It seems that for decades the country has been dealing with heroin abuse issues. From addiction to overdose deaths, the demon that is heroin has ravaged both addiction sufferers and the communities around them. Consider this, heroin and other opiate addictions can get so bad that even the cessation of taking these drugs causes problems. People refer to these problems as withdrawal symptoms. The following information will lay out the heroin detox process. By learning about the heroin detox process, individuals that are in need of heroin addiction treatment will hopefully be prepared to do so at a heroin detox center such as Phoenix Rising Recovery.
Why Should I Seek Treatment?
Heroin causes many medical issues. One issue that you may not be aware of is the additives in the heroin that you buy. Some additives in street heroin may have substances that are difficult to dissolve. These substances can clog your blood vessels. These clogs can then lead to your brain, lungs, kidneys, or liver. These clogs could even cause infections or negative immune system reactions which can cause rheumatologic problems, such as arthritis.
One of the most prominent problems with heroin use arose during the early 80s, with the AIDS and HIV crisis. When heroin addicts share needles or other injection equipment, they could also be sharing infections.
Infections such as hepatitis B and C, as well as HIV and other blood-borne pathogens, can contaminate the needles. Once a person develops one or more of these diseases due to drug use through contaminated needles, he or she can pass these diseases on to their partners or children. This is devastating as many of these diseases are intensely uncomfortable and most have no cure.
Additional Complications From Heroin Use
Let’s say you don’t get a blood-borne illness from heroin use, and you continue to use heroin. If you inject heroin into your body, you could scar your veins or cause them to collapse. If you snort or sniff heroin, you can damage the lining around your nose or break the tissue that divides your nasal passages.
Other possible effects of heroin use include bacterial infections of the heart valves and blood vessels, soft tissue infections, and lung complications such as pneumonia or tuberculosis. These are just a few complications that go along with long-term heroin use.
There is no shame in having a heroin addiction. We know that addiction is a disease like any other. However, you must seek treatment, like you would with any other illness.
Brief Discussion About Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
When patients enter our Palm Springs heroin detox center here at Phoenix Rising Recovery, they need help getting safely past their potential withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, a person’s withdrawal symptoms can be just as devastating as a long-term addiction. After reading the following list of typical heroin withdrawal symptoms, the challenges that patients and heroin detox centers face should be clear.
The list includes:
- Severe muscle cramping in the stomach area and extremities
- Difficulty breathing and blood pressure issues
- Tremors and convulsions
- Hallucinations and nightmares
- Sleep disorders
- Mental and emotional stress – anxiety
- Depression and suicidal ideology
The Heroin Detox Process
Phoenix Rising’s Palm Springs heroin detox center uses a medication-assistance program to help keep patients safe and comfortable. As long as patients don’t show signs of distress, we allow them to go through detox as naturally as possible. If there are any signs of trouble, our medical staff can prescribe certain medications to our patients recovering from heroin addiction to combat pain and sleeping issues.
In worst cases, we sometimes place our patients in a tapering program, using Methadone or Suboxone. These substances give the patient an opportunity to slowly go through detox while the medical staff is monitoring their progress.
After a successful stint in a detox program, the patient should transfer to a heroin addiction treatment center. That’s where patients will get the therapy and counseling that they will need to help them stay clean.
What Is Suboxone?
Some heroin detox centers choose to prescribe Suboxone. This is a brand name for the generic medical drug that includes buprenorphine or naloxone.
Suboxone can specifically help individuals that are suffering from heroin use disorders. This is because buprenorphine and naloxone act as opioid agonists when together (both partially and fully). Suboxone can also help minimize heroin withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings for heroin as a whole.
What Is Methadone?
Methadone is a powerful analgesic drug that treats opioid addiction. This drug is prescribed with extreme caution for this reason.
Methadone is typically available as a tablet or liquid. It’s prescribed with other medications because it can be addictive. Methadone is also an opioid, just like heroin. Methadone is useful when tapering off a powerful drug like heroin as it can minimize withdrawal symptoms.
Heroin Detox Center Timeline
The heroin detox process will usually start within 6-8 hours of the drug user’s last dose. By the end of day one and into the next three days, the individual could well experience some of the more dangerous symptoms of heroin detox.
With any luck, the heroin detox process will be over in about a week. Of course, that depends on the depth of the individual’s addiction prior to heading into the heroin detox center. Withdrawal symptoms can be separated into acute and post-acute.
Heroin Acute Withdrawal Symptoms
Acute withdrawal is often characterized by symptoms that occur within the first few days at a heroin detox center. Acute withdrawal symptoms can start within a few hours of the last dose of a substance and usually last three days. However, some people may experience physical symptoms for up to a month.
Symptoms common during the acute phase include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Excessive sweating
- Runny nose
- Bodily aches and pains
- Lack of hunger
Eating a nutritious diet and getting enough sleep are crucial to recovery. Sleep and healthy food allow the body to fight off getting sick. They also help minimize withdrawal symptoms. Yet, it’s hard to do that, especially with a drug like heroin.
Our staff helps patients get through this phase of the heroin detox timeline, whether that’s in terms of support or approved medication. The power of a strong support system lets patients overcome the physical sensation of withdrawal with a positive mindset. This is because the mind is a powerful thing that is capable of reducing pain to some extent with the right techniques.
Heroin Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome Symptoms (PAWS)
The next portion of the heroin detox timeline is the post-acute phase. As mentioned before, withdrawal symptoms after the first few days of heroin detox can be life-threatening. These symptoms may begin after the first few days, but lesser symptoms may last up to two years. On average, heroin withdrawal symptoms last anywhere from ten days to a couple of weeks.
While Phoenix Rising consistently monitors a patient’s health and progress, it’s crucial at this point to avoid serious health complications. That’s why at Phoenix Rising, we’ll conduct a comprehensive medical examination that establishes both physical and mental health.
It’s not uncommon for patients to develop a mental illness at this point. Heroin withdrawal can result in both physical and mental health problems.
Common Heroin PAWS symptoms may include:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Intense heroin cravings
- Vivid nightmares
Vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea are common during this phase of detox. Individuals who need heroin addiction treatment won’t die from a lack of heroin in their system. Yet, post-acute withdrawal syndrome symptoms can be deadly. Losing too much liquid can result in dehydration, elevated blood sodium levels, and heart failure. Our medical staff monitors patients to avoid this.
Phoenix Rising Recovery – Full Service Rehab
At Phoenix Rising Recovery, we employ some of the best talent available in the addiction treatment industry. For the benefit of our patients, we provide our staff with the best treatment resources possible. That includes a number of modern-day treatment modalities that are proving to be very effective. For their part, patients need to enter our heroin detox center in Palm Springs with focus and commitment.
We will guide you towards a lasting recovery, using a combination of the following treatment options and services:
- Inpatient care – is ideal for patients who have just gotten free of severe addiction. In this treatment, you stay at a rehab facility 24/7, away from the cares and temptations of the world. You can stay in inpatient care until you feel equipped to go back to your routine life
- Outpatient care is perfect for the patient who is not at risk of relapse. During outpatient care, you get treatment at the facility during the day and return home at night.
- Intensive outpatient care is an option for patients who feel ready to go home but still want treatment regularly. For these patients, they will attend therapy 3-5 days a week for a few hours and then return to their lives.
- Partial hospitalization with an outpatient follow-up is similar to inpatient care, in that you don’t go home at the end of the day. Instead, you go to one of our sober living homes.
- Dual diagnosis treatment is a treatment option for patients who struggle with mental illness and addiction.
- Holistic treatment options, such as individual and group therapy, treat the whole person, rather than just the body during addiction treatment.
Phoenix Rising Provides Tools To Overcome Heroin Addiction
Before you suddenly stop using heroin, we want you to closely consider the dangers of heroin detox. The heroin detox process is not something you want to tackle on your own. Instead, we want you to give us a call and let us guide you through the entire treatment process. For more information about the services that we provide, please contact us.