Dealing with Heroin Detox Symptoms
Heroin is one of the hardest drugs to quit. Stopping means that a person experiences withdrawal symptoms and extreme cravings. But it is something that must be done in order to get your life back and stop the worst from happening: an overdose death. According to the CDC, 2016 had 15,446 reported cases of overdose deaths from heroin abuse. Dealing with the heroin detox symptoms can be made easier by making use of medical detox programs. Through these programs, the intensity and even the length of the heroin detox process can be significantly reduced.
In this article, we will look at what to expect when going through heroin detox treatment.
What Causes Heroin Detox Symptoms?
Heroin detox symptoms are caused by your body trying to become balanced again. When a person uses heroin regularly, their body adjusts chemically in order to adapt to the foreign substance. For example, the reward centers of the brain responsible for the release of dopamine become overactive, causing a high amount of dopamine to be released. This chemical is what causes the feeling of euphoria.
Eventually, the natural release of dopamine and other chemicals becomes limited in an effort to compensate for heroin being present. When the user doesn’t take heroin, the body is still in this unbalanced state and the withdrawal symptoms occur while the body returns to normal biological processes.
Also Read: Tampa Drug Treatment Center
Heroin Detox Symptoms
The detox from heroin is best described by people who have experienced it as intense flu-like symptoms. During the heroin detox process, which usually last for around a week, the symptoms that heroin abusers experience the most include the following:
- Runny nose
- Cramps in the stomach
- Muscle spasms
By itself, heroin withdrawal symptoms are not considered to be life-threatening; however, if prior medical conditions exists, there may be complications.
Heroin Detox Treatment
Thankfully, research into treatment for opioid withdrawal has given heroin addicts a way to deal with the withdrawal symptoms. While the medications are far from a cure, the symptoms can be effectively managed so that they are far more tolerable. These medications are used most frequently to help a person who has a severe dependence to heroin.
Methadone is one of the main medications used in detox programs. It is also an opioid like heroin but in a more controlled form. It is slow acting and usually lasts for an entire day without a rapid onset which causes the euphoria. A patient is then slowly weaned off methadone over time. In some cases, opioid replacement therapy such as methadone can be used for several months.
Buprenorphine is another commonly used medication for heroin withdrawal. It is preferred in some cases because the risk of abuse is lower. This is because taking more of the drug will not result in a bigger high. Other medications include naltrexone, which blocks the effects of opioids to further help to prevent relapse.
Mental disorders such as addiction do not have a cure, and detox cannot cure addiction. Subsequent to a detox from heroin, the services of a rehab must again be used in order to receive the therapeutic programs designed to tackle the issues that caused the substance abuse in the first place, and to help stop relapse. It is an essential component of long-term recovery.
Get in touch with WhiteSands today at (877) 855-3470 to find out about the programs they provide for detox as well as the therapeutic programs they offer.
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.