An addiction to heroin can lead to serious, sometimes deadly consequences; it is thought to be one of the most damaging and deadliest addictions. An addiction to heroin can lead to wide range of health issues, including problems stemming from using the drug itself as well as to issues resulting from sharing needles. It is extremely difficult for those who are addicted to heroin to give up the drug on their own. The best form of heroin addiction treatment typically requires several processes, including inpatient detox and rehabilitation, outpatient treatment and continued support. If you or someone you know is addicted to heroin, it is critical that you seek immediate treatment.
Withdrawal and Detox Treatment
The first step in heroin addiction treatment is to visit a facility that provides supervised detox and withdrawal. A detox center will provide medical supervision as well as treatment for your withdrawal symptoms. Your body will begin to go through withdrawal from the drug within about twelve hours after you stop using heroin. The withdrawal process can last anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, depending on your usage. The most common symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Fever, chills and nausea
- Excessive sweating
- Twitching and restlessness
- Abdominal pain
- Sniffling and sneezing
Along with the physical symptoms of withdrawal, there are also psychological and mental symptoms that may include depression, mood swings, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts. A professional detox facility will have the medical supervision necessary to keep you safe as well as prescribes medications that will make the process of withdrawing more tolerable.
Some treatment centers provide both detox care and inpatient care. However, in some situations, detox may be done while inpatient at a hospital and then you will be transferred to an inpatient center for the next part of your treatment. While receiving treatment at an inpatient treatment center for heroin addiction, you will reside at the center for round-the-clock care. During this phase of your treatment you will attend group sessions, talk with a counselor or therapist and take part in various other programs that will help to enhance your health and overall well-being.
Heroin addiction treatment is an ongoing process that continues long after you complete the inpatient program. Aftercare is an extremely important part of the treatment process. This is because after leaving the inpatient treatment center, many people return back to the environment they were in while doing the drug. Being in this environment means there is a high risk of relapse, especially with a heroin addiction. Aftercare treatment is extremely important in helping you to remain drug free. Aftercare treatment may include situations, such as staying at a group home for recovering addicts, participating in a twelve-step program or something similar and continued therapy.
Heroin addiction is a disease and most addicts cannot typically stop using the drug alone. There is an extremely high risk of relapse with a heroin addiction and multiple cycles of treatment may be needed. However, it is possible to quit and stay drug-free. Making the decision to quit heroin is one of the most difficult choices will make, but it is also one of the best choices you can make for yourself and your loved ones.