Heroin detox is a process by which heroin is removed from the body. It is good to note that this process will not treat the addiction, but it is the first step in managing the condition. Detox can be done in several ways. Some people even prefer to do it by themselves. However, due to the withdraw symptoms associated with it, the process is safer when conducted by a medical professional.
Withdrawal Symptoms During Detox
Heroin affects the functioning of the central nervous system. Furthermore, by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, it gives its users a rush of pleasure. After long-term exposure, the brain gets used to functioning under the influence of the drug. When an addict stops taking the drug, the body reacts with changes in factors such as blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate. The removal of drugs from the body, if not done under the supervision of a medical professional, is associated with withdrawal symptoms such as:
Mild withdrawal symptoms
- Constant yawning
- Sweats and chills
- Running nose
- Abdominal cramps
- Aching muscles and bones
Moderate withdrawal symptoms
- Restlessness and agitation
Severe withdrawal symptoms
- Intense heroin craving
- Depression and anxiety
- Muscle spasms
- Impaired respiration
The conditions listed above are general withdraw symptoms associated with detoxification. Medical detox offered in specialized centers is intended to clear the heroin from the body while keeping the withdraw symptoms under control. During this process, you will experience several unpleasant symptoms. The close watch of medical professionals at the heroin detox center will prevent the symptoms from being severe or life-threatening.
When you visit a detox center, the doctor will first perform several tests to determine your medical and drug abuse history. This will help them decide which level of care is suitable for you.
This is recommended for long-term users who are expected to experience severe withdrawal symptoms. You will undergo detox at the specialized center under close monitoring of health professionals. The withdrawal symptoms are observed and controlled.
Throughout the heroin detox process, you will be given drugs to eliminate substances from your body. The medications also ensure the brain can function better. In most processes, the drugs administered are opioid agonists. The drugs mimic the effects created by heroin. This makes the withdrawal symptoms less severe besides reducing the urge to use heroin. Examples of opioid agonists are buprenorphine and methadone.
If you have not used heroin for a long time, the doctor might recommend outpatient heroin detox. This is mostly recommended for patients who are expected to experience mild withdraw symptoms. The doctor will give you medication for use at home. You will then be required to visit the facility regularly for the doctor to assess your progress. Most outpatient detox involves the use of opioid agonists.
How Long Will Detox Take?
Heroin detox can take between four hours and four weeks depending on the treatment plan and the medication used. On average, the process takes between three and ten days. Removing or inhibiting the action of heroin in the body may take a few hours, but managing the withdrawal symptoms is also an essential part of medical heroin detox. That is why the process might sometimes take several weeks. The time you will take will be determined by factors such as:
- Your height and weight
- The medications used in the heroin detox
- The quality of heroin used
- Your metabolism
- The period of exposure to heroin
Relapse After Detox
Relapse is when a person starts using heroin again after a period of abstinence. A proper detox process includes mechanisms for prevention of relapse. Relapse can have adverse effects. In fact, most heroin overdose deaths result from this. This is because the body and the brain lower the tolerance dose during the period of abstinence. When the addict resumes heroin intake, and takes the same dose as before, it becomes an overdose.
At a proper detox facility, you will receive medication and therapy to minimize the risk of relapse.
Why You Should Visit a Detox Center
We all know that heroin abuse has serious side effects. Long-term side effects of heroin include chest, heart, and bronchial infections. Furthermore, addiction affects you economically because you spend a lot of money buying increasingly large doses of the drug. Visiting a detox facility is your first step from the bondage of addiction.
Receiving detox in specialized medical centers has many advantages compared to detox without medical supervision. These advantages include:
- You will be isolated from the drug environment during the detoxification process.
- The medical professional will give you treatment depending on your unique problems. If you buy heroin detox medication from the black market, there is a risk of incorrect diagnosis.
- It is safe. Medical professionals at heroin detox centers have the required expertise and experience. This puts them in a better position to manage withdrawal symptoms.
- Trained medical professionals are more likely to deliver the desired results.
Take a bold step, and call our heroin detox center today. Call 866-754-9113