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Heroin Detox Program

Understanding the Process of Recovery From Heroin

Are you concerned about a loved one who is experiencing a problem with heroin addiction? Are you struggling with heroin addiction yourself? Heroin rehab can help. Heroin is a drug with serious health risks, and it’s important that people understand just how dangerous it is. SOBA New Jersey is based in New Brunswick and can help you detox and manage withdrawal symptoms to ensure a safe and successful recovery.

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What Is Heroin? 

Heroin is a Schedule II illegal opioid that’s made from morphine.  It usually comes in powder form, unless it is black tar heroin which is a sticky substance. It comes from a class of plants called opium poppy plants, which grow in various parts of the world. Other opioids that you may be familiar with are pain pills like hydrocodone, Vicodin, or OxyContin. 

To use the drug, people inject, sniff, snort, or smoke it. It enters the brain quickly and begins to control feelings of pain and pleasure, as well as affecting your heart rate, sleeping, and breathing. The initial effect is a “high” (an immediate surge of pleasure), however, there are many short and long-term negative effects.

How Addictive Is Heroin?

Heroin is extremely addictive, easy to overdose on, and life-threatening. It is also easy to develop a tolerance to the drug, meaning the more you use it, the more you need it and the more of it you need.

Those that use it usually become addicted to it quite fast. Within just moments after using heroin, users experience very intense feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Some call it a “rush”, which lasts between 10-20 minutes. After that, they will begin to crash, feeling dizzy and extremely tired for an hour or two. This crash encourages users to keep using, adding to the inherently addictive nature of the drug.

What to Expect From Heroin Withdrawal

You or your loved one have decided to get on the path to recovery. This is the first and most important step, so be proud of that! Turning your life around and quitting heroin is no easy task. Knowing what to expect is helpful and can prepare you for difficult situations that may arise. 

When someone addicted to heroin stops using, withdrawal symptoms kick in. They can appear as quickly as 6 to 12 hours after the last heroin dose. It may feel like a bad case of the flu with the worst part of it lasting about a week. Some immediate symptoms you may experience include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Muscle aches

After the initial withdrawal symptoms pass, post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) may kick in. This includes poor sleep, inability to focus, anxiety, depression, fatigue, memory loss, mood swings, and more. These symptoms last between 18-24 months but as the user remains drug-free with proper addiction treatment services, the symptoms slowly begin to disappear. 

The reality is that you have to fully go through detox in order to get free from heroin addiction. The good news is that there is effective treatment available for opioid addiction and the safest place to start is in a professional heroin detox program. Typically, heroin withdrawal symptoms will peak within 3 to 4 days. From there, symptoms will decrease in intensity each day after.

The overall detox time will vary from person to person depending on factors like:
  • How long the drug has been used
  • The amount of drug used
  • The frequency used
  • Overall physical and mental health
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Support system

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Talk to an Admissions Coordinator to get started. One of our experts will evaluate your situation, verify your insurance, answer all of your questions, and help you take the first steps.

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Why A Heroin Detox Program Is Important

Heroin relapse rates are quite high, so undergoing a professional detox with around-the-clock supervision is the best way to stop using. Chances are, you’ve already tried to stop using heroin on your own but have found it to be more challenging than expected.

Detox is the first step in the heroin rehab process. It’s important to detox under the care of addiction specialists so that they can monitor your health and keep you safe during withdrawal. As your body detoxes from the harmful chemicals associated with heroin, the range of withdrawal symptoms can feel overwhelming. If you try to detox on your own, you could become frustrated and go right back to using. However, if you detox with the help of addiction recovery professionals, you’re much more likely to kick heroin for good.

Note that you should not try to quit using heroin cold turkey, as this can cause severe and dangerous medical complications – especially if you stop using for a while and then start back up at the same dose you had been using previously. Doing this could cause an overdose.

Typically, tapering off of opioids is the preferred and safer method to getting free from addiction. Some treatment centers offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to treat opioid use disorder. This means that you taper off heroin by taking an FDA-approved medication that helps reduce cravings for opioids. Common medications include Methadone, Suboxone, and Vivitrol.

Many people who have overcome heroin addiction mention that medication-assisted treatment helped them most in the beginning of their treatment, when withdrawal symptoms were the most severe.

Continuing Treatment After Heroin Detox

If you only treat the withdrawal symptoms during detox but don’t follow up with long-term treatment, you may not recover as fully as you’d like. By attending a treatment center, you’ll be able to receive help from trained experts that can help you address underlying issues that may have led to addiction in the first place. You’ll also learn valuable relapse prevention, coping, and life skills that can help you build a strong recovery.

You can choose residential (inpatient) or outpatient treatment as the next step after detox. Residential treatment is for those who want to stay at the facility for the duration of their treatment. Outpatient treatment occurs at a facility in the community. The time for treatment will vary for each person. Typically, people start with a 28-day stay at a residential treatment center and collaborate with their primary counselor to decide the next steps.

Reach Out For Help Today

If you’re struggling with an addiction to heroin, don’t hesitate to reach out for help today. Getting started on your unique recovery journey is as simple as a phone call. Begin our heroin detox program and get the care you serve. Our trained addiction recovery specialists are standing by to address any concerns or questions.

Here at SOBA, we offer a full continuum of care that treats every stage of addiction recovery. Our addiction treatment program is split into three phases that help you build a strong foundation and gain a greater sense of self-sufficiency.

It’s time for you to overcome heroin addiction once and for all and go on to live the kind of life you truly desire. Call us today.

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