol to relieve moderate to severe pain caused by an injury, illness, or invasive medical or dental procedure. A surgeon may prescribe Stadol to calm the patient before a procedure. An obstetrician may administer small doses of Stadol to women in labor because it works quickly, relaxes the patient, reduces nausea, and has little effect on the baby.

Most people use Stadol as directed and stop using this drug when they no longer need it to control pain. Some people, however, use painkillers for non-medical reasons. To use Stadol non-medically means to take it to get high or to treat a different condition than the one the doctor had intended to treat when she wrote the prescription. About 5 million Americans use painkillers for non-medical use every year.

Opioid Dependence

Anyone who uses Stadol regularly for more than a few weeks can become dependent on opioids, whether the individual consumes Stadol for therapeutic reasons or for non-medical uses. A 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveal just how widespread opioid dependence is: currently, about 1.9 million Americans are dependent on Stadol and other prescription painkillers. The number of opioid-dependent people is up slightly: in 2004, there were 1.4 million opioid-dependent people in the United States.

The body acclimates to the presence of certain toxic substance, including the butorphanol in Stadol. In time, the body begins to depend on a certain level of butorphanol to feel normal - the individual becomes opioid-dependent.

Chronic opioid use causes some of its neurological and physical changes to become more permanent, affecting how the opioid-dependent person thinks, feels, and behaves. Eventually these changes interfere with the individual’s ability to work, go to school, take care of children, and interact with others in a reasonable and meaningful way. This can lead to loss of income and financial disaster, homelessness, divorce and loss of child custody, physical illnesses, overdose, and death.

When opioid levels fall drastically, the opioid-dependent body struggles to regain chemical stability and cleanse itself from the toxic effects of butorphanol. Doctors refer to this as detoxification. A patient who endures detoxification eventually reaches an opioid-free state as long as he does not take opioids at any point during Stadol detoxification.

Stadol withdrawal symptoms

An opioid-dependent person experiences detoxification through uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that begin a few hours after the last dose of Stadol.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Chills
  • Confusion
  • Diarrhea
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nervousness
  • Shakiness
  • Sweats

The patient may also experience nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure and increased pulse. These symptoms may persist for five or more days before disappearing completely as the patient completes the detoxification process.

A patient may use non-opioid drugs to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. For example, he might try Imodium to ease diarrhea. Using a non-opioid drug reduces withdrawal symptoms without disrupting Stadol detoxification.

The patient can stop withdrawal symptoms completely at any time by taking more Stadol; however, this reverses the effects of detoxification and returns the individual to an opioid-dependent state.

Benefits of Stadol Detoxification

Stadol detoxification brings patients to an opioid-free state. The detoxification process begins to reverse some of the neurological and physical effects of chronic Stadol use. Detoxification, however, is only the first step in the recovery process. Stadol detoxification by itself does little to change the behaviors associated with drug abuse that can cause a patient to relapse after completing the detoxification process.

Most opioid patients benefit from rehabilitation to learn how to lead a drug-free life. Rehabilitation often includes counseling and behavior modification that teaches the individual how to recognize situations that may lead to drug abuse and how to refuse Stadol when offered.

Detoxification stops withdrawal symptoms, helps the patient feel better and clears the patient’s mind; these benefits help the patient get the most out of rehabilitation. Stadol detoxification helps the patient remain in rehabilitation long enough to fully reverse the neurological and physical effects of chronic drug abuse so that he can return to work or school, take care of family, and enjoy healthy personal relationships. In this way, detoxification helps a patient regain as much of his former life as possible.

Stadol detoxification promotes abstinence by making the individual healthier physically, emotionally, and socially; patients hesitate to return to an opioid-dependent state because being opioid-free feels so good. Detoxification decreases the frequency of relapses and reduces the severity of drug use episodes when they do occur.

Types of Detox

Detoxification also refers to the medical process of lowering opioid levels and controlling withdrawal symptoms. Detoxification can occur at home, through an outpatient clinic, or at an inpatient facility.

Of those needing treatment for Stadol dependence and other substance abuse issues, only about 10 percent get it at a specialty facility, such as a hospital, outpatient clinic, mental health facility, or special inpatient detoxification unit. Everyone else refused treatment, engaged in self-help, sought assistance from a private physician, got help in an emergency room, or while incarcerated.

Any approach to Stadol detoxification that brings the person to an opioid-free state in a safe and effective manner is a viable treatment option. Everyone experiences opioid dependence in a slightly different way, so no single approach to treatment is right for everyone. Additionally, a patient’s needs tend to change as he progresses through opioid dependence - he may respond favorably to another try at a treatment that had not benefited him in the past.

Self Detox

When a patient takes Stadol after surgery or to treat pain for longer than a couple of weeks, his doctor will likely suggest he wean himself from Stadol slowly rather than quitting abruptly. The patient tapers Stadol use by taking smaller doses each day, just enough to stop withdrawal symptoms, until he reaches an opioid-free state.

Cold turkey

Tapering works for most people but persistent withdrawal symptoms prevent some people from tapering Stadol completely. These individuals may quit cold turkey by discontinuing Stadol abruptly. Someone who quits cold turkey can expect the full brunt of withdrawal symptoms.

Natural remedies

Some people reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms with natural remedies or alternative medicine. Someone might use acupuncture, meditation, yoga and massage to relax the body, or consume only certain herbs, vegetables, fruits, soups and juices to help the body naturally detoxify itself. Ginger or peppermint relieves nausea, for example, while chamomile or cayenne curbs diarrhea.

Others take a more scientific approach and develop treatment plans that include prescription and non-prescription drugs to reduce withdrawal symptoms. One such plan is The Thomas Recipe, which calls for a benzodiazepine such as Librium or Xanax to calm nerves and help with sleep at night, vitamin B6 and supplements for muscle aches, Imodium for diarrhea and L-Tyrosine for energy during the day.

Medical Detoxification

Most opioid-dependent patients could benefit from medication-assisted detoxification, sometimes called medical detoxification. During medical detoxification, doctors prescribe opioid or non-opioid drugs to control the onset of detoxification and manage withdrawal symptoms.

Outpatient Stadol Detoxification
Outpatient clinicians use opioid replacement drugs, such as methadone and buprenorphine, to control the detoxification process. These replacement drugs are opioids that mimic the effects of butorphanol so the patient does not experience withdrawal symptoms but dosages are too low to cause euphoria.

Methadone and buprenorphine are most commonly associated with maintenance treatments, where the patient takes the replacement drug to delay the detoxification process while he engages in rehabilitation. Once the patient learns how to live without drugs, he tapers methadone or buprenorphine dosages.

Methadone and buprenorphine decrease withdrawal symptoms during the detoxification process, so these replacement drugs are an excellent aid to tapering. Patients start out on a high dose of the replacement drug during the induction phase and reduce the daily dosage over the course of several days or weeks during the tapering phase.

Outpatient Stadol detoxification is appropriate for patients who have been dependent on drugs longer than one year, who require little supervision, and must work, go to school, or take care of family instead of checking into an inpatient facility.


A German chemist first synthesized methadone in 1939 in his search for a safe and effective opioid pain reliever. Today, doctors around the world still use methadone as an analgesic, but physicians in the U.S. usually prescribe methadone as a treatment for opioid dependence. About 100,000 Americans use a methadone maintenance program; many are beginning to use methadone as an aid to tapering.

Doctors normally start patients on 10 to 15 mg of methadone, increasing dosages by 10 mg each day until the patient no longer experiences withdrawal symptoms. Once the physician determines a safe and effective induction dose, he decreases subsequent doses by 10 mg each day until the patient is no longer dependent on opioids.


Some patients use buprenorphine as part of medically supervised withdrawal. While there is no set tapering schedule, some patients can complete detoxification in as little as one week, spending the first one to three days in the induction phase and tapering the rest of the week.

Drug companies offer buprenorphine under the brand name Subutex. A patient uses Subutex or buprenorphine by placing the tablet under his tongue, where it dissolves before entering the bloodstream.


It is possible to abuse buprenorphine for recreational purposes by injecting the dissolved substance into a vein. Pharmaceutical companies discourage this intravenous administration by adding naloxone to the brand name buprenorphine preparation, Suboxone. Naloxone has little effect on the consumer when used as directed under the tongue but, when taken intravenously, naloxone neutralizes the effects of buprenorphine so the consumer does not get high. Furthermore, intravenous naloxone administration causes withdrawal symptoms in an opioid-dependent person.

Inpatient detoxification facilities typically give the patient naltrexone or another drug to lower butorphanol levels quickly then administer potent anti-withdrawal medications. The patient may receive hydroxyzine or promethazine to soothe nausea, Loperamide for diarrhea, and clonidine for a variety of symptoms including watery eyes, sweating and restlessness.

Anyone whose withdrawal symptoms prevent him from completing Stadol detoxification can benefit from inpatient care. Inpatient Stadol detoxification can help anyone who is at risk for severe withdrawal symptoms or complications. Those who have not benefited from less restrictive approaches to detoxification can benefit from inpatient care.

Inpatient Stadol detoxification is necessary for anyone recovering from an overdose or who has co-existing medical conditions that make outpatient care unsafe. Inpatient care is appropriate for those with serious psychiatric conditions, such as acute psychosis or depression with suicidal thoughts. Anyone who poses a danger to his own well-being or to the safety of others must participate in inpatient Stadol detoxification.

Rapid Opiate Detox

Rapid detox is a safe and effective procedure that rids the body of butorphanol while the patient rests in a comfortable “twilight sleep.” Rapid detox physicians sedate and anesthetize patients before administering the standard detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs so the patient dozes comfortably during the procedure and awaken with no memory of withdrawal symptoms.

Our detox center: Who we are and what we do

We are a group of board-certified anesthesiologists and other highly trained professionals who are dedicated to helping people achieve an opioid-free state. We have helped thousands of patients complete the detoxification process since opening the doors of our fully accredited hospital more than a decade ago.

We pre-screen patients in our cutting-edge facility, searching for any undiagnosed conditions that could complicate treatment. We then create an individualized treatment plan based on the patient’s needs, frequently including rapid detox. Once the patient completes detoxification, she may continue treatment in our qualified aftercare facility.

Detox Comparisons

Opioid dependence is a difficult time, and choosing the right form of treatment can be a daunting task. It can therefore be helpful to compare the various treatments to highlight the benefits and drawbacks to each approach.

Without the expense of professional care and anti-withdrawal drugs, self-detoxification is the least costly way to become opioid-free. Unfortunately, without the protection professional treatment and anti-withdrawal drugs provide, self-detoxification is associated with uncontrolled withdrawal symptoms and dangerous complications.

Outpatient care provides replacement drugs that reduce withdrawal symptoms and complications but methadone and buprenorphine can slow the detoxification process. Additionally, patients may become dependent on the replacement drugs and remain on methadone or buprenorphine for months or years. The average length of stay in medication-assisted therapy using methadone or buprenorphine is 197 days.

By comparison, the typical patient stays in an inpatient facility for only 4 days. Inpatient treatment plans decrease the frequency and severity of withdrawal symptoms and prescreening reduces the occurrence of complications. Inpatient care also provides close patient supervision to further reduce complications, especially relapse.

As compared to all other treatment plans, rapid detox is the most humane and efficient approach to Stadol detoxification. Rapid detox allows the patient to bypass the withdrawal symptoms, sparing him the misery that prevented him from completing the detoxification process in the past. Rapid detox brings the patient to an opioid-free state in a matter of hours rather than in days, weeks, or months.

Detox Possible Complications

While Stadol detoxification is not typically a life threatening procedure, the patient may develop dangerous complications, especially in the presence of underlying conditions or co-existing substance abuse issues, pregnancy, and severe or long-term Stadol abuse.

Relapse is the primary complication associated with all forms of Stadol detoxification. Some people return to Stadol use to stop overpowering withdrawal symptoms during detoxification, while others relapse after completing the detoxification process for a variety of reasons.

Relapse increases the risk for overdose, especially relapses that occur during detoxification or soon after completion. Detoxification reduces the body’s tolerance of butorphanol, making the individual more sensitive to the effects of Stadol. Theoretically, it is possible to overdose on a smaller amount of Stadol than the patient took just hours before experiencing even moderate withdrawal symptoms.

Stadol overdose may be fatal. In 2008, 14,800 Americans died after taking an overdose of Stadol or another opioid. Today, overdose from opioid painkillers like Stadol kill more people than overdose from cocaine and heroin combined.

Self Detox Possible Complications

Self-detoxification is associated with a high incidence of complications due to uncontrolled withdrawal symptoms and lack of professional treatment for underlying conditions or co-existing substance abuse issues. Detoxification and withdrawal symptoms can worsen other health conditions, especially those related to severe or long-term Stadol abuse.

Without prompt treatment, withdrawal symptoms can complicate detoxification. Extreme vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration and imbalances in potassium and other electrolytes. Increased blood pressure and pulse can aggravate heart conditions. Patients with mood disorders can experience heightened anxiety during detoxification. Stadol detoxification may cause pain to return.

Possible complications to outpatient detoxification

Patients may suffer complications to outpatient detoxification. Someone may become dependent on the replacement drug and remain on methadone or buprenorphine for months or years. Relapse to Stadol may cause withdrawal symptoms in those patients now dependent on methadone.

Methadone can be unsafe, especially when abused. The number of deaths associated with methadone has by 5.5 times in the ten years between 1999 and 2009. Today, methadone accounts for about a third of deaths caused by opioid pain relievers.

While most experts consider buprenorphine safer than methadone, it is still possible to take a toxic dose of buprenorphine, especially when combined with benzodiazepines like those used in The Thomas Recipe.

Inpatient Detox Possible Complications

Professional treatment plans, quality prescreening, medical grade detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs, and close patient monitoring reduce the risk for complications during inpatient care but patients may still have trouble during inpatient Stadol detoxification. This is especially true for anyone undergoing detoxification for multiple substances, especially alcohol, benzodiazepines, sedatives, and anti-anxiety drugs.

Rapid Detox Possible Complications

Rarely, someone may have an allergic reaction to the medications used in rapid detox procedures. Anesthesia and sedatives may pose a problem for some patients: high doses of sedatives may interfere with breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate while anesthesia patients may experience infection, bruising or swelling at the injection site.

Detox Myths

Researchers have been studying detoxification and withdrawal for decades. Despite the many years of research and mountain of information gathered by real doctors and patients, myths shrouding detoxification prevent many people from getting the help they need. Patient education encourages safe and effective detoxification methods to bring the patient to an opioid-free state with as little discomfort as possible.

Self Detox Myths

Myth: Stadol detoxification is not usually a life-threatening procedure, so that means self-detoxification is always safe.
Fact: Self-detoxification may cause uncontrolled withdrawal symptoms, especially in the presence of underlying conditions or co-existing substance abuse, which may result in dangerous or life threatening complications.

Myth: Home remedies like The Thomas Recipe are safe and effective because they include strong anti-withdrawal drugs to control symptoms.
Fact: Only a doctor has the medical knowledge and the legal power to prescribe safe and effective drugs. Combining prescription and non-prescription medications may cause dangerous drug interactions.

Outpatient Detox Myths

Myth: It would be cheaper to toss addicts in jail rather than to provide treatment.
Fact: Treatment is less expensive than imprisonment. Incarceration costs about $24,000 per prisoner per year, whereas a year of methadone costs an average of $4,700 per patient.

Myth: One drug maker named one brand of methadone, Dolophine, after Adolf Hitler.
Fact: The pharmaceutical company created the name Dolophine by combining the Latin word for pain, “dolor,” with the French word for end, “fin.”

Inpatient Detox Myths

Myth: Performing inpatient Stadol detoxification is a waste of a good hospital bed, as relapse rates make any type of medical treatment worthless.
Fact: All humans are worthy of treatment for serious and chronic medical conditions, including opioid dependence. Relapse rates for drug addiction are 40 to 60 percent, similar to other chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and asthma.

Myth: Communities cannot afford to waste money on drug addicts during a bad economy.
Fact: Drug treatment is a worthwhile investment that can return substantial gains. Experts estimate that a community could see a return of $4 to $7 in reduced drug-related crime rates and criminal justice costs for every dollar invested in drug treatment. When these experts add in healthcare costs associated with dependence, a community’s savings could rise to $12 gained for every dollar spent.

Rapid Detox Myths

Myth: Pain and humiliation are important features of Stadol detoxification, serving as a punishing reminder about drug abuse.
Fact: Human suffering is never an appropriate part of any medical treatment plan. In fact, the uncomfortable and demoralizing withdrawal symptoms associated frequently cause patients to relapse during detoxification. Furthermore, many patients become dependent on opioids after using Stadol as directed to treat real pain from an actual chronic illness.

Rapid detox is the most humane approach to medical detoxification as compared to all other treatments. Rapid detox patients enjoy a pleasant twilight sleep instead of enduring endless days of grueling detoxification.

Myth: It takes days or weeks to complete Stadol detoxification.
Fact: It takes a reputable expert one to two hours to perform rapid detox.

Detox and Pregnancy
An opioid-dependent woman is more likely to develop certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, mood disorders, anemia or blood infections, hepatitis, and pneumonia. These women are also at increased risk for contracting infectious diseases, including sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. Opioid dependence also increases the risk for gestational diabetes, a condition marked by wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels.

These conditions increase the risk for complications affecting the mother and fetus during pregnancy, labor and delivery. Complications can include hemorrhage, inflammation or separation of the tissues surrounding the fetus, slowed fetal growth, spontaneous abortion, premature labor and delivery, and fetal death. Methadone reduces these complications.

A baby born to a mother using opioids such as methadone and butorphanol during pregnancy may endure withdrawal symptoms in the first weeks or months of life. These babies may be born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS. In addition to withdrawal symptoms, a baby with NAS may have had a low birth weight and suffer seizures, breathing problems, feeding difficulties, or even death.

The complications of chronic drug use and pregnancy make Stadol detoxification potentially unsafe for a pregnant woman and for her unborn baby. Methadone is currently only approved treatment plan for pregnant women, although a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine calls buprenorphine “an acceptable treatment for opioid dependence in pregnant women.”

Self Detox and Pregnancy

Self-detoxification can be dangerous for a pregnant woman and her unborn baby. A pregnant woman should consult with her doctor before attempting even tapering.

Inpatient and Pregnancy

Opioid-dependent women who are not already taking methadone when they become pregnant should begin treatment in an inpatient hospital setting where physicians can properly evaluate and monitor her condition as she begins methadone treatment. This inpatient stay typically lasts three days. Inpatient caregivers should monitor fetal movement at regular intervals.

Doctors typically start pregnant women on daily dose of 10 mg to 20 mg and increase dosages based on the patient’s response to treatment. The clinician may increase dosages by 5 to 10 mg each day until establishing a safe dosage that still covers withdrawal symptoms, with a maximum dosage of 60 mg of methadone each day. Once the clinician has established a safe and effective dose, she will discharge the woman to outpatient care.

Outpatient and Pregnancy

A pregnant woman may choose to start methadone treatments as an outpatient. At first, she will come to the clinic twice a day, once for a daily dose of methadone and again for evaluation. Once the outpatient clinician has established a safe and effective dose, the patient will decrease visits to once daily.

Women using methadone to maintain opioid dependence may suffer withdrawal symptoms late in pregnancy and require larger doses of methadone; outpatient clinicians will guide dosage adjustments throughout pregnancy. Babies born to women taking methadone during pregnancy will remain in the hospital for 72 hours after delivery and under close observation for signs of NAS.

What is the best method to detoxify from Stadol?
Every person experiences opioid dependence and Stadol detoxification in a slightly different way. Someone that has been opioid-dependent for only a short time and suffers only minor withdrawal symptoms may be able to engage in self-detoxification, for example, while another person that has been dependent on opioids for a long time might need the medical grade drugs and close patient supervision that inpatient care provides.

The best method to detoxify from Stadol reflects the individual’s unique needs. The person should assess the severity of her dependence, her potential for severe withdrawal symptoms, and her ability to refrain from drug use and base her treatment choice on her assessment. She should choose the least restrictive form of treatment that is still likely to provide safe and effective results.

Please contact us for more information on what approach to Stadol detoxification may be right for you or for someone you love.