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Opiate Detoxification with Buprenorphine (Subutex) or Methadone

An innovative Approach to Detox

If you decide to stabilise from and taper off opioids with methadone or buprenorphine, correct dose reduction is crucial for a detox with minimal opiate withdrawal symptoms. The focus at The OAD Clinic is to manage opiate withdrawals and reductions with innovative, evidence-based approaches that foster wellbeing and a good quality of life. 

In cases where admission to an in-patient residential rehabilitation centre is not the preferred option, our new evidence-based protocols and bespoke treatments may be a suitable option. Our focus is short- to long-term stabilisation to help you feel better. Contact us to learn more.

Detoxing with Buprenorphine or Methadone

Methadone and buprenorphine (Subutex) are used as substitution therapy to avoid withdrawals and achieve stabilisation in opiate dependence treatment.

Forced reduction or detoxification is ineffective for sustained abstinence. It can precipitate withdrawal symptoms (which can be severe and even life-threatening) increasing the risk of relapse and eventually overdose due to loss of tolerance. 


Once stabilisation is achieved while detoxing from opioids, a reduction and opiate withdrawal management plan with methadone or buprenorphine should be considered carefully to enable proper medical supervision.

Buprenorphine injection (Buvidal)

A new buprenorphine prolonged-release injection (Buvidal) administered under the skin, either once a week or once a month, is available to our patients at our London-based treatment clinic


No need for daily or weekly pick up from chemist, nor supervised consumption. Learn more about Buvidal injection.

Detoxing from Opioids

Opiate withdrawal symptoms can appear soon after you quit cold turkey. Those who are heavily dependent on opioids might experience withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours of starting their heroin detox, lasting from four to ten days. Detoxing from opioids can result in withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Restlessness  (inability to relax, constantly feeling agitated)

  • Anxiety  (feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem)

  • Muscle cramping  (muscle pain or discomfort)

  • Trouble sleeping  (insomnia and fatigue)

  • Tremors  (uncontrollable shaking)

  • Lack of appetite  (can be paired with nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhoea)

Our opioid detoxification treatment programmes are designed to eliminate the symptoms of opiate withdrawal and decrease your chances of relapse. At The OAD Clinic, we can provide a comprehensive medical detox from opiates, as part of a bespoke programme to ensure an opioid detox treatment that is targeted to your nature of drug use. The two medications currently licensed for use are buprenorphine and methadone. The OAD Clinic can offer both.

With our different approaches to delivery of medically-assisted opioid detoxification treatment, patients can expect a safer and more comfortable detox process, curbing cravings and alleviating withdrawal symptoms. Certain forms of opioid detoxification will be recommended for those with severe opioid withdrawal symptoms. 

Methadone or Buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine and methadone are medications licenced in the UK for the treatment of opioid withdrawal and long term opioid substitution therapy. Both medications have strong evidence of positive effects.

The World Health Organization lists methadone as an essential medication given that it can be taken indefinitely and in gradually reduced doses to help curb opiate withdrawal. Methadone treatment for opioid addiction, namely Methadone Maintenance, has shown evidence of alleviating cravings and withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and restlessness, among others. It also has the ability to boost social and emotional functionality. As such, it plays a significant role in opiate detoxification.

Buprenorphine is also listed as an essential medication according to the World Health Organization. It’s particularly relevant in opiate addiction treatment because it’s been proven safe for daily consumption as an opioid replacement for patients undergoing detoxification. This medication is a partial opioid agonist. In other words, it doesn’t fully stimulate opioid receptors, effectively lowering the chance of an opiate overdose. Due to the strong affinity for opioid receptors, when prescribed in appropriate doses, it prevents the use on top of other opioids like heroin. In a way it tends to work like naltrexone but without the unpleasant symptoms some patients experience.

Our approach to reduction and detox

Our multidisciplinary team works hand-in-hand with you to determine the best opiate withdrawal treatment option depending on your specific circumstances. Handling opiate withdrawal symptoms can be a very challenging struggle and can become overwhelming. The OAD Clinic detox programmes have been designed to tackle these symptoms with opiate withdrawal medication on a case by case basis, making them optimally suitable to a wide range of individuals. In order to manage these opiate withdrawal symptoms:

  • We monitor your progress and have a flexible and practical approach to your treatment plan.

  • We do not set time limits to your opiate detox journey unless you would like us to.

  • We will advise you of what is your best option for achieving abstinence.

  • We do not discharge or exclude people for not succeeding, it is rarely the ‘end of the world’. It just means reassessing and trying again, becoming wiser through the experience. Let’s discuss your opioid dependence treatment options today.


Countries We Serve:

UK Visitors

If you are visiting the UK or are based in the United States, European Union, Egypt, India, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates, we are happy to discuss The OAD Clinic’s opioid detox treatment options with you either online or at our London clinic. We invite you to come to London or start with an online consultation to begin your recovery journey. Get in touch with us today for more information.


How effective is methadone as treatment for opioid addiction?

Methadone is considered to be relatively effective in helping curb cravings. It is mainly recommended as opiate withdrawal medication to alleviate withdrawal symptoms during a heroin detox. At The OAD Clinic, our expert team will be by your side every step of the way, ensuring that you receive adequate support and guidance for your detox to be successful, be it with methadone or a combination of medication including methadone.

How long does the opioid detox last?

Complete detoxification from opioids usually takes between 4 and 12 weeks in a community setting. However, detoxing from opioids and recovery depends on individual genetics and individual circumstances.

Is a home opioid detox possible?

We offer a flexible approach to detox that caters to your needs and preferences. A home detox involves 24hr supervision by a nurse at your home. In contrast, an ambulatory detox involves close monitoring by our clinical team using remote monitoring technologies and regular in-person reviews requiring you to visit our methadone clinic. These are attractive options for high-functioning patients who do not wish to check into an in-patient facility. Please note that suitability is assessed based on individual health, situations and circumstances. 

How long do opiate withdrawals last?

When treated appropriately, opiate withdrawal symptoms can last for up to ten days, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe depending on the individual.

How does methadone work?

Methadone works by attaching the opioid receptors in the brain, which in turn, lessen cravings and withdrawal symptoms without triggering the intense highs and lows that are typically associated with opioid use. This helps individuals to stabilise their day-to-day lives and focus on recovery. 

What's the difference between opiates and opioids?

Both terms are usually used interchangeably. Both are strong pain relief medications and some of the side effects they produce make these medications highly addictive. Technically, while opioids are formed of synthetic and/or natural molecules, opiates are formed of purely natural plant alkaloid molecules found in opium plants. Opiates include morphine, heroin and codeine. Opioids include meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin) fentanyl, nitazenes and methadone. 

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