You might think that getting off heroin is a matter of simply avoiding heroin use for a couple of weeks until the worst of the withdrawal symptoms subside. After all, it’s the body aches, nausea, fever, and other acute symptoms of heroin withdrawal that most people fear. However, this notion is a dangerous misconception. People can and do die from improperly managed or unsupervised withdrawal.  That’s why medically supervised and licensed detox, such as the program offered by Ocean Hills Recovery’s heroin rehab in San Juan Capistrano, is a vital first step to the process of getting off heroin for good.
Notice also that we said that medical detox is only a “first step” toward heroin recovery. After the body is clean from drugs, the real work can begin. Putting in the emotional, physical, and spiritual effort to heal from drug use becomes much more manageable with the help of a trained support system using proven recovery methods.
What is the Process of Getting Off Heroin Like?
Once your body has become accustomed to receiving doses of opioids such as heroin, especially in large quantities or over a significant period of time, you can expect to experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking heroin. Withdrawal often peaks within the first few days, but you may not feel your best for a week or two.
The acute withdrawal phase begins almost immediately, within just a few hours of your last dose, and can feel like you have the flu. You may get any or all of the following symptoms over the first couple of weeks after your last dose of heroin: 
- Body aches and pains
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea and painful digestive spasms
- Runny nose and watery eyes
- Mood swings, including irritability and general instability
- Agitation and anxiety
- Insomnia and feelings of restlessness
- Fatigue and excessive yawning
- Cravings for more heroin to alleviate the symptoms and reproduce the good feelings heroin causes in the short term
It is important to remember that the detox process can be dangerous if attempted without medical supervision. Sometimes, diarrhea and vomiting occur frequently enough that you could become severely dehydrated in a short period of time. This level of dehydration, if not treated, can lead to heart failure and death due to elevated blood sodium levels. 
For these reasons, qualified heroin rehabs will always perform intake assessments to determine whether they need medical assistance to get through the withdrawal period safely.
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What Happens After Heroin Detox?
Patients who complete heroin detox are not finished, however. Long-term programs, including specific therapies for opiate and heroin use, help rehab residents navigate the emotional and spiritual sides of recovery in a residential or outpatient setting. Transitional programs help patients integrate back into their daily lives as smoothly as possible once the intensive phases of recovery are over.
Heroin Rehab in San Juan Capistrano Can Help
Some of the most important treatments that rehab patients receive that simply cannot be replicated at home include:
- Therapy with psychologists and psychiatrists licensed in addiction treatment
- Group therapy and peer support
- Structured programs that teach healthy life skills and habits
- Coaching in life skill and coping mechanism development
- Family therapy centered on creating a solid and supportive home environment
- Assistance with identifying and eliminating potential triggers in daily life
- Relapse prevention training
- Fitness, yoga, art, mindfulness, and other holistic classes to encourage healing and wellness
- Relaxation and recovery in a beautiful, natural setting
Every individual’s journey to health will look a little bit different. That’s why trying to go “cold turkey” at home only works in the short-term. Achieving lasting success requires deep internal work to eliminate the underlying causes and triggers for your addiction and to build a toolbox full of healthy habits and coping mechanisms.
If that seems a little overwhelming, don’t worry. Qualified rehab staff can walk you through all of your options and help you build the treatment course that will work best for your individual needs. You are ultimately in charge of your success, but help and guidance from trained professionals give you the extra boost you may need to put heroin in the rearview mirror for good.
Interested in Getting Off Heroin? How You Can Get Started With a Heroin Rehab in San Juan Capistrano at Ocean Hills Recovery
Ocean Hills Recovery offers all of the above services and more. Our trained and licensed counselors specialize in addiction treatment and stay updated on the most effective practices known to science and medicine.
Contact Ocean Hills Recovery today to ask about our intensive, structured residential program or our long-term extended care, and let us know that you need opiate or heroin treatment. Our caring staff will take it from there and get you started on the path outlined above. For your convenience, you can also use our online contact form to speak to a representative.
About the author:
Greg opened his home and heart to alcoholics and addicts in 2003. He is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATCI). Starting in 2009 Greg has fostered the growth of Ocean Hills Recovery into one of the most respected and effective treatment centers in the area and has been working with people with addictions since March of 2001. Greg believes in a holistic approach to recovery. His focus is on drug alcohol addiction treatment with a combination of 12 Step work, therapy and counseling, and the rejuvenation of the body through healthful eating and exercise. He has designed his program to foster a family-like atmosphere and believes that people in recovery are just beginning their lives. He encourages the people he works with to learn to enjoy life in sobriety. Greg is married to Nicole; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.