Butorphanol Addiction Treatment

Learn how to identify and treat butorphanol addiction here. A complete look at signs, symptoms, and treatment options.

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ARTICLE SUMMARY: Butorphanol is the active ingredient in Stadol. It is addictive and dependence forming. This article explains common protocol used in treatment for drug problems. Then, we invite your questions at the end.


How Addiction Develops

Did you start using butorphanol for legitimate pain management reasons? Has the pain relief become less over time? Or, do you need more of the medicine in order for it to work?

If YES…You are not alone!

If you use butorphanol according to a doctor’s order, it can effectively alleviate moderate to severe pain. However, there is still a real potential for abuse and addiction… even when the drug is prescribed by a doctor for legitimate reasons.

Butorphanol can be especially dangerous and highly addictive if you abuse it beyond its prescribed limitations. In fact, may people become hooked on its main effects of pain relief and euphoria. What starts out as a nice feeling can develop into a full blown addiction, especially if you use it because it produces euphoria and a “high” that is hard to resist.

Is Butorphanol Addictive?

Yes! Butorphanol – brand name Stadol – is addictive.

It is a synthetic medication that belongs to the class of medications known as opioid agonist-antagonists. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified butorphanol as a Schedule IV controlled substance, meaning that using the drug to get high may lead to physical or psychological dependence, or addiction.

Although addiction can occur at recommended dosages and if the drug is misused or abused, the risk of addiction is higher in patients who have:

  1. A personal or family history of substance abuse.
  2. Underlying mental illnesses like major depression or anxiety.
  3. Suffered from a traumatizing form of abuse, be it emotional, physical, or psychological.
  4. Biological makeup or brain structure that makes them susceptible to addictive behaviors.
  5. An environment in which drug abuse is present and normalized.

But, addiction doesn’t discriminate.

It can happen to anyone, at any point in life. So, when you first notice the signs of a butorphanol problem, it is best to seek the help of an opioid treatment program. Talking to a trained medical professional is the right first step in choosing the appropriate program.

How Do You Know You Are Addicted?

If you find two or more of the following phrases to be true for yourself, you may be addicted to butorphanol:

  1. I crave butorphanol.
  2. I feel withdrawal symptoms when I am unable to use or run out.
  3. I have strained personal relationships because of butorphanol use.
  4. I miss work, school, family, or other obligations due to butorphanol.
  5. I need butorphanol to function “normally”.
  6. I take butorphanol every day.
  7. I take more butorphanol than prescribed by my doctor.

Fortunately, there are programs and facilities available to help people overcome an addiction to butorphanol. After all, addiction is not a moral failing or a question of character, but a complex condition that requires the help of an opioid treatment program.


Ready to get help for your butorphanol problem?
Call us NOW.
Free and confidential help is available 24-7.


Safely Breaking Free

The old approach to addiction treatment known as “one size fits all” does not work. The reason behind this is simple: You may suffer from the same condition as a number of other individuals…but your response to stimuli and stress and your past experiences are different.

The selection of an addiction treatment program is influenced significantly by your current situation and other factors, that may include:

  • Amenities you want in your program
  • Co-occuring mental health issues
  • Employment status
  • Finances for rehab
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Home environment
  • Mental and medical health history
  • Severity of the addiction
  • Support systems at home and in the community
  • Your personal preferences and needs

So, in order to safely break free, you will need to find a treatment program that can be tailor-made and customized to your unique needs. The process of finding a treatment program like this can be Anonymous and FREE.

Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment?

The selection of an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment setting for butorphanol is influenced significantly by your current situation and other factors. Some questions you might want to ask yourself include:

What’s my current employment status?
What’s my mental and medical health history?
What’s the severity level of the addiction to butorphanol?
Do I have a solid support system in my community?
Is my home environment drug-free and supportive?

INPATIENT rehab removes you from your current living environment and allows you to focus on you recovery in a safe and sober environment. Many people who are trying to recover on their own find it challenging when they’re still surrounded by people and things that trigger drug use. This is why residential treatment is often recommended for those individuals who:

  • Have high amounts of stressors and triggers in their environment.
  • Have low or no recovery support.
  • Have a history of chronic substance abuse.
  • Have previous unsuccessful treatment attempts at quitting butorphanol.

OUTPATIENT rehab provides therapy and educational classes on a schedule that allows you to go home at night and keep up with responsibilities at work, home and school. But, outpatient treatment centers are not for everyone. Although these programs may provide the level of flexibility that you need, you need to be highly motivated to complete the program.

Q: How long do programs last?

A: Inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs may last 30, 60, 90 days…or more if needed.

The required minimum time spent in addiction treatment is 30 days. However, 60 and 90 day programs offer significantly higher success rates. During those months in addiction treatment you will have time to go through the detox process, but also focus on the underlying root causes of what led to the addiction in the first place.

Calling A Hotline

Calling a helpline can be more comfortable and easy than going to your doctor’s office to discuss solutions for the problem. So, if you fear being judged, lablled, or shamed…you can simply pick up the phone to avoid any inconveniences.

When you CALL us you can expect to find comfort, understanding, and a listening ear. We know that addiction and reaching out for help can be difficult. So, our staff have been trained to view addiction as a medical condition and work to get you the help you need. Butorphanol abuse hotlines are:

FREE you can dial toll-free 24/7
CONFIDENTIAL because no information will be disclosed
ANONYMOUS in that you only share as much information as needed

In short, our helpline is a ‘safe place’ where you can ask all your questions regarding signs and side effects of butorphanol addiction and talk openly and honestly about:

Your butorphanol abuse or addiction problem.
Butorphanol addiction signs and potential side effects.
How long, how often, and how much butorphanol you use.
Whether or not you’re drinking or using other drugs.
Other mental health issues you’re battling.
Appropriate and available treatment options.
Financing rehab and payment methods.
Health insurance acceptance.
The details around rehab treatment programs and facilities.

Most importantly, by calling us you can learn about trusted treatment options that are based on your wants and needs.

What Are the Stages of Treatment?

First, intake ASSESSMENT

This is the stage of treatment that precedes your course of treatment. During your intake evaluation, a doctor or therapist will assess your general physical and mental health state, your degree of addiction, and detect other possible issues. Then, a team of experts tailors the treatment program to your individual needs.

Second, butorphanol DETOX

The first step in any butorphanol addiction help program is detox. When you go through detoxification, you are flushing the drug out of your system. However, you are not addiction-free when butorphanol leaves your body. Without the additional treatment for addiction, you are likely to relapse again in the future. Medical detox therapy can also include medications that make withdrawal more manageable, including:

Buprenorphine is also an opioid drug and works similarly to butorphanol, thus reduces cravings and lessens the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Clonidine is one of the most commonly prescribed medication for withdrawal. Clonidine works to reduce many of the symptoms of withdarwal, such as anxiety, muscle aches, sweating, and cramping.

Other medications that doctors and pharmacists can suggest some additional medications to lessen common symptoms, such as:

  • Diphenoxylate and Loperamide for diarrhea.
  • Hydroxyzine and Promethazine for symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
  • Methocarbamol for muscle cramps and joint pain.


Psychotherapy and behavioral therapies are a crucial part of butorphanol addiction treatment and help you change negative habits and behaviors with new, positive ones. A number of proven and effective approaches have been successful in the treatment of butorphanol abuse and addiction, including:

Behavioral therapy is designed to provide you with the motivation to change. You will learn problem solving skills and learn techniques that can be used to avoid drug use in the future.

12 step programs rely on social support and spiritual beliefs to treat those afflicted by addiction to butorphanol.

Motivational incentive treatment programs use positive reinforcements and rewards to encourage you to remain drug free.

Medication assisted treatment is useful in some cases. Medications either work by blocking the effects opioid drugs have on the brain or by alleviating the symptoms of withdrawal.

Alternative therapy methods include holistic treatmentsl like acupuncture, meditation, and yoga. Some recovery centers may also provide equine therapy, wilderness programs, art therapies, and other supportive services.


Recovery from butorphanol doesn’t stop when you complete the rehab program. In fact, it is a continuous process that requires the assistance and support of your family, friends, and the treatment facility. Aftercare and relapse prevention programs are a crucial step of the recovery process and can increase your chances of rehab success.

The programs offered by a rehabilitation center can make or break your will and motivation to break out of the vicious cycle of butorphanol addiction.

Rapid Detox

Q: Is Rapid butorphanol Detox an option?
A: Maybe…

Rapid opiate detox is a process that uses opioid antagonists and sedatives to induce and speed withdrawal. In rapid detox, the antagonist medication blocks the receptors which believe they are full, thus eliminating physical cravings. The current procedure utilizes moderate IV sedation rather than general anesthesia and is usually performed in a matter of a few hours.

However, not all patients are candidates for rapid opiate detox due to underlying medical or psychological issues. Additionally, this procedure has mixed outcomes and is very expensive. Before considering rapid detox, look into the pros and cons and speak with an addiction doctor to learn more.

Butrophanol Withdrawal: What’s It Like?

When you lower your usual doses or stop taking butorphanol suddenly or abruptly, you will go through opiate withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal usually include but are not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Convulsions
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches
  • Sleep problems
  • Vomiting

Another major symptom of butorphanol addiction is the occurrence of cravings when you go without it for a short period of time. Cravings may begin within a few hours after taking the last dose, or they may take up to 24 hours to develop.

The time of onset and the severity of withdrawal symptoms depend on:

The degree of your addiction.
The amount of butorphanol you normally take.
Your individual physiology.

Sounds scary…we know!

But it doesn’t have to be. One of the reasons that addiction treatment is so highly recommended is because of the difficult withdrawal symptoms and the risk of relapse. To increase your chances of success, it is best not to try detoxing alone or at home without the help of a physician.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment For Co-occurring Disorders

Having a pre-existing mental illness may be one of the reasons that fuel drug use because many try to self-medicate psychological issues with butorphanol. But, addiction may also lead to the development or worsening of psychiatric conditions.

Conditions that co-occur with butorphanol addiction, include:

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia

…and others.

When you are diagnosed with a mental health condition and suffer from addiction to butorphanol, you need appropriate Dual Diagnosis treatment to be able to manage both conditions at the same time. There are therapies that can allow you to set realistic goals and live a productive life of recovery. These therapies may include:

  • Medications
  • Dialectic behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Integrated group therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Individual psychotherapy

You can get access to reputable Dual Diagnosis treatment programs with just one simple phone-call.

Help a Loved one with Butorphanol Addiction

When you make the realization that a loved one is addicted to butorphanol, you can be easily overcome by the spur of thoughts and emotions. You may find yourself:

  • Accusing them for the addiction
  • Blaming yourself
  • Feeling angry, ashamed, or betrayed
  • Wondering why this happened
  • Wanting them to quit immediately

One thing’s for sure – none of these thoughts or feelings can effectively help your loved one beat addiction. First, you need to understand that they cannot “just quit”…nobody wants to become and addict in the first place. Then, remember that trying to convince someone to get help through persuasion won’t help…it almost never does.

Q: So what can you do?
A: Seek professional help from a psychotherapist or treatment center.

Questions we typically ask include:

  1. Which drug does your loved one abuse?
  2. Do you know if they are using any other drugs or alcohol?
  3. How do they abuse butorphanol (orally, snorting, injecting)?
  4. How long do you suspect they have been using butorphanol?
  5. How long they’ve been showing signs of addiction?
  6. How much can they afford to pay for treatment? Is insurance an option?
  7. Could you (and/or other close family members) help them out financially?
  8. Do they suffer from any mental, behavioral, or co-occurring disorders?

In the meantime, you can also emphasize personal choice and control to motivate your loved one to accept help. Find a professional for your loved one to talk to and/or look into the Community Reinforcement and Family Training or CRAFT Model of family training. CRAFT is designed to help the addicted individual who refuses treatment to get the help they desperately need. Some examples of what you can say include:

  • “It really is up to you to decide to make this change. No one else can do it for you.”
  • “I’m concerned about your butorphanol abuse. Tell me what I can do to help you.”
  • “I’m willing to support you during treatment, but you’ll need to accept help first.”
  • “You’re not in this alone. Even if it gets tough, I’ll be here for you.”

Additionally, you can encourage peer support for your loved one through 12 Step groups like A.A. or N.A. You can even get support group help for yourself with Al-Anon.

Ongoing Treatment and Relapse Prevention

Aftercare services are far less structured than rehab programs, but can extend into the weeks and months that follow formal treatment. They are created for individuals that have completed their the initial recovery program and are transitioning to a sober life outside of rehab. Services may include:

  • Alumni support
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Touchup counseling
  • Support groups
  • Sober living arrangements

The primary goal of aftercare is to prevent a relapse into butorphanol or other opioid drug use. Relapse prevention techniques for butorphanol addiction usually involve:

  1. Learning about the relapse process.
  2. Training in identifying warning signs and high-risk situations.
  3. Developing coping skills and stress-management skills.
  4. Addressing pleasant memories of stimulant use.
  5. Reminding users not to test the limits of their sobriety.
  6. Developing a lifestyle that’s protective.
  7. Coaching in addressing slips.

By providing continuing counseling, group sessions and other scheduled meetings, aftercare programs provide an extra level of accountability that helps insure that you will not fall back on the old habit.

Reference Sources: DailyMed: BUTORPHANOL TARTRATE- butorphanol tartrate injection, solution
SAMHSA: Treatments for Substance Use Disorders
NIH: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
NIH: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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