If you or a loved one have been prescribed Kadian, you might be concerned about the drug’s addictive potential. As a Schedule II controlled substance, Kadian carries a high risk of abuse, addiction and dependence. For this reason, it is important only to take Kadian exactly as prescribed by your doctor and to be vigilant about the risks of Kadian addiction.

What Is Kadian?

Kadian is a pain medication used to treat severe, long-lasting pain, mainly in cancer patients. Kadian is classified as an opioid analgesic (narcotic) and is prescribed only to opioid-tolerant patients.

Kadian is manufactured as an extended-release version of morphine. The goal was to produce something that worked just as well as morphine but lasted much longer since morphine’s effects quickly fade. This makes Kadian a highly sought-after substance for people struggling with addiction who want something stronger to counteract their tolerance.

Even though Kadian is rarely prescribed, it’s become widely distributed illicitly and is commonly misused by people with or without a prescription.

How Is Kadian Used?

Since Kadian is a controlled substance, following the dosage instructions carefully is important to reduce substance misuse and potential addiction. Doctors will closely monitor their patients taking Kadian so they can interfere if they believe it’s being misused.

Kadian is taken as an oral capsule, and the dosage can be 10mg–200mg once a day. The opioid is meant to relieve pain for up to 24 hours. If someone with no tolerance or experience with opioids takes Kadian, the single dose could cause a severe overdose.

Some expected side effects of Kadian are: 

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Kadian Addiction

Kadian is only given to opioid-tolerant patients; people taking Kadian might also quickly build up a tolerance for it, possibly leading to substance misuse. Misusing Kadian does not always mean someone is addicted to it. An addiction indicates strong, uncontrollable cravings for Kadian, which often cause someone to constantly seek the opioid or other opioids to satisfy those cravings.

People addicted to Kadian might start mixing it with other opioids or alcohol to produce a stronger effect. They may also display a lack of interest in other aspects of life, and they might ignore work or even sleep to obtain and take Kadian.

Kadian Overdose

Kadian is a strong opioid medication that can be fatal if overdosed. The risk of overdose increases in patients not adjusted to opioid use and those with certain medical conditions. Mixing Kadian with other central nervous system depressants also greatly increases the risk of overdose.

The primary symptoms of Kadian overdose are pinpoint pupils, severely decreased respiration and decreased level of consciousness. Pinpoint pupils are unresponsive even to dramatic changes in light. The patient’s alertness can progress from extreme lethargy and tiredness to stupor and coma within minutes, depending on the severity of the overdose.

Patients who have overdosed on Kadian should be closely monitored for severe respiratory depression. Respiratory depression can lead to death if not treated as soon as possible. If you suspect that someone has overdosed on Kadian, call 911 immediately.

Mixing Alcohol and Kadian

Mixing alcohol with Kadian can lead to serious side effects, including death. Do not drink alcohol or consume any products that contain alcohol while taking Kadian. Doing so can lead to the rapid release of this extended-release medication and death. Serious complications include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Impairment of judgment
  • Low blood pressure
  • Respiratory distress
  • Fainting
  • Coma
  • Death

How Long Does Kadian Stay In Your System?

As a long-acting drug, Kadian can stay in your system for days. The half-life of a drug refers to how long it takes your body to clear half of a single dose, and Kadian’s half-life is 11–13 hours. Because it takes five half-lives for your body to eliminate a drug, traces of Kadian can be in your system for more than two and a half days.

Kadian can also show up in drug tests. After a dose, Kadian can show up in your urine for up to three days, in your blood for up to 6.7 hours and in your saliva for up to 36 hours. Kadian can also appear in hair tests for up to three months after you’ve stopped taking the drug.

Kadian Addiction Withdrawal and Detox

If you stop taking Kadian suddenly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be mild or severe and last several days or weeks. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms associated with Kadian include:

  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, muscle aches and fatigue
  • Goosebumps
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Agitation
  • Runny eyes and nose

Kadian Withdrawal Timeline

The withdrawal symptoms of Kadian can vary in intensity and duration from person to person. In most cases, the withdrawal symptoms will start within 30 hours, peak between three and eight days, and resolve within 10 days after the last use of Kadian. However, some people may experience withdrawal symptoms for longer.

The time withdrawal symptoms last is also affected by an individual’s unique physiology. For example, people taking Kadian for a long time or with a high tolerance for opioids may experience more severe withdrawal symptoms for longer.

Detox for Kadian Addiction

If you are struggling with Kadian addiction and withdrawal, you may want to consider seeking a medically assisted detoxification program. This type of program can help you detox from Kadian safely and comfortably while providing you with the support and resources you need to stay in recovery.

Medically assisted detoxification programs typically involve using medications to help reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. These medications can help manage symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety and insomnia. They can also help to prevent seizures, which can seriously hinder recovery.

In addition to medication, detox programs also provide you with counseling and support, which help an individual learn coping skills for dealing with cravings and the many challenges that often accompany the road to recovery. The staff at these programs can also help you connect with other resources in your community, such as support groups and aftercare programs.

Treatment for Kadian Addiction

The Recovery Village is a comprehensive addiction treatment center that can help patients struggling with Kadian addiction. The center offers many treatment options, including inpatient and outpatient rehab, to meet each patient’s needs.

The first step in treatment is to remove all Kadian from the patient’s system. This is done through a medically supervised detox process tailored to the patient’s needs. Once the substance is safely detoxed from the body, patients can begin the next phase of Kadian addiction treatment, which typically includes individual and group counseling sessions.

Inpatient Kadian Rehab

Inpatient Kadian rehab is a treatment option that can greatly benefit patients with severe Kadian addiction. Inpatient rehab provides a safe and structured environment where patients can focus on their recovery without the distractions of daily life.

Inpatient rehab typically lasts for 30–90 days. During their stay, patients receive around-the-clock care from our team of seasoned addiction professionals. This care includes medical detox, individual and group therapy and other forms of care to help you get your life back.

Outpatient Kadian Rehab

Once the inpatient Kadian rehab program is complete, patients will enter outpatient Kadian rehab. This program allows patients to live at home while they come to The Recovery Village for scheduled appointments. 

Patients with mild Kadian addiction may skip inpatient rehab and begin treatment with outpatient Kadian rehab. This program can be a good option for patients who can stay sober in their home environment and have a strong support system. Outpatient Kadian rehab is a less intensive treatment option than inpatient rehab, but it can still be very effective for patients who are committed to recovery and live in an environment that supports recovery.

The Importance of Aftercare

Opioid addictions have the highest chance of returning to regular substance use. The best way for someone to stay in recovery is to find a medical detox center to help deal with withdrawal symptoms. Kadian withdrawal is challenging because the high potency causes people to experience uncomfortable — sometimes painful — withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms can become so unbearable that, without medical supervision, recurrence of use is likely.

The Recovery Village has 24/7 medical supervision to ensure all our patients are comfortable and have support when needed. We care about your long-term recovery. For more information, contact us online or call our 24/7 helpline at 877-427-7401

Get Help for Kadian Addiction Today

If you or a loved one have started to struggle with Kadian, you are not alone. The drug has a high overdose potential, and withdrawal symptoms can seem overwhelmingly difficult to overcome alone. Fortunately, help is available. At The Recovery Village, we can help you overcome your Kadian addiction. Starting with medical detox to wean you off Kadian and continuing through rehab to keep you Kadian-free over the long term, we are with you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more.

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Editor – Theresa Valenzky
Theresa Valenzky graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts in News/Mass Media Communication and a certificate in psychology. She is passionate about providing genuine information to encourage and guide healing in all aspects of life. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.