Heroin affects the brains ‘reward system,’ increasing the individual’s tolerance levels to the drug over time. Eventually, they will require increased doses to match this new tolerance level. When they begin to stop, withdrawal sets in and this is how a dependence cycle is formed.
Those struggling with Heroin addiction usually keep using to avoid the agonising withdrawal symptoms. Abusing Heroin produces sensations similar to other analgesics, such as Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, but it’s more powerful.
Withdrawal from Heroin is usually more severe than prescription painkillers.
Do you need treatment?
When withdrawal from any substance leads to cravings and uncomfortable feelings, assistance should be sought to detoxify the body of the harmful drug.
Detoxification is the process of systematically withdrawing a drug user from physical dependence on addictive drugs, usually under the supervision of a physician. The keyword here is safe. Many people are under the misconception that they can detox safely in their homes (cold turkey method,) but it is very risky.
Detoxification that isn’t supervised by a professional can lead to complications, especially when the user experiences severe withdrawal symptoms, without appropriate medication. There is also the danger of relapsing to avoid the agonising pain of withdrawal.
How do you detox safely?
Seeking medical assistance is the key to a safe detox – professionals have the resources to ease the discomfort and to prevent the symptoms from worsening. More detox facilities have begun to integrate their programme with psychological support; these combined treatments make withdrawal more bearable, fostering a greater chance for a successful recovery.
Different Forms of Treatment
Depending on your commitments, schedule and finances, you can decide to choose an inpatient treatment programme or an outpatient one. The advantage of the inpatient program is that users have access to medical support by professionals and are not likely to be tempted by external influences, unlike the outpatient programme.
At the treatment facilities, the services and benefits include the following:
- Intake consultation
- Individual therapy
- Group counselling
- Aftercare planning
Severe addictions to substances may require the assistance of a professional substance abuse treatment programme. These are specialists who are experienced in treating Heroin addiction.
Detox can be safely and comfortably managed under the supervision of a medical team, at a clinic or inpatient treatment facility.
If you or the Heroin user has a mental health issue, such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar ailment, anxiety or PTSD, it’s important that they are addressed concurrently to increase the chances of a full and successful recovery.
Make sure you make an inquiry at the treatment centre to check whether they have experience in treating those with dual diagnosis – the co-occurrence of an addiction and mental health problems.
How Long Does a Detoxification Last?
The duration is not specific, as many factors affect the recovery period. Usually, detoxification takes between 3 and 28 days, dependent on the level of addiction. You may also be required to stay longer, following the initial 30-day period, for counselling and monitoring.
To find out more about safe detoxification for Heroin use, call our direct help line.