One dose of heroin is enough to get a person addicted for life. Heroin is notoriously dangerous and is known to cause severe brain damage. Studies show that the damage from heroin on the brain can be compared to the early stages of Alzheimer’s. The drug eats at the brain causing it to go through a slow process painful deterioration. Damage to the brain affects every other aspect of the body. It leads to painful symptoms in other areas. Heroin addicts generally become weak and suffer from spastic attacks. They are also commonly stricken with violent hand tremors. Protein levels in the urine skyrocket while on heroin. This leads to kidney failure and issues with the large intestine. The results are gangrene and eventual death. The consequences of heroin addiction are terrifying. However, they are completely avoidable. It is never too late for someone who is hooked on heroin to seek out treatment and attempt to become healthy once again.
Heroin Withdrawal Detox
Specialist who are experienced with drug addiction label heroin as one of the most potent drugs on Earth. Many people who are addicted desire to get sober. However, the heroin detox process is known to be extremely taxing on the body. The prospect of experiencing dope sickness terrifies most addicts and prevents them from trying to get sober. Some may have experienced these effects when they have run out of the drug. They now have an intimate knowledge of the painful process of being without heroin. This motivates them to continue to use. Common heroin withdrawal symptoms are nausea, abdominal pain, sweating, shaking, nervousness, agitation, depression, muscle spasms, craving the drug and relapsing.
Some brave individuals attempt to conquer the addiction of heroin on their own by quitting cold turkey. This is a very difficult prospect without the supervision of professionals and access to needed medication. In many cases professionals will use an opiate to taper a person off of opiates. Buprenorphine is introduced into the body to take the place of heroin in the opioid receptor. This reduces the level of cravings for the drug and the intense sensation of withdrawal. The buprenorphine is monitored carefully so that the patient doesn’t become addicted to that in place of a heroin.
How Long Does It Take to Detox from Opiates?
A cocktail of assistant medications are used in order to manage the effects of buprenorphine. These drugs tackle the other annoying symptoms such as headaches, anxiety and restlessness. These medications are all prescriptions and applied based on the needs of each individual. The goal is to get someone’s symptoms down from the highest levels of severity to something that is manageable. This is done in order to transfer their dependency from heroin to a more comfortable state without getting them addicted to the treatment medications. The process normally takes between 5 to 7 days depending on the individual.
Each patient is carefully monitored. Professionals study their activity level, vital signs and verbalized symptoms to see how they are progressing. Adjustments are made based on this information. There is no set way to treat every single person.
Medications are used in a method of tapering the withdrawal symptoms over a period of time. An abrupt discontinuation of heroin will cause extreme withdrawal symptoms. Restless legs, shaking, chills, flu-like symptoms, extreme body ache, gastrointestinal problems and headaches are all common symptoms of severe withdrawal. Buprenorphine is introduced to the as an agonist and works in concert with an antagonist called Naloxone. The combination of drugs are proven to be safe in detox treatment. They are introduced in the attempt to ween the level of addiction from the heroin. The drugs are initially introduced at a very high dose and then are dosed down as the patient begins to show signs of improvement.
Treating Heroin with Buprenorphine
Buprenorphine has taken the place of methadone as the primary medication for heroin addiction detoxification. Methadone is still in existence. However, it is very difficult for Physicians to prescribe it and is only available at certain methadone clinics. The methadone has to be administered daily, which means that the patient has to make frequent visits to the facility. Buprenorphine can be prescribed so that the patient in treatment can administer the drug from home. Buprenorphine is also great for individuals suffering from chronic pain. Studies have shown that it is not a tolerance type of medication, which means that the body doesn’t build up a familiarity with the drug. Growing tolerance forces the patient to take higher and higher dosages over time.
Buprenorphine is considered to be an opiate itself. It has addictive qualities of its own. If a patient is taking too much and decides to quit they will have withdrawal symptoms similar to those of heroin. Users should carefully monitor the dosage of buprenorphine over a substantial amount of time.
Heroin detox is a preliminary stage treatment. It works well for those who have experienced moderate use and are ready to get completely clean. For those who have had a much heavier volume of heroin addiction, another level of treatment is necessary. Specialist will then administer what is known as Maintenance. Maintenance is designed to treat someone who will have the likelihood of relapsing once detox is complete.
The best methods of treating heroin addiction are the ones that are supported by science, evidence and research. Certain cognitive therapy techniques have been shown to reduce the frequency and intensity of cravings. This also helps with relapsing and decreasing withdrawal symptoms. Heroin addiction effects many different facets of life. Using a multi-dimensional approach to treatment is most effective. Heroin artificially stimulates the Endorphin receptors in the brain. This can lead to malnutrition and chronic pain. However, cognitive techniques have shown the ability to change the operating process of the brain. Nutrition restores depleted neurotransmitters and help addicts on the road to recovery. Call a counselor today at (866) 840-6411.