Heroin is a highly addictive central nervous system (CNS) depressant and opiate that is often abused for its euphoric properties. Heroin is associated with a range of health and social problems, including addiction and overdose. Heroin overdose rates are high across the United States, with additional education and addiction treatment services still needed in many communities. Heroin detox is the first step towards recovery from a heroin dependence and is best done in a qualified rehabilitation facility. Heroin detox entails breaking the physical dependence the body has developed on the drug and cleansing it of all unnatural substances. During heroin detox, individuals may experience painful withdrawal symptoms that could result in health complications. This is one reason at home detoxes are not recommended. The other reason to not attempt heroin detox at home is due to the increased risk of relapse and overdose. In order to reduce heroin overdose rates, access to professional detox and rehab treatment is needed. If you know anyone who is living with heroin addiction, it’s important to find professional help as soon as possible.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is also known as H, horse, smack, junk and many other names. Normally taken by smoking or intravenous injection, heroin is a highly addictive drug that is known to cause a severe physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome. Heroin abuse has been linked to a number of health and social problems, including crime, drug addiction, and overdose fatalities. The first step in helping yourself or someone you love with overcoming this dangerous disease is to seek professional help. Any time an addict halts the use of a drug such as heroin, their body immediately craves it and this can be hard to resist. However, in a professional heroin detox center, medical staff and treatment counselors can make the process safe as well as more comfortable.
Heroin Withdrawal and Heroin Detox
Heroin addicts are always advised to enter a medical detox program, with a range of medications prescribed to help reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Common withdrawal symptoms include excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, insomnia, and involuntary body movements. Some of these symptoms can lead to additional medical complications if left untreated, with methadone and other drugs often prescribed to help manage the withdrawal syndrome. Opiate replacement therapy may also be needed on a long-term basis, with methadone therapy and other maintenance programs helping people to avoid relapse once they complete formal treatment.
Rehabilitation after Heroin Detox
While heroin detox is an essential part of the drug treatment process, it does very little to address the psychological factors that underpin heroin addiction. Psychotherapy programs and counseling sessions are also needed to treat the emotional and environmental precedents of drug addiction, with these programs typically based on motivational, cognitive, and behavioral principles. Relapse prevention programs also have an important role to play, with therapists helping recovering addicts to recognize triggers and cope with the challenges that arise during reintegration.