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American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Laudanum Detox and Withdrawal

Laudanum detox centers specialize in the treatment of addiction to this potent opioid medication. Laudanum is commonly referred to as whole opium because it traditionally contained almost exclusively opium-based substances. Modern laudanum contains morphine, codeine, thebaine and papaverine. Most of these active ingredients are classified as Schedule II drugs under the Controlled Substance Act of the United States. This classification also applies to laudanum directly.

Schedule II classification indicates that the drug:

  • Possesses a high likelihood of abuse
  • Has a currently accepted medical use in the United States
  • Can cause severe physical dependencies when abused
  • Can cause severe psychological dependencies when abused

laudanumLaudanum is only legally available with a prescription in the United States. This medication is commonly used in the treatment of severe diarrhea or pain, or to ease withdrawal symptoms in newborns exposed to opiate-based substances. Many medical professionals refer to laudanum by its traditional name. The medication was originally known as tincture of opium. If you suspect a loved one is suffering the effects of addiction or a dependency related to laudanum, contact us at for a list of laudanum detox centers in your area. You can also fill out our secure and confidential contact form for more information on this drug.


The concept behind the techniques employed by laudanum detox centers mirrors that for the treatment of most modern opiates. Doctors carefully monitor patients for signs of severe opiate withdrawal symptoms. The most severe symptoms may endanger the life of the recovering addict and include:

  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Seizure
  • Stroke
  • Dangerous dehydration
  • Suicide attempts

The overarching goal of the detoxification and recovery process is to help a patient learn to lead a drug-free lifestyle. Detoxification allows patients the opportunity to cleanse their systems of addictive substances and begin to rebuild their physical health. Rehabilitation helps patients overcome the psychological dependencies created by regular use or abuse of laudanum.


“The typical process used by laudanum detox centers includes a period of sequestered study during which a patient is completely removed from addictive substances.”The typical process used by laudanum detox centers includes a period of sequestered study during which a patient is completely removed from addictive substances. This period can last for 48 to 72 hours for many patients as the drug works its way through their systems. Doctors may prescribe less addictive combination drugs to help combat these potentially life-threatening withdrawal effects. The long-term or less acute effects of opiate withdrawal syndrome can continue for 30 to 60 days depending on the frequency of use, dosages employed and the duration of laudanum abuse.

Rehabilitation typically begins once doctors confirm that a patient no longer shows signs of being threatened by acute withdrawal symptoms. Rehabilitation for opium-based medications typically involves psychiatric counseling sessions designed to help a sufferer come to grips with addiction and learn to live without the use of addictive substances. Group therapy may assist in this process, and friends or family are often encouraged to lend their support during this time. Call our support line at any time at for additional help or information on the processes used at laudanum withdrawal treatment facilities and the effects of opiate withdrawal syndrome.

Additional Considerations

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 23.5 million persons over the age of 11 required treatment for drug-related addiction and dependencies in 2009, but only 2.6 million received it at a specialized addiction treatment facility. Specialized facilities contain both the medical knowledge and experience required to significantly boost a recovering addict’s chances of becoming drug-free in the near future. Laudanum detox centers typically provide care that directly addresses the needs of opiate addiction sufferers and can call upon the experience of specialized doctors, nurses and psychiatric experts or counselors to assist patients. For more information on laudanum detox programs, rehabilitation, the methods employed, or the location of laudanum detox centers and support groups near you, call .

Laudanum Side Effects

More frequent, but less severe, side effects of opiate withdrawal syndrome include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dysphoria
  • Tremors
  • Cramps
  • Cravings
  • Paranoia
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness


  • The SAMHSA report also shows that the number of people needing treatment for severe dependency comprised 9.5 percent of the US population over the age of 11 in 2009.
  • Laudanum is extremely bitter to the taste and a reddish-brown color. There are many possible delivery methods including both oral and sublingual. The medication may also be administered directly through the cheek in a buccal delivery solution.
  • Noscapine is no longer commonly used as part of laudanum’s formulation due to its strong ability to induce vomiting. Modern variants of the medication include most of the original ingredients but remove all or most of this substance.
  • Laudanum is one of the most powerful morphine variants available to doctors. Its highly concentrated nature can easily cause overdose when not carefully monitored. Many laudanum detox centers carefully monitor incoming patients for signs of overdose.

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