Heroin detox might be one of the most arduous and difficult ordeals that one can experience. A drug notorious for the speed and severity with which it hijacks a user’s brain chemistry and behavior, heroin is arguably the most deadly and addictive drug currently known to man. Heroin detox is the first stage of the treatment process and requires specialized assistance from a trained expert. It is the process by which patients rid their bodies of heroin-related toxins, and begin to regain their physical health and mental clarity. While the process of stabilization is usually more brief, lingering withdrawal symptoms can last for months or years.
Those who have been through heroin withdrawal, or have had to watch their loved ones go through it, understand what heroin does to the brain and body. Behind every incident of erratic behavior, every addiction-fueled lie, every violent outburst; every incremental degree of dependency, there is an intense and complex series of chemical reactions in the brain that are driving the activity. As inclined as we might be to believe that our addicted loved ones are responsible for their actions when using, their brains are being hijacked by substance use disorder. These powerful biological changes are best managed with the help of a medical professional. Heroin users who endeavor to detox on their own run the heightened risk of relapse and continued dependency.
Depending upon the frequency and duration of heroin abuse, withdrawal symptoms can range from moderate to severe to life-threatening. Some of the more common heroin withdrawal symptoms include:
Fever and Flu-Like Symptoms
Severe Abdominal Pain
Nausea, Vomiting and Diarrhea
Hot and Cold Flashes
Other symptoms may include hallucinations, flushed skin, dilated pupils, severe joint and muscle pain, fatigue and drowsiness, sleep disorder and more. Because of the rapid onset of heroin addiction, it’s critical that users seek professional help immediately after experiencing these symptoms. The longer you wait, the harder withdrawal is likely to be.
After the initial heroin detox period, recovering users may benefit from a course of medication-assisted treatment to help with ongoing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an element of care that relies on certain FDA-approved medications to aid in the treatment of opioid and alcohol use disorder. Drugs that are approved for the application of medication-assisted treatment including Suboxone® (buprenorphine and naloxone), Vivitrol® (monthly injectable naltrexone) and methadone. Recently, certain generic brands of buprenorphine have been approved for use. Recovery Unplugged offers safe, responsible and effective medication-assisted treatment for eligible clients suffering from opioid use disorder.
Heroin detox should be followed by a comprehensive course of behavioral rehab. Recovery Unplugged offers different levels of heroin rehab, including inpatient, outpatient, intensive outpatient (IOP) long-term, partial-hospitalization (PHP) and more. Rehab consists of group therapy, individualized counseling and music-assisted interventions to engage existing evidence-based treatment models. Recovery Unplugged strives to offer a full continuum of care to address each element of the heroin addiction cycle, starting with heroin detox. We strive to help each client address and manage every aspect of their addiction, beginning with the immediate medical issues associated with prolonged use.
The relapse rates for heroin abuse are extremely high even under the best of circumstances. This is a complex and delicate medical issue that requires expert professional care. Medically supervised heroin detox provides relief from withdrawal symptoms so patients can complete the process as comfortably as possible. While there will invariably be a certain level of discomfort, professional help can mitigate the severity of symptoms. The difference between getting help from a professional detox provider and trying to detox alone will ultimately mean the difference between long-term success and continued relapse. If you or a loved one is suffering from heroin addiction, you can’t afford not to seek professional help.