Medical Detox for Opiates, Opioids and Heroin Using Suboxone and VivitrolAs the spread of heroin and other opiate (and opioid) addiction rises, research continues to grow in support of effective treatment that combines pharmacology and behavioral therapies (such as CBT, DBT, EMDR). There have been many advances in addiction treatment, particularly in medications to assist in medical detox (the initial drug/alcohol withdrawal process), such as Suboxone, Subutex and Vivitrol.

It used to be that overcoming addiction from heroin, opiates, opioids, benzodiazepines (Valium & Xanax) and alcohol was more challenging, largely due to the fact that the initial detoxification process for these drug classes can be very uncomfortable. and even dangerous if not done under proper supervision. Today however, we have advanced medications designed to dramatically reduce physical withdrawal symptoms as well as cravings. Additionally, the presence of Naltrexone is also used as an opiate-opioid blocker.

Medical detoxification is merely the first step within the overall addiction treatment process. Valley Detox Center looks in-depth at each individual client’s situation, such as: length of substance abuse, intensity of addiction (their daily habit), age, history of drug use and so on, and creates a very personalized detox plan. Those of whom are withdrawing from drugs like heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxycontin, etc. are most likely to be immediate candidate for Suboxone and/or Vivitrol therapies.

The truth is this, when properly prescribed and managed, drugs like Suboxone and Vivitrol can be absolute lifesavers for those struggling with drug addiction and facing yet another highly uncomfortable detox…



Suboxone is a prescription medication that combines Buprenorphine and Naloxone and is used to treat opioid addiction (heroin, narcotic painkillers, etc.) Buprenorphine belongs to a class of drugs called opioid partial agonists, which help relieve symptoms of opiate withdrawal and avoid relapse. Naloxone is a drug that can reverse the potentially fatal effects of an overdose.

Benefits of Suboxone

  • Alleviating withdrawal symptoms of opiate drugs
  • Decreasing cravings
  • Reducing illicit drug use
  • Blocking the effects of other opiates
  • Retaining patients in treatment programs

Side Effects of Suboxone

Although Suboxone is helpful in treating addiction, it can lead to tolerance and dependence. Stopping Suboxone suddenly may produce unpleasant withdrawal effects, making it difficult to quit and lead to relapse. Other side effects that may occur during a period of active use or withdrawal include:

  • Constipation (during use)
  • Diarrhea (during withdrawal)
  • Arthralgia, or joint pain (during withdrawal)
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Jitteriness
  • Pinpoint pupils (during use)
  • Dilated pupils (during withdrawal)



Vivitrol is a prescription injectable form of Naltrexone used to treat alcohol dependence and prevent relapse to opioid dependence after opioid detox. You should not receive Vivitrol if you are having drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms, if you have taken any opioid medicine within the past 2 weeks, or if you are still actively drinking alcohol.

Benefits of Vivitrol

  • Non-addictive and has no mood- or mind-altering effects
  • Taken just once a month
  • Safe and well-tolerated by most patients, with minimal side effects
  • Helps patients manage drug cravings and significantly reduces the risk of relapse

Side Effects of Vivitrol

Using opioid medicine while you are receiving Vivitrol injections could stimulate opioid withdrawal symptoms. Common withdrawal symptoms are yawning, irritability, sweating, fever, chills, shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, watery eyes, runny nose, goose bumps, body aches, trouble sleeping, and feeling restless. Common side effects of Vivitrol may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, changes in appetite
  • muscle cramps
  • dizziness, drowsiness
  • abnormal liver function tests
  • sleep problems (insomnia)
  • stuffy nose or tooth pain
  • pain, swelling, or itching where the injection was given
  • Dilated pupils (during withdrawal)


Like any drug, Suboxone and Vivitrol come with risks and rewards. Many doctors, treatment centers and 12 step programs only believe in abstinence from heroin, opiates and alcohol after you have completed medical detox, while others believe that these medications give individuals a better chance at lasting recovery from addiction and lessen the risk of relapse and overdose. A comprehensive multi-phased recovery program, may include medical detox, medication, counseling and a good support system.

We encourage you to visit the About Us page for more in-depth information on the programs and staff here at VDC. Our staff is available for you 24/7 at (888) 544-6049 and for those with PPO or EPO medical insurance plans we offer a very quick and convenient health insurance verification form.


Medical detox services available for all drug-alcohol addictions such as opiates, heroin, painkillers and more


888.544.6049 • 24/7 SUPPORT TEAM AVAILABLE