Heroin is a highly addictive drug that can cause severe dependence and intense withdrawal symptoms. This severe dependence and fear of painful withdrawal symptoms leads many addicts to avoid heroin addiction treatment. Fortunately, undergoing supervised detox at a heroin drug rehab can help alleviate and even eliminate many of these severe withdrawal symptoms.
Heroin Detox: Withdrawal Symptoms
Heroin detox rids the body of all toxins left behind by the heroin use, which allows the person to begin the recovery process free of the heroin’s harmful effects. During the initial stages of detoxification, physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms will appear. Dependent users of heroin who abruptly stop using the drug will experience severe symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms can begin within a few hours and peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose. They will often subside after about a week, but some individuals will experience persistent symptoms for months. Severely dependent users who are in poor health can also be at risk for death if sudden withdrawal occurs; however, it is normally less dangerous to withdraw from heroin than alcohol or barbiturates. That’s why the detox period will be supervised by trained medical personnel who will monitor your withdrawal and make sure you are safe and as comfortable as possible.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms include:
* Flu-like symptoms
* Muscle and bone pain
* Cold flashes and goose bumps
* Kicking movements
* Severe drug craving
During heroin detox, certain medications may be used to help minimize withdrawal symptoms. The most common medications used during heroin detox and after to help prevent relapse are methadone, chlondine, buprenorphine and suboxone.
Heroin Detox: Getting Treatment
Most heroin detox centers simply provide treatment to avoid the physical withdrawal symptoms. If you’re serious about recovery, though, you should find a heroin detox center that incorporates counseling and therapy during detox to help with the psychological components of your addiction as well. Detox alone is not a treatment and is not effective in preventing relapse.
The most effective treatment for heroin addiction is a comprehensive approach that addresses not only the physical effects of the heroin addiction, but the psychological effects as well. A comprehensive approach that combines behavioral therapy, individual counseling, 12-Step support, drug testing, dual diagnosis and positive reinforcement has been shown to be the most effective way to reduce heroin abuse. Some heroin rehab centers will also introduce holistic therapies such as yoga, acupuncture and equine therapies to help you reconnect your body, mind and spirit — all areas that are damaged by addiction.
When seeking treatment for heroin addiction, it is often best to receive care at a residential treatment center and continue your first few months of recovery at a sober living facility. There are many benefits of residential treatment, but perhaps the biggest benefit is that it provides a structured environment that’s free of temptations and distractions. Residential treatment for heroin addiction provides round-the-clock care and support to help you focus on your recovery and teach you the skills needed to live a drug-free life. It also provides a temporary escape from the daily stresses and responsibilities of home, work, family and other relationships so you can solely focus on recovery.
Heroin Detox: After Treatment
The point of heroin detox and treatment is to rid the body of all residual heroin toxins and to treat the physical and psychological addiction to heroin. Even after treatment, though, relapse may occur. This is an unfortunate reality of recovery, but it is one that can be minimized through aftercare programs.
When choosing n heroin rehab, choose one that offers aftercare programs to help you work through the difficult first months of sobriety and maintain your sobriety. Effective aftercare can include continuing outpatient therapy through weekly phone calls or in-person visits, or through joining a support group such as Narcotics Anonymous. Sober living is often a good follow-up to any effective heroin rehab center. It allows you to live in a clean, sober environment so that you can re-learn how to live a life without drugs and alcohol during the delicate first months of recovery. Sober living is often recommended for people who have just completed residential treatment and are at risk for relapsing if they return home.
If heroin addiction has a hold of your life or the life of a loved one, a heroin rehab center can finally set you free. Call one today and start the healing process.