Suffering from heroin addiction or know a loved one who is? Here we go into detail about heroin detox and various treatments available for you and how you can benefit from going to treatment for your heroin addiction.

Heroin has an effect that leaves an impact on the brain reward system, which is why it’s known to be one of the most addictive drugs. Due to the impact, people who misuse the drug can increase their tolerance to heroin over time. Causing the user to seek out the drug in a much higher dose to reach the same ‘high’ that they experienced when they first took the drug. 

When heroin users have built up this tolerance over time if they remove the drug from their life. They can start to experience heroin withdrawals which can be extremely uncomfortable. Which can lead to heroin addicts continuing to use even when they know inside their minds to quit the drug but don’t want to experience heroin withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Getting off heroin is a long and hard road but there is always light at the end of the tunnel and is doable with hard work and determination. When you stop using heroin between 6 – 12 hours after your last heroin ‘hit’ you can start to feel withdrawal symptoms. Heroin can leave the user’s system much faster than prescription drugs such as painkillers so withdrawals can start to happen a lot quicker than these drugs.

Withdrawal by patients has been described as like the flu on a much worse scale. You will have a great amount of discomfort and pain for the first week with the withdrawal symptoms being at their worst around the second or third day in detox.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms may consist of:

  • Insomnia
  • Heavy sweating.
  • Muscles begin to ache.
  • Anxiety.
  • Nausea.

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Length Of Heroin Withdrawal

There are a lot of factors that you need to take into consideration with the length of people’s heroin withdrawal symptoms such as the length of time using heroin, the amount of heroin, how many days in the week they’d use and how they took the drug.

People who recover from heroin will suffer from Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms or as known in short PAWS which include trouble sleeping, panic attacks, depression, mood swings and memory loss. These symptoms can last from 18-24 months. As addiction isn’t something that can go anyway overnight the effects on your mood and behaviour will last months after you’ve undertaken your rehabilitation treatment but staying strong is crucial. When time begins to pass, you will start to notice that the symptoms will slowly diminish.

What Is A Heroin Detox?

Getting heroin detox in a rehabilitation centre gives patients a safe space where they can manage withdrawal symptoms with medically trained staff. It’s important that you are getting detox in this fashion rather than attempting to do this by yourself.

The reason for this is the complications that come with heroin addiction are dangerous and when you begin to start withdrawing the substance from your life, you can be seriously harmed during a detox phase without medical supervision. When going through withdrawal you’ll become hydrated to the point where it can become life-threatening. Patients can even suffer from inhaling their stomach contents after vomiting.

A lot of heroin addicts will relapse due to they know how serious withdrawal symptoms can be. They use it so they don’t have to experience heroin withdrawal symptoms which can be a sad place to be in your addiction which is why a rehabilitation centre is known as the most effective route to treating heroin addiction as they can monitor a detox successfully.

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Medications Used During A Heroin Detox

In both inpatient and outpatient rehab centres across the United Kingdom, medical staff inside clinics are able to prescribe drugs to help ease the withdrawal symptoms. These medications can help patients complete the detox period by reducing the cravings that come with the withdrawal symptoms phase and the pain that comes with it.

These medications include:

  • Methadone, a slow-acting, low-strength opiate.
  • Buprenorphine is a common drug prescribed to stop vomiting and muscle aches.
  • Naltrexone is a non-addictive drug that blocks receptors in the brain that reacts to heroin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about heroin detox treatment programs? Get the answers and learn more about heroin detox with these frequently asked questions.

Heroin is a highly addictive and dangerous drug that can cause many health problems in the body. If you are addicted to heroin, then detoxification is the first step towards recovery. The withdrawal symptoms from heroin are often very difficult to cope with and medical supervision can help minimize these effects. Heroin addiction is a serious problem that requires professional attention before it gets worse. Heroin withdrawal symptoms are difficult to manage without medical supervision so it's important that you seek help now.

Detoxing is one of the most important steps in recovery from addiction to heroin. Heroin can be quickly absorbed into the brain and body, causing a euphoric or "rush" feeling which is then followed by drowsiness and sleep. Over time, heroin use may lead to feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as physical problems including constipation, infections (including HIV/AIDS), collapsed veins, abscesses and ulcers. Detoxing involves using drugs that help reduce withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting while also stabilizing your mood so you're not overwhelmed by these symptoms. Detoxification helps prepare addicts for rehabilitation treatment by reducing cravings for drugs once they stop using them

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