4.10.2 Opioid detoxification

Opioid detoxification refers to a process of achieving abstinence rapidly. Patients who detox as a process of being excluded from treatment or who fall out of treatment or who undergo premature detoxification have particularly poor outcomes. As such, opioid detoxification should only take place under the supervision of those specialist teams outlined above and is beyond the scope of the NI Formulary.

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist which can be initiated under specialist advice to support abstinence from opioids. It must not be commenced until the patient is opioid free for 7-10 days.