Heroin detox can prevent unpleasant or fatal complications resulting from the sudden cessation of use and can help the patient to become abstinent from drugs.
It is typically found in the form of a white to brownish powder or can be dark and sticky, as in the case of black tar heroin. It can be consumed by smoking, inhaling, or injecting.
When heroin has reached the brain, it results in euphoria, an intense pleasurable feeling. It is this effect that makes heroin so addictive – once this high has been experienced, the brain, and thus, the user, seeks to re-enter this state of being over and over again.
Extended heroin use can result in many adverse health problems, and heroin users are at a continual risk of an overdose. Users who inject face even more problems, such as exposure to hepatitis C and HIV, and abscesses and infections from need use.
By some recent estimates, as many as 1 in 4 heroin users will develop a dependence. Addiction occurs when the user no longer has control over the use and becomes preoccupied with obtaining and using the drug. Once dependent, users face terrible withdrawal symptoms upon cessation, another reason why so many heroin users relapse when they try to quit or cut back.
This is because over time, the brain and body become used to the drug, and without it, cannot function normally. Chemical changes in the brain have become entrenched, and the longer and more frequent the use, the more and more impossible it seems to quit.
This is why the best method of recovery from heroin usually involved a professional detox center, where the patient can be monitored around-the-clock and treated for withdrawal symptoms. While not typically fatal, these symptoms can be very intense and without supervision, often result in a relapse and return to regular drug use.
After detoxification, use of a residential treatment center is recommended for long-term sustainable recovery, support, therapy, counseling, and resources.
Signs And Symptoms Of Heroin Use
Immediate symptoms from heroin use, aside from the euphoric high, may include itching, dry mouth, nausea, and vomiting. Next, symptoms such as a decrease in heart rate and breathing, drowsiness, and a foggy mental state. The user often begins nodding off, alternating between sleep and wakefulness.
Prolonged heroin use eventually causes other serious health conditions, such as heart problems, liver and kidney disease, and for those who inject, abscesses and collapsed veins.
Prolonged use of heroin over time will eventually take a toll on the body. This can manifest in a number of ways including heart problems, skin abscesses and injections at injection sites, liver and kidney disease, and collapsed veins.
The Heroin Detox Process
Just Believe Recovery uses a highly-effective process for helping clients to detoxify from heroin safety and in relative comfort. We employ a knowledgeable staff of medical and mental health professionals who are equipped to intervene and manage in heroin addiction, no matter how severe or prolonged the condition.
Before a heroin detox, we thoroughly assess our clients’ needs by conducting a full physical and psychological evaluation and gathering information about the client’s home life and family history. This knowledge allows us to develop an appropriate and effective plan for detoxification.
After the plan has been designed, we then help our clients prepare for the heroin detox process. We ensure that he or she knows what to expect and are equipped with the support and resources they will need to be successful.
As we guide our clients through the detox process, our mission is to make him or her as safe, secure, and comfortable as possible. With 24-7 monitoring, we can adjust our treatment and prescribe additional medication if necessary to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
During a heroin detox, some withdrawal symptoms are a certainty, but the intensity and duration of symptoms will vary among clients. However, these effects are the most common:
- nausea and vomiting
- increased tearing
- dilated pupils
- loss of appetite
- cold sweats
- muscle cramps
- depression and anxiety
- mood instability
Most clients who undergo detox will experience the onset of these symptoms about 12 after the last drug use. For 5-7 days, the most unpleasant symptoms are likely to occur, and after a week will usually begin to subside. However, some patients who have used heroin in large amounts or for a particularly long time may experience symptoms beyond this period, possibly even months.