Proudly serving North Carolina, our Heroin detox clinics provide adults struggling with addiction the ability to recover from heroin, oxycodone, Percocet, and other opiates.
Benefits of Receiving Heroin Detox Prior to Receiving Medication Assisted Treatment
Heroin is a strong and dangerous drug. In addition to the countless health problems that a heroin addiction can cause, individuals who abuse heroin intravenously put themselves at a higher risk for contracting viruses like hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis B. Despite these significant risks involved in heroin abuse, over 4.2 million Americans admit to trying heroin at least one time each year. Researchers have also seen a dramatic increase in heroin abuse over past few years.
Of the many dangers linked to heroin abuse, this substance has an incredible potential for tolerance and addiction. Tolerance refers to when an individual must continually consume more of his or her chosen substance to achieve the same effects because smaller dosages no longer produce the desired high. When someone develops a tolerance to a substance like heroin, overdose becomes more likely because of the need to ingest more of the drug. Once tolerance to a drug develops, an addiction has likely formed, which can be quite difficult to overcome without the help of a professional.
For most people battling a heroin addiction, the first step towards recovery is completely clearing one’s body of this substance. This process is referred to as detoxification, or “detox” for short. As soon as an individual develops a dependency to a substance like heroin, his or her body becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug. Therefore, when the drug is no longer present in the person’s the system, the body goes through a process known as withdrawal, of which can be incredibly painful.
Below are the some of the most common withdrawal symptoms caused by the cessation of heroin use:
- Watery eyes and runny nose
- Disrupted sleep patterns, including insomnia
- Powerful drug cravings
- Dilated pupils
- Extreme fatigue and weakness
- Dizziness and confusion
- Dramatic mood swings
- Abdominal cramping
- Excessive perspiration
As an individual’s body goes through the detox process, symptoms similar to those of the flu can emerge and last for weeks. The physical upset and emotional distress that comes from heroin withdrawal can cause a person to begin using heroin once again, as all it takes is one dose to make all of these side effects disappear.
Luckily, however, the detox process does not have to be this uncomfortable, long, or dangerous.
The pain and risk associated with heroin withdrawal can be decreased if an individual chooses to receive detox services at a licensed treatment center. While heroin detox is rarely a simple process, obtaining help under the supervision of professionals increases the safety of those who are detoxing off heroin.
Medication assisted detox includes the utilization of specific medications that are designed to alleviate cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Medications such as Vivitrol, Subutex, Suboxone (which includes both buprenorphine and naloxone), and methadone can all help during heroin detox. When a patient is provided with one of these medications, his or her withdrawal symptoms and cravings are kept at bay.
Methadone and buprenorphine are effective in triggering the same receptors in the brain that other opioids like heroin do, however they do not produce a euphoric or dizzying high. Because these receptors have been triggered, the body does not experience withdrawal. Additionally, since a high is not produced, a patient can continue his or her daily routine, including going to work, driving a car, and engaging in his or her therapy sessions.
Benefits of Detoxing from Heroin with Medication Assisted Treatment
Trying to go through a withdrawal from heroin without the help of a professional can cause an individual to unnecessarily experience frustration, pain, and failure. If the pain associated with the period of withdrawal causes an individual to start abusing heroin again, the frustrations that come along with that decision can create a sense of failure, making the prospect of achieving recovery seem much more unlikely. Additionally, feelings of shame and frustration can add to already existing feelings of depression and poor self-esteem, which can unfortunately heighten an individual’s risk of continuing to abuse this dangerous substance. As heroin abuse continues, the risks that can come from it are increased, which can make recovery seem like a far off option.
At Sandhills Treatment Centers, professionals are able to provide individualized treatment plans for all patients based on their needs and goals. Our staff work tirelessly to ensure that are patients are being provided with safe and effective medications, while counselors work to help patients uncover the hidden and/or co-occurring issues that may have contributed to the development of their heroin addiction.
At Sandhills Treatment Centers, we can help patients through this stressful time so that they can be comfortable during detox and begin looking forward to long-term recovery.