Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs and Detoxification
- PrintArticle Summary
- Withdrawing from Heroin: Treatment Methods and Options for Help
- Detoxing, Addiction Treatment Rehab and Recovery
- Questions and Answers (FAQ)
Heroin withdrawal is common in people who have stopped using the drug suddenly and those who have stopped using it after a long period of use. Heroin is an opiate drug, which means that it stimulates the opiate receptors in the brain. Other drugs in this class include morphine, codeine, OxyContin, and methadone. Heroin is considered highly addictive. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 23 percent of people who try heroin become addicted.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms typically begin a few hours after the last time a user took the drug. This occurs because heroin causes a physical addiction in which the brain adapts to the drug and has trouble functioning normally without it. Fortunately, withdrawing from heroin does not typically cause dangerous side effects in healthy individuals. Cravings for the drug are a major symptom of heroin withdrawal. About 24 to 48 hours after taking the final heroin dose, withdrawal symptoms peak. They continue to persist for up to a week. Cravings can last even longer, sometimes occurring years after the last actual heroin use. Detoxification from heroin is only the first part of an overall treatment plan.
Withdrawing from Heroin: Treatment Methods and Options for Help
Medically assisted detoxification is the first step in heroin withdrawal treatment. In this type of detoxification, a doctor or other medical professional controls the amount and type of drug given to the patient. The dose of heroin is decreased gradually or replaced with other opiates, such as buprenorphine, methadone, or naltrexone. These drugs can reduce withdrawal symptoms and ease cravings for heroin. Methadone is the most commonly used drug for treating heroin addiction.
Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Detox
In treating alcohol and drug dependence, the detox process does not include the actual removal of the alcohol or drug from a person's body. It is the abrupt cessation from alcohol or substance and then replacing these with cross-acting agents. Detoxification can be completed in two treatment settings: inpatient detox and outpatient detox.
Treatment using methadone involves tapering off the heroin dose and adding methadone in its place. Withdrawal from heroin can be carried out in an inpatient or outpatient facility. Many people choose to do their follow-up treatment on an outpatient basis because the process can take an extremely long time, up to a few years in some cases. Follow-up therapy is generally begun before detoxification finishes because it takes so long to complete withdrawal successfully.
Detoxing, Addiction Treatment Rehab and Recovery
In general, a combination of medication and therapy are usually used for heroin addiction treatment. This combination is typically more effective than just medication or counseling alone. After detoxification, the focus moves from reducing withdrawal symptoms to developing a plan that can keep the patient clean and sober for life. Some forms of therapy that are used in heroin treatment include cognitive-behavioral therapy, individual counseling, and group counseling.
During follow-up treatment, the patient may participate in counseling sessions to explore the psychological issues that led to drug use. This knowledge can help the patient recognize specific circumstances and triggers that may pose a danger. Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches the patient to deal with stressful life events without resorting to heroin. Without this sort of follow-up therapy, the recovering addict may find it difficult to stay away from the places and people that supported the heroin addiction. If a recovering addict has a relapse, he or she can repeat the process of detoxification and get back onto the road to recovery. However, individuals who have undergone withdrawal already will have a lower tolerance for heroin, which can be dangerous because it increases the chances of an overdose.
A patient who repeatedly has relapses may need to be placed on a maintenance dose of methadone to avoid future relapses. If you would like to learn more about heroin withdrawal, call us at 1-888-658-5242 for a free referral.
|Heroin Information at a Glance|
|Medication Name, Costs||Class of Medicine|
|Form, Intake and Dosage||Interactions and Complications|
|Effects and Adverse Reactions||Substance Abuse|
|Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms||Dependence and Addiction Issues|
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Questions and Answers (FAQ)
How Long Do Heroin Withdrawals Last?
The timeline of withdrawal is different for everyone. Heroin withdrawals, however, are typically the duration of roughly 7-14 days. Because of the length of heroin withdrawals, professional help is highly recommended.
Do You Have a List of Popular Slang or Street Names for Heroin?
Smack, brain, junk, chiva, chaw, horse, skag
What are Common Misspellings?
Haroin withdrawl, harowin withdrawls, herowin withdrawel, hayroin withdrawels
Are There any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?
If you’re considering a home remedy as a natural alternative to a rehab center, you should consider looking for help. Rehab centers can ease the pain of withdrawal symptoms, and help to relieve the stress that comes from withdrawal. They can’t completely take the pain away, but they can provide a significant amount of relief.
How Long Does it Take to Detox from Heroin?
Heroin withdrawals can last for up to 14 days, so looking for options of programs that can help is highly recommended. You can use our online system or call 1-888-658-5242. Please call before it’s too late.