The clinical opiate withdrawal scale is used by clinicians to determine the severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms. COWS is utilised by healthcare professionals to assess the severity of withdrawal symptoms in individuals recovering from opiate addiction. It provides a systematic method to evaluate withdrawal symptoms objectively and determine the appropriate treatment interventions. By utilising this scale, doctors and clinicians can develop tailored plans to ease withdrawal discomfort and enhance the success of recovery.

The total score out will be used in the assessment of patients opiate withdrawal symptoms and can be used to adjust detoxification medication.

The scoring is as follows:

5-12 symptoms: mild
13-24 symptoms: moderate
25-36 symptoms: moderate to severe
36+ symptoms: severe

This scale was first introduced in the early 2000s as an improvement over previous subjective measurements of withdrawal symptoms. Its development and implementation aimed to establish a consistent and reliable system that healthcare providers could use across different treatment settings. By utilising the COWS, healthcare professionals can gauge the intensity of withdrawal symptoms accurately.

The assessment involves measuring physical signs such as heart rate, sweating, restlessness, pupil size, gastrointestinal symptoms and more. By assigning numerical values to these symptoms, healthcare providers can calculate a total score to determine the severity of withdrawal. Further to that the scoring system enables clinicians to monitor the progression of withdrawal and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.

By implementing COWS, healthcare professionals can provide evidence-based care and evaluate the effectiveness of various treatment interventions. This makes the scale a valuable tool in enhancing the quality of addiction treatment and promoting successful recovery outcomes.

    Addiction & Mental Health

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    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.

    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.

    Inpatient Rehab

    Rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.

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