Heroin Abuse Detox
Of all the street drugs currently in widespread use, one of the most difficult to stop using is heroin. Not only is this opiate highly addictive, making it difficult to simply quit, the symptoms of detox from heroin can be painful and dangerous enough to make quitting an enormous personal challenge. Seeking professional help to break the cycle of addiction to heroin is critical in ensuring long term success and a clean, healthy future. Call 800-303-2482
Detoxing from Heroin
Detox from heroin can leave you with many symptoms and physical ailments. In addition to extreme cravings for the drug, symptoms can include:
Symptoms of withdrawal can begin to set in as soon as a few hours after the last dose of the drug, and they typically peak within 72 hours. Weakness aches, and fatigue can continue for a week or more after ceasing the drug.
The severity of the symptoms of a detox from heroin makes quitting the drug extremely difficult. Those who attempt to quit on their own or at home are strongly advised to have a trusted friend or family member nearby to help them manage their symptoms and pain and provide any necessary care. Those who have severe or longstanding addictions can find numerous benefits in seeking out addiction treatment facilities that can offer assistance with safer, medically supervised detoxification.
Heroin Medical Detox
Medical detox is designed to keep patients comfortable and safe while they are experiencing the physical and emotional symptoms of drug abuse withdrawal. Medical monitoring ensures patients are detoxifying as safely as possible without putting themselves at risk of shock. Medications may be provided to treat or manage symptoms as they arise.
Commonly used medications include anti-anxiety medications, anti-nausea drugs, and drugs to help ease muscle spasms, aches, and pains. Any additional symptoms may be managed as needed and in accordance with the facility’s policies and the doctor’s recommendation. Generally speaking, medical detox is a safer and easier transition through the immediate early process of withdrawal than attempting to quit cold turkey at home.
Heroin Addiction Treatment
After the body has been through the immediate process of detoxification and the patient has experienced a few days to a week of complete freedom from opiates, treatment generally turns to emotional and mental assistance and treatment. Patients may find themselves in solo or group therapy, art therapy, or other activities designed to engage their minds and assist them in transitioning back to the real world without drugs.
It is important to maintain strict focus on the self and emotions during this time in order to properly re-train the brain and its responses to feelings of pain, anxiety, or fear. The common wisdom is that prolonged contact with reminders of the previous life when drugs were used as an escape may trigger a desire for relapse before the patient has fully developed new and healthier coping mechanisms.
During treatment, you should expect to answer personal questions and examine your feelings, behaviors, and the consequences of your choices. You will be encouraged to explore any underlying problems you may have never addressed before. Therapists and counselors are available to hear your story and assist you in making peace with your past and developing a plan for the future.
Life After Heroin Addiction
The process of detox from heroin can be so harrowing that many people never make it through and relapse immediately. Even those who complete an inpatient drug treatment program experience an alarmingly high rate of relapse. Heroin is a dangerously addictive drug, and only a firm commitment to changing your lifestyle and habits will ensure you remain clean in the long term.
Your treatment facility will help you establish a plan to get your life back on track and get you back on your feet. In some cases, you may be eligible for discounted housing following treatment in a sober house, designed to be a transitional phase between the rehab facility and complete independence. You may also be eligible for job or vocational training or career counseling and placement assistance.
The process of detox from heroin will be one of the most difficult challenges you ever face. However, the process of continuing the rest of your life free of this deadly drug will be an ongoing challenge as well. With appropriate, skilled, experienced treatment and a strong personal commitment to yourself and your ongoing success, you can join the ranks of people who have kicked this habit for good.