Opiate detoxification protocols: A clinical manual

D. A. Fishbain, H. L. Rosomoff, R. Cutler, R. S. Rosomoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The purpose of any opiate detoxification protocol is to minimize or eliminate the signs and symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal, thereby decreasing the chances of relapse to opiate dependence. In the last few years, because of the development of new medications such as clonidine, for the treatment of opiate withdrawal, a number of new protocols have been developed. Four different types of protocols are reviewed and outlined: methadone substitution/detoxification, codeine or other opiate substitution detoxification, opiate of choice detoxification, and buprenorphine substitution detoxification. In addition, six protocols utilizing clonidine are presented, including a protocol utilizing opiate antagonist precipitated withdrawal. Finally, two protocols that utilize naltrexone are outlined, and adjunct medications potentially useful in opiate detoxification are reviewed. Some suggestions for the treatment of drug-seeking behavior during detoxification and the advantages and disadvantages of the various protocols are summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-65
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993


  • Clonidine
  • Detoxification
  • Opiates
  • Protocols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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