For Users

How long does it take to detox from heroin?

Depending on each person and their situation, the amount of time they need to detox from heroin may vary. You may start to feel the withdrawal symptoms 6 to 24 hours after you stop using heroin. The symptoms can last for about 5 to 7 days and you can experience a peak at 48 to 72 hours. Although the physical symptoms may last for about a week, other disturbances, such as mood swings or sleep-related problems, may continue for a few weeks. Cravings and desire to use heroin may also persist, but you can use what you learn from treatment if you choose to participate, to get through it. If you do choose to seek out treatment, during detox you will be provided with the medication to ease withdrawal symptoms and the support you need. Some patients may feel that the detox process is the hardest part of the treatment, but it is a crucial part of your recovery. Detox can help clear your system and your mind to better focus on the treatment. If you or a loved suffer from addiction, please call us at 405-583-4309 and let us help you.

Withdrawal symptoms:

  • Insomnia and other sleep disturbances
  • Headaches, runny nose, yawning, watery eyes
  • Lack of appetite, including nausea or vomiting
  • Change in body temperature; hot and cold flushes, sweating, and goosebumps
  • Abdominal cramps, diarrhea, muscle, and joint pain
  • Agitation, anxiety, restlessness
  • Tachycardia, high blood pressure
  • Cravings or strong desire to use heroin

Is it possible to recover from heroin addiction?

Yes, recovering from heroin addiction is possible. Recovery can not happen in one day. it will take some dedication and hard work, but it will be worth it when you can live your life without heroin. It may be difficult and dangerous to treat yourself at home, so an addiction treatment program can be highly beneficial. In a treatment facility, you can receive counseling, medicine, and support. You can choose whether you want to stay at the inpatient facility where you get treated or attend treatment at an outpatient facility a few times a week. While treatment can be individualized for each person, most programs follow a similar structure for 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day treatments. They may include an assessment, detox, rehab therapy, and aftercare plan.

The assessment and individualized plan give you some control and expectation of the program. Detox is an essential part of the program and helps you rid your body of the addictive substance, while also helping you clear your mind for treatment. The different types of rehab therapy can help you get to what leads you to the substance and how to overcome the addiction. The aftercare plan gives you the resources, information, and encouragement to continue your sobriety after treatment. If not severe, withdrawal can be done carefully and slowly at home. You can use medicine to ease the symptoms and lean on your support system to get through the hard times. Once you get through the detox, you will be one step closer to recovery.

How do rehabs treat heroin addiction?

Treatment facilities use a variety of methods to help treat patients’ heroin addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, behavioral and pharmacological treatments have been effective with brain function restoration. Heroin abuse can damage and affect the user’s brain. People who have gone through heroin treatments have seen an increase in employment opportunities and a decrease in risks for diseases like HIV. Both treatments can help patients separately but can be the most effective when used together.

Pharmacological Treatment

  • This method of treatment uses medication to treat heroin and other opioid use disorders. Medication helps patients stay in their treatment programs and lowers drug use as well as transmission of infectious disease and criminal activity.
  • One of the first and most essential steps in treatment is detoxification. During detox, medication can provide ease for withdrawal symptoms, which can include nausea, diarrhea, pain, and more.
  • The medication provided, such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, can work through the opioid receptors similar to the drug but can be safer. They can also have a lesser chance to cause a substance use disorder.
    • Methadone is used for being a slow-acting opioid agonist and when taken orally it works its way to your brain slowly. It is only provided in approved outpatient programs.
    • Buprenorphine is a partial opioid antagonist and can relieve drug cravings without the “high” provided by other opioids.
    • Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that blocks the actions of an opioid. It can not be addictive or have similar effects to other drugs, so for some patients, it might not be as effective.

Behavioral Therapy

  • Contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy are just two of the many behavioral treatments available in inpatient and outpatient programs.
  • These options have shown to be effective to treat heroin addiction. It can work even better with medication.
  • The contingency approach gives the patient incentives when they reach a goal or milestone in their treatment plan. Cognitive-behavioral focuses on helping the patient change their expectations and behaviors surrounding their drug use. It provides the patient with ways to cope with triggers and other stressors in their life outside of treatment.

How do I keep myself from OD’ing?

A drug overdose occurs when a drug or combination of drugs overwhelms the body. The amount of drugs can be small or large, it depends on the person and can affect them in different ways. However, many preventions exist that can help keep you from overdosing.

Although it may not be the easiest prevention, quitting drug use can be the best method to keep you from an overdose. You do not have to do it on your own. If you choose to attend a treatment program, you will receive all the necessary tools to help you recover and continue being sober. If you are not ready to quit, it can be crucial to know the risk of taking drugs a certain way. You can avoid inhaling or injecting drugs because these forms of use can reach your brain faster and increase the chances of an overdose or other harm. You can also speak to a doctor to get more ways to prevent an overdose and find what works best for you.

What are the chances of getting fentanyl instead of heroin?

It is important to be aware that a number of drug dealers choose to mix fentanyl into other drugs, like heroin or cocaine. The reason for this is that the cost of fentanyl is cheaper and produces a high with a smaller amount than the other drugs. Although, it is dangerous and addictive both alone and combined with other drugs. The misuse of fentanyl, especially when you are not aware you are intaking it, can lead to an overdose. If fentanyl is mixed in with other drugs and someone overdoses, it can be difficult to know which drug caused it. If someone overdoses and fentanyl is involved, they can be given naloxone to treat and save them from something worse happening. It may be safer to limit or quit drug use, instead of risking your life if you are not sure what you are using. Many options for treatment exist that can help you get on the path to recovery.

For Loved Ones

What do you do when someone you love is using heroin?

Addiction is a difficult thing to overcome and deal with, not only for the addict but also for loved ones. Although, helping someone you love does not have to fall on your shoulders alone. You can find the addict information and treatment options to get through quitting and the hardest moments of the process. An article by the National Institute on Drug Abuse can help both of you understand and recognize substance use disorders a little better.

If you recognize the signs that show your loved one is in fact using heroin, it might take some time until the addict agrees to get help. Be patient, supportive, and let them know people care. Your loved one can be feeling ashamed and scared about their future without heroin. It can help to have them talk to a doctor or medical professional who can clear up their concerns. The doctor can provide them with expectations and steps for when they are ready for treatment. At the beginning of a program, they will receive detox. This will allow them to withdraw from any toxic and harmful substance in their body. This steps is essential for their recovery and can help clear up their mind.

Can my loved one get off of heroin?

Yes, it is possible for your loved one to get off of heroin. It will take time and work but as long as they are committed to their recovery, they can be successful. Addiction treatment can make a huge difference in helping the person succeed. Depending on the severity of the addiction, a variety of programs exist. For mild addiction, 30-day programs can help, 60-day work for moderate, and 90-day for severe. What matters is finding the right treatment for each individual.

When a person starts using drugs it can be their choice, but as time goes on the drug use can alter the brain to make the person need and depend on it. Studies show that drugs and addiction can physically change important areas of the brain. These areas typically help controlling behaviors, judgment, decision making, learning, and memory. The damage to the brain from the drugs can change its function and can explain why addicts act the way they do. It may be hard to control addiction alone. Your loved one can benefit from treatment.

What is heroin also known as?

Heroin is also known as an opiate or narcotic drug. It is created from morphine and can be extracted from some poppy plants. Heroin can come as a powder in various colors, such as white, brown, or black. It can often be mixed with other drugs and sometimes even other powdered substances like sugar and milk. This can be dangerous and can cause an overdose, especially if the person is not aware of the contents of the substance they are using.

Street names can include:

  • Big H
  • Black Tar
  • Chiva
  • Hell Dust
  • Horse
  • Negra
  • Smack
  • Thunder

What are some signs that someone is using heroin?

Knowing the signs of heroin use can help save the life of someone you love. If you suspect someone is using this drug, you may notice their pupils appear to be smaller than usual. They can seem sleepy or appear to be in a dream even when they are awake. You may notice injection marks on the person’s skin if they inject heroin with a needle. When the drug wears off, the person might have pain in their bones and muscles. They might get chills, throw up, be nervous, itchy, or have trouble sleeping.

Additional sign and symptoms of heroin use and dependency:

  • Agitation, sedation, drowsy
  • Reduced sense of pain, slurred speech
  • Issues with focus, attention, and memory
  • Lack of awareness to surrounding
  • Issues with coordination
  • Depression, Confusion, Constipation
  • Runny nose if snorting drug or needle marks if injecting

What are some tips on dealing with my loved one who is addicted to heroin?

It can be difficult to see your loved one suffering from something and not knowing how to help them. Although, there are many things you can do to make a difference with addiction. Sometimes, people with addiction might not know they have an issue, so by talking to them about it through a heart-to-heart conversation, you might open up their eyes to it. By letting them know how you feel and what your fears are, it can help them choose to take the first step to recovery. A conversation will work best if the person is not under the influence.

Another approach that may help is to plan a formal intervention. By gathering all the important people in the addict’s life, you can show them that they have a support system ready for them. If the person is in denial about their addiction, they can hear, firsthand, how the issue is affecting others and how real it is. An intervention can help the addict see that they still have time to make a change that can help save their life. By bringing up the issues, it can lead the person towards the path to recovery and treatment.

An intervention can include:

  • Family and friends can give the addict specific examples of behaviors he or she displays that affect people around them.
  • You can have a treatment program or plan ready for your loved one that includes the steps, goals, and guidelines. This can take the stress away from them finding all the information on their own and they can more quickly start their recovery.
  • In case your loved one does not accept treatment after the intervention, you can prepare a plan B beforehand so others know what to do as well.

Additional ways to help your loved one:

  • A situation like this can make you experience different kinds of feelings, try to remain non-judgmental and supportive. This can help them see that you care about them and can lead them to commit to treatment.
  • You can find new things to do with your loved one that do not involve drugs or alcohol.
  • Throughout the person’s change and growth period, it is important to be supportive and encouraging. Welcome the change and transformation.
  • You can offer to drive the person to treatment and support groups. Provide them with information on treatment services and other helpful resources.
  • If they need help with housing or employment and you have the means for assistance, help them find those things they need.
  • Help them stay on the right track by avoiding places and peoples that can trigger or tempt them to use.
  • Do not give up on your loved one if they do mess up, and help them get back on the recovery path.

Heroin and other addictive substance can cause a lot of harm in a person’s life and to the people around them. Sometimes the addict may not have control over the addiction and quitting seems impossible. Whether you or a loved one have a substance addiction, help is available and waiting for you. Please, call us at 405-583-4309 for more information. We are here to help you.

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