Heroin is a highly addictive drug. Withdrawing from heroin is difficult because your body gets used to it. As a result, attempts to quit often fail because the user feels too sick.
Going through the detox process in a setting monitored by doctors is optimal. It gives patients the best chance to make it through withdrawal without health issues. Detoxes are necessary for healing, but suffering is not.
What is Heroin Detox Treatment?
Heroin withdrawal treatment means less discomfort. Doctors can prescribe medication to reduce unpleasant heroin withdrawal symptoms and signs. These include:
- Big Pupils
- Fever, sweating or goosebumps
- Watering eyes, runny nose or yawning
- Muscle spasms
- A fast pulse or high blood pressure
- Nausea or diarrhea
- Pain including headaches
Heroin withdrawal begins as early as six hours after the last dose. Heroin is a short-acting opiate, so it produces intense symptoms over a short period of time.
Symptoms peak about two days after the last dose. Serious heroin symptoms can go on for up to seven days. Without treatment, withdrawal can be unbearable. Restless sleep and mood changes can continue for weeks.
As with other aspects of treatment, there is no one-size-fits-all method for detox. You may come to an inpatient heroin rehab center high, or while going through withdrawal. Your clinician will be able to tell the difference between the signs of recent use, and heroin withdrawal symptoms.
Doctors have to strike a balance between under-dosing and overdosing. As heroin addicts well know, the latter can be lethal. This is why it’s essential to have qualified experts looking after you.
Factors that are unique to each person also determine how long and intense withdrawal will be. These factors include:
- Duration of use
- General health
- Co-occurring health problems
In certified heroin rehab centers, medical experts take all these factors into account when prescribing meds. They will also do multiple checks to see whether your physical state is improving or not. Round-the-clock care keeps you safe and readies you for a heroin rehab program.
Who Needs Heroin Detox?
If you’re showing signs of addiction as described below, you urgently need heroin detox medications and treatment. It’s worth noting that addiction is not just about physical dependence. It’s about harmful behaviors and mental dependence.
Signs of addiction include:
- You've developed a tolerance and need more heroin than you used to.
- You get strong cravings.
- You can't control your heroin use despite its negative impact.
- You devote a lot of time to seeking drugs, using and recovering from then.
- Your drug use has caused legal problems. Using also affects your social life, your ability to make money and your health.
Detox is not a cure. An OUD is a powerful mental health issue. One of the biggest risks with detox happens after it is over. When a person loses tolerance to heroin and takes the same dose that they used to, a lethal overdose is possible.
Further help is key to long-term change and to preventing relapse. Detox results in the physical wellness required to do the mental work of sobriety. Inpatient residential treatment including MAT and therapy gives patients the toolkit to do this work.
What to Expect from Heroin Detox
Supervised detoxes aim to wean a person off addictive drugs.
For starters, you can expect a physical exam. You can also expect an interview about your history with heroin use, overdoses and withdrawal. Your clinician will ask you about your home environment and whether you have any social support.
You will likely undergo drug tests to see what other substances may be in your system. Polydrug use can complicate withdrawal. So can co-occurring mental or medical issues.
For example, heroin is often used with a needle. This increases chances of contracting HIV or hepatitis. Opioids are pain relievers so preexisting chronic pain can become worse during withdrawal.
Properly licensed heroin rehabs should be able to provide a level of integrated treatment.
If you’re hazy on some details, addiction specialists will try to find out important information from your loved ones. Once these checks are done, it’s time for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to begin.
The Heroin Detox Treatment Process
Your care team’s initial job is to physically stabilize you.
You will receive supplements to treat severe vomiting or if you appear malnourished. Dehydration can lead to heart failure. This is how some people with an opioid use disorder (OUD) die preventable deaths during withdrawal. Getting a boost of nutrition and fluids also speeds up the detox process.
During detox, MAT helps with symptoms such as insomnia and cramps. MAT may also involve regulated drugs, such as methadone, which are given to patients in gradually reduced doses. Clonidine, ’bupe’ and naltrexone are some of the other well-known drugs used to treat OUDs. Some of these meds are not suitable for withdrawal in an outpatient setting.
If you’re pregnant, withdrawal can cause a miscarriage, so a detox will likely have to be delayed. In the meantime, MAT may be an option.
Critics say that MAT replaces one addiction with another. But MAT drugs act differently on the brain. Maintenance doses have helped scores of people regain control. Sound research shows that MAT allows people with an OUD to lead functional lives. It lowers drug use and crime, and it reduces deaths due to overdose. Complete abstinence is possible too.
Why Choose Bedrock?
Self-detox can be dangerous and even fatal. We recommend seeking treatment rather than going cold turkey on your own. Bedrock Recovery Center employs board-certified physicians to give you excellent medical care. We can help you take the first crucial step in your recovery journey.
Our detox and inpatient programs in Massachusetts provide unmatched support to patients. We use evidence-based methods to ensure you get heroin treatment that’s tailored to your needs.
Our holistic offering includes MAT, healthy recreation activities and therapy that works. Bedrock provides an ideal start to a new life. Contact us today to find out more about our services.