Admitting that you have an addiction to heroin and you need to do something about it is half of the battle. Detoxing from heroin is the other half. Perhaps you feel that you are ready to take this monumentally important step. Excellent, but before you do, here are 5 things to know before you go on your journey.
1. Supervised Medical Detox From Heroin is Always Recommended
The first step for treating heroin addiction is making it through the difficult opioid withdrawal process. This period is going to be uncomfortable at best, and miserable at worst. You should never have to endure this challenging time by yourself, and your loved ones are simply not equipped to help you with it either.
Detoxing as an inpatient at (Facility Name) provides you with your best chance of not backsliding. If you were trying to get clean at home, there is a much greater chance that you would give in and use heroin in a moment of weakness. Our detox center has a team of qualified professionals that know just what to do to make you more comfortable when you are struggling.
2. Withdrawal Symptoms Can Be Rough
As mentioned, opioid withdrawal is not a piece of cake. You should expect to start feeling undesirable symptoms around 6-12 hours after your last dose. It feels similar to a bad case of the flu, sometimes with more serious symptoms mixed in. Here are some symptoms you should expect to experience:
- Fast heartbeat and rapid breathing
- High blood pressure
- Fever and shaking
- Vomiting and Diarrhea
- Runny nose and watery eyes
- Stomach cramps
The severity of your symptoms depends on how long you have been using opioids, how healthy you are, and if you are using other medications to help alleviate the opioid withdrawal symptoms.
3. Medication Assisted Treatment May Be Used in Detox
There isn’t a medicine that will clean heroin out of your system; however, there are medications that will help make your withdrawal symptoms a little more bearable.
The first is Methadone. Taken orally, Methadone reaches the brain slowly, and it helps to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Patients trying to kick opiate habits take Methadone on a daily basis.
Your doctor may also prescribe Buprenorphine or Naltrexone to help relieve drug cravings.
4. Some Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms Can Linger for Months
How long you will be dealing with opioid withdrawal symptoms depends on a variety of factors. Each person may have their own unique experience with detox.
Withdrawal symptoms may peak within the first three days. After a week or so, the physical symptoms will start to get better, but the psychological symptoms will remain.
A long-time user of heroin may experience symptoms that last for months. They will likely feel irritable, tired, and depressed.
5. Many Heroin Users Relapse After Detox
Unfortunately, a very high percentage of heroin users relapse after going through detox. This can be for many reasons. Some miss the excitement of their former lifestyle, while others are still living in familiar environments where drugs are still being used.
Some have not learned how to manage their cravings, while others lack a support system in their lives and use it because they feel alone. Hopefully, this won’t happen to you. If it does, reach out to someone and get help right away.
Detoxing From Heroin: Don’t Try This at Home
Our friendly and experienced team at Knoxville Recovery Center is waiting to hear from you. Detoxing from heroin is not something that you should ever have to handle by yourself. Allow us to be there for you during this challenging yet rewarding time. Call us today and let’s get it done together.