Drug rehabilitation is not an easy process, no matter what the substance of choice is. However, going to a California heroin rehab can differ from attending rehab for other drugs. Heroin lasts much longer, and withdrawal and detox are a lot more complicated. Heroin is classified as an opioid is among the most addictive in this class.
The reason heroin is so much different from other drugs is that even small doses have profound effects on the body. According to Harvard Medical Center, the symptoms of a typical dose of heroin can last up to six hours. Once a person becomes addicted to heroin, the body physically craves the drug, and a cyclic pattern of addiction begins. A person using heroin endures painful physical symptoms once the drug starts to wear off an this leads the addicted individual to use more to alleviate the pain and intense cravings.
Despite how it feels, heroin withdrawal is rarely fatal, but the person going through withdrawals may feel extremely sick. For this reason, it is advised that a person dealing with heroin addiction seek the help of qualified professionals at a reputable California heroin rehab facility. Find out what to expect when undergoing treatment for heroin addiction.
The Heroin Withdrawal Process
When a person addicted to heroin decides to seek treatment, the beginning stages can be very challenging. Withdrawal from heroin occurs as soon as four hours from the last dose and produces severe flu-like symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person depends on factors like how long the person was using heroin, their weigh, other health conditions, as well as any other drugs or alcohol they have used.
Common heroin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Runny nose, sneezing
- Profuse sweating
- Mood swings, including increased aggression
- Anxiety and confusion
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Muscle spasms
Heroin withdrawal can last up to 10 days for most addicted individuals, but for those who have used heroin chronically for years, withdrawals can last for as long as 30 days. When a person decides to seek treatment for heroin addiction, it is advised that they do so with the assistance of a rehab facility specializing in heroin addiction treatment.
Detoxing from Heroin
As a person withdraws from heroin, the drug leaves their system, but the effects of use will still be present. For this reason, heroin detox in a rehab facility should be medically supervised. Though heroin detox is generally not fatal, medically supervised detox allows addiction treatment professionals to monitor moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms and intervene with medication if necessary.
There are several medications used to help individuals beat their heroin addiction, and those medications can make the withdrawal process less stressful. Commonly used heroin withdrawal and maintenance medications include:
Methadone: One of the most frequently used medicines for opioid detox, methadone can be started at the beginning of the detox process and is typically used as a maintenance medication following successful opioid treatment.
Buprenorphine: Used to shorten detox time, Buprenorphine also minimizes cravings for heroin and other opioids by reducing the euphoric effects of the drug.
Clonidine: This medication is used to treat the physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal. Specifically, clonidine helps with muscle aches, agitation, and anxiety.
Codeine Phosphate: Used to curb cravings and lessen withdrawal symptoms, codeine phosphate is another commonly used medication for heroin withdrawal.
Seeking Treatment for Heroin Addiction
Detoxing from heroin is not a process that should be attempted alone. But more than that, it’s only the first step. Getting rid of physical addiction is not enough for long-lasting recovery and it’s important not to solely rely on heroin treatment drugs for recovery. Ocean Hills Recovery, a top California heroin rehab, can not only help with heroin detox but also the transitional phase of dealing with what started the addiction in the first place.
Ocean Hills Recovery offers a variety of effective treatment modalities to treat the whole person and help them maintain sobriety. The experts at Ocean Hills Recovery offer medically supervised detox, individual and group therapy, and comprehensive aftercare services. If you or a loved one need specialized addiction treatment services, look no further than the professionals at Ocean Hills Recovery.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.