Heroin is a powerful drug that is incredibly addictive. While all drugs alter the brain activity and chemicals produced within the brain, heroin does so at an accelerated rate. It drives the user to require more and more heroin as their body becomes tolerant to it. Because of its huge impact on the brain’s production of certain chemicals, the withdrawal symptoms of heroin can be quite severe. It often leads addicts to a desperate search for their next hit in order to alleviate the pain and discomfort that they’re experiencing.
As such, it can be difficult for a heroin addict to seek help. They may feel that they’re stuck in their addiction and unable to receive help. They may even feel that they’re too damaged and that recovery is impossible. However, anyone can recover from a heroin addiction, whether they are long-time abusers or haven’t been using heroin for very long. This article will go over the process of a heroin detox, how long it takes, and the possible withdrawal symptoms you may experience.
The First Step Of Heroin Recovery
For those who have chosen to seek help, the first step in any heroin recovery program is to detox. No matter if it’s heroin, cocaine, or alcohol, the drug has to completely leave the body’s system, so the toxins can be removed, and your body can start to heal under its own power.
Heroin, specifically, requires constant supervision. As such, you can expect to be helped every step of the way. In some cases, you may even be given non-addictive medications to assist with some of the withdrawal symptoms. Either way, you’ll be watched and monitored carefully to ensure that your body is healthy and strong throughout the detox.
How Long Does Detox Take?
While detox is relative to the person, typically, withdrawal tends to take around a week. This is in regards to the more acute withdrawal symptoms, however. By and large, for those who have only used heroin sparingly and haven’t used it for very long, you may experience a shorter detox window than those who have used heroin for a long period of time. This is due largely to the fact that the drug hasn’t had a chance to damage your brain’s chemicals too severely just yet. It’s also less present in your system whereas a long-time abuser will have side-effects and consequences that they have to deal with due to their continued use of heroin.
However, because heroin leaves the body quite quickly, you will likely feel the symptoms of withdrawal quickly no matter how much you have used heroin. This is due just to how heroin’s chemistry reacts with the body. It leaves the body quickly, and as a result, your body demands more of the substance because it has already experienced a change in your brain’s chemistry.
That being said, the length of the detox is due largely in part to quite a few factors. Short-term users will likely have a smaller duration of detox than long-term users. Those who have a better physical and mental health overall will likely also see a shorter detox than those who are in a poorer state of mental and physical health.
Since heroin leaves the body quickly, it’s important to know the symptoms of withdrawal, so you can get yourself checked into a recovery center where you can be monitored closely by professionals and doctors. They can help you through the withdrawal which could not only alleviate some of the symptoms, but it could actually save your life in the event that the symptoms wreak too much havoc on your poor health. The withdrawal symptoms of heroin are as follows.
* Dilated Pupils
* Abdominal Cramping
* Muscle Aches
These are just the symptoms that are typically experienced during a detox. As you might imagine, experiencing these on your own can be quite overwhelming, even for someone who has only just started using heroin. Relapse is likely in order to end the discomfort, so recovering from heroin on your own is likely quite impossible.
Even after you have managed to break through the acute withdrawal symptoms of heroin during your detox, you may be left with lingering symptoms of withdrawal for months afterward. These typically tend to be more emotional than physical since your brain’s activity is attempting to regulate itself once more. Those feelings of anxiety, depression, fatigue, and irritability may continue for several months. Insomnia may also linger. These can be helped with doctors and professionals, however, in a treatment that won’t feed you into a new addiction.
For those who make it through the first week, when the withdrawal symptoms are the most acute, you will likely feel a lot more normal once the week is over. You may be left feeling quite exhausted–after all your body was just put through quite the ordeal–but given enough time, the cravings will subside and the pain and discomfort will fade.
Once the detox and withdrawal are over, however, a new form of work begins. Addiction is a disease. While you can purge your body of the toxins the drug has given to your body, your brain will likely always desire the sensation it received while using those drugs. As such, to ensure that you don’t fall back on old habits, the recovery center will equip you with the tools to maintain a sober lifestyle.
It is because of this therapeutic connection that it is so important that you seek aid at a recovery center regardless of how long you’ve been using heroin. Even if your detox only takes a few days, you need to be closely monitored and then given the tools to help ensure you don’t relapse. For those who are serious about getting their life back and kicking their habits for good, give our recovery center a call. We’ll help you maintain that sober lifestyle, so you can say goodbye to addiction for good.
Call us today for help: 877-497-6180