How to Get Through Heroin Detox – A Guide to Heroin Recovery
Heroin is commonly seen as one of the most dangerous drugs on the street – and for good reason. In 2015, there were over 13,000 deaths related to heroin overdoses according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The highly addictive opiate is among the hardest drugs to give up. The various withdrawal symptoms can make it difficult to remain clean and sober. To know how to get through heroin detox alone is also difficult, and requires professional help. Heroin detox tips can help a person deal with the symptoms more effectively but ultimately, professional assistance is often required.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
The withdrawal heroin users experience during detox is often referred to as the worst flu-like symptoms imaginable. The symptoms can start just a couple of hours after the last time the person used. The psychological and physical symptoms of withdrawal from heroin are as follows:
- Excessive tearing
- Runny nose
- Muscle spasms
- Uncontrollable yawning
- Extreme cravings for opiates
- Excessive sweating
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
- High blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
- Vomiting and nausea
- Abdominal pain
One of the biggest concerns for someone trying to get through heroin detox is the cravings they experience for more of the substance. The cravings make relapse very likely unless the person is supervised during the process. The majority of symptoms subside after about five days for most people.
What is the Best Way For How to Get through Heroin Detox?
While home heroin detox tips may be enough for some people who do not have a severe dependency or have adequate support at home, the best way to get through heroin detox is to find help from a rehab. There are two reasons why a professionally assisted detox is better than one done alone.
The first most important reason is to reduce the risk of relapse. At a treatment center, there is no chance that the individual can relapse because drugs are not allowed on the premises and the person can be supervised through the process.
The second main reason a medical detox is better than doing it solo is because of the medication that they are able to give the patient to help them through the detox process. Commonly used medications during detox and for heroin treatment include the following:
This medication helps to lower blood pressure and to counteract some of the symptoms experienced through a sedating effect.
Methadone is used as a way to tamper the person off of heroin. It helps to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The dosage is slowly decreased over time.
This medication can help to block the effects of opiate abuse and reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It is gaining popularity over methadone as a safer alternative for heroin addiction treatment.
Another medication that blocks the effects of opiate abuse, naltrexone is often used after detox too in order to prevent relapse. It does this by completely blocking the “high” that heroin produces.
During a medical detox, these medications along with over-the-counter medicines are given to help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms as they are needed. Furthermore, there is a risk of medical complications in people that have prior medical concerns before beginning their detox. People who have gone through multiple opioid detoxes are also at a higher risk of complications during their next detox, further increasing the need for a professional detox setting.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.