A major side effect of using Heroin is ‘dope-sickness,’ – a chronic illness experienced by addicts which manifests itself in symptoms such as insomnia, sneezing and diarrhea. It’s a vicious cycle of daily sickness that can only be broken by successfully kicking the habit.
There are several ways to quit Heroin, but whichever you choose, it will be a constant battle for your mind, body and soul as you struggle with the symptoms. It’s a hard choice but one that must be made for recovery.
Going cold turkey
This is the most natural detox method, but the least convenient. Cold turkey involves sudden withdrawal from the drug, which often doesn’t last for long. With cold turkey, the addict is not able to sleep, or to fall asleep. OTC drugs such as Nyquil, Dayquil, Imodium and Valerian Root capsules are used to assist with the process of quitting using this method.
There are two types of medication; Methadone and Buprenorphine, which are used for treatment and to help the patient to cope with the painful withdrawal symptoms, which typically last around seven days. Detoxification using Methadone lasts between 21 and 28 days, but the patient will need to visit the clinic every morning.
Buprenorphine is admitted through any of the three common medications; Suboxone, Subutex and Zubsolv, which are all narcotics drugs and therefore have addictive properties, like Heroin.
Clonidine (antihypertensive) and valium (sedative hypnotic) are two other medications which are prescribed by mental healthcare professionals to treat specific Heroin withdrawal symptoms.
Inpatient detox programs
In-patient Heroin detox programmes are the safest and most effective solutions, as healthcare professionals handle all phases of treatment and recovery for the patient. With any in-patient detox programme, healthcare experts (a medical doctor, along with an addiction specialist, clinical psychologist or a social worker) will treat you directly. Alternatively, you will be referred for assessments to find safer methods of quitting Heroin.
Once your level of addiction has been understood, you will be able to discuss your options with a doctor, to find the most effective way to quit Heroin. If the doctor recommends that you go through an in-patient detox programme at a specialized clinic, take their professional advice. Medical detox facilities provide 24-hour medical supervision and support in a secure environment.
Sometimes, the doctor may advise you to undertake a method known as ‘tapering,’ which is the gradual and systematic dosage reduction of Heroin intakes. At other times, medications will be administered to trigger Heroin withdrawal symptoms, which will then be treated accordingly as they occur.
Once you have successfully ridded your body of the Heroin, your doctor or healthcare provider may recommend that you undergo a longer rehab programme, either in-patient or out-patient. This will help you to deal with the psychological issues underlining Heroin independence, or other occurring health issues that trigger it’s use.