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At FootPrints Behavioral Health Center, we support your heroin detox efforts with a time-tested combination of medically supervised treatment administered in a residential setting. Our customized care provides you with the most appropriate resources for you situation and helps you effectively cope with every physical and emotional/psychological symptom that arises during the withdrawal process. Every step of the way, we support your long-term goal to achieve a substance-free lifestyle.
What Are the Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal?
Heroin withdrawal symptoms occur because the brain has grown used to the presence of the drug, and triggers a physical and emotional/psychological response when intake of the drug ceases.
The list of common physical symptoms includes:
- Abdominal Cramps
- Trembling or Spasming Muscles
- Runny Nose
- Sleep Disturbances
- Blood Pressure Increases and
- Heart Rate Increase
The list of common emotional/psychological symptoms includes:
- A Depressed Mental State
- Fear of Going Through Withdrawal
- A Restless or Irritable Mental State and
- A Strong Urge for Continued Heroin Use
In the vast majority of cases, heroin withdrawal is not life-threatening. Still, even in the absence of significant complications, the symptoms of withdrawal commonly produce enough physical and mental discomfort to make the detox process challenging. People who habitually consume the drug in large amounts and/or have an extended history of heroin intake may experience significantly intensified withdrawal symptoms.
Roughly 23 percent of all individuals who try heroin develop opioid addiction.
– American Society of Addiction Medicine
How Long Does Withdrawal Take?
The symptoms of heroin withdrawal first appear just a few hours after use of the drug comes to a halt. In most cases, these symptoms grow stronger for a few days, then gradually start to recede. However, no one can accurately predict how long it will take to complete withdrawal. That’s true because several individual factors play a substantial role in the process, including the length of time over which heroin use has occurred, the amount of the drug habitually consumed and the general health of the person going through withdrawal.
Medically Supervised Detox
Medically supervised detox plays an important role for people attempting to halt the use of heroin. During this process, participants receive ongoing oversight from doctors, mental health professionals and support staff, who together provide the care and monitoring needed to help withdrawal proceed without any major complications or setbacks. If the effects of heroin abuse are still relatively minimal, the doctors and other health professionals may only need to generally support you throughout the course of detoxification. However, medically supervised detox may also include the temporary use of one or more medications designed to ease withdrawal and increase the odds of long-term success. In addition, some individuals continue to receive medication for an extended timeframe.
Medications Used During Heroin Detox
Several types of medications can help ease the symptoms of heroin withdrawal. Two possible options — buprenorphine and methadone — are also opioids, but don’t produce as strong an effect as heroin. When taken in a controlled medical environment, these medications can act as a stopgap or long-term substitute for heroin and help reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. Two other medications — naltrexone and naloxone — help reduce the appeal of continued heroin use by cutting off the drug’s ability to reach the brain’s pleasure center. Another treatment option, Suboxone, contains a carefully calibrated mixture of buprenorphine and naloxone. Finally, a medication called clonidine can help relieve some of the mental/emotional distress of heroin withdrawal, in addition to easing physical symptoms such as uncontrolled muscle tremors, sleep disturbances and rapid heartbeat.
The Dangers of Detoxing At Home
Medical experts broadly agree that no one should attempt to detox from heroin at home, or in any other setting without adequate medical supervision and oversight. There are several reasons for this universal recommendation. First, the depression associated with heroin withdrawal can lead to suicidal states of mind, as well as suicide planning and the actual carrying out of suicide attempts. In a facility with proper monitoring and access to medical resources, the risks for suicide can be successfully controlled.
Another reason for avoiding at-home detox is the serious risk of relapsing back into active use of heroin. Even in the best of circumstances, an established user who stops consuming the drug must cope with powerful urges for continued heroin intake. Without the help provided through medical supervision, these urges can easily overwhelm you and lead you to abandon your attempt halt your drug use. This is an especially risky situation, since significant numbers of people who relapse back into heroin use experience fatal or nonfatal overdoses.
FootPrints BHC’s Heroin Detox Program
At FootPrints BHC, we conduct heroin detox exclusively in a licensed and medically supervised residential setting. In all cases, this setting provides you with round-the-clock monitoring and support from a team of doctors, nurses and mental health professionals. Regardless of the complications that arise during withdrawal, this team has the skills necessary to render aid promptly and help you avoid any lasting negative outcomes. Our comprehensive approach also gives you the help you need to cope effectively with the more general, predictable symptoms of heroin withdrawal. Crucially, this includes the help required to resist drug cravings and avoid relapsing back into heroin use before you complete the detoxification process.
Each individual begins enrollment in our program with a comprehensive medical evaluation that includes both the physical and mental components of your overall health. Once completed, this evaluation will play a major role in determining the level of care you require to achieve a positive outcome. (Additional determining factors include your own preferences, as well as the preferences of designated members of your family.) In the final analysis, you will take part in a customized program that truly treats you as an individual. To learn more about our heroin detox program, you can speak with one of our counselors at (866) 623-1526.
Vital Access to Family Support
Studies have consistently shown that your chances of successfully completing heroin detox increase substantially when you have a stable support network of family and friends. At FootPrints BHC, we’re well-aware of this fact. For this reason, all of our detox program participants are encouraged to involve loved ones in the process, and we make sure you have ample time for family contact during the course of treatment.
Long-Term Substance Recovery
When you fully complete heroin detoxification, you’re ready for the next step in the recovery process: enrollment in an outpatient or residential substance treatment program. The overall goal of this type of program is to give you the skills you need to avoid returning heroin use and develop a durable, drug-free lifestyle. Specific skills needed to accomplish this goal include a basic understanding of the emotional/psychological factors that promote drug use, the development of new behaviors that help you avoid falling into old drug-using habits and the use of pragmatic, real-world techniques to deal with any persistent urges to return to heroin intake.
In addition to providing top-notch detox facilities, FootPrints BHC offers both residential and intensive outpatient substance treatment programs. We also offer less intensive day treatment. All of our programs feature a full array of therapy options, including group sessions, individualized sessions and sessions that include members of your family. Additional treatment resources include classes that focus on a number of important topics, such as relapse prevention, life skills improvement and the mental and physical mechanisms of heroin addiction.
Affordable Services Are Key
We believe that your financial circumstances should not interfere with your ability to enter a suitable heroin detoxification program. Fortunately, most big insurance companies now offer plans that cover at least part of the expense of detox enrollment. If your insurance policy only partially covers your enrollment expenses, FootPrints BHC can help by establishing a suitable financing plan. We also do our best to make manageable financial arrangements for people who lack an insurance plan that includes detox services.
Not sure where to start?
Speak to one of our treatment counselors and plan your roadmap to recovery.
Call (866) 921-8893 to speak with a treatment counselor near you.