How to Get Off Heroin

duration of heroin withdrawal

Who becomes a heroin addict?

Early age substance abuse increases the chances of developing heroin addiction down the road. The fact is that +90% of people who become heroin addicts began smoking, drinking or using other drugs before the age of 18.

Psychological, sociological, biological and economic factors are primary determinants as to WHEN an individual starts to use heroin. Most begin their addiction career in their early twenties and remain intermittently addicted for decades. With repeat cycles of abstinence and relapse that extend out over decades.

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How do people use heroin?

Heroin users inject, snort, or smoke heroin. Some mix heroin with cocaine, which is called a speedball. Others mix heroin with methamphetamine, which is called a goofball.

 

Signs of heroin use

  • Gravely voice
  • Drowsiness
  • Impaired mental functioning (inability to concentrate)
  • Slower respiration
  • Pupillary constriction

 

How bad is the heroin problem?

The heroin crisis has reached epidemic levels. According to the CDC, 35 people in America die every day from heroin overdose. It is estimated that for every fatal heroin overdose there are more than 30 non-fatal heroin overdoses. That means about 1,000 people overdose on heroin every single day. It is so bad in some states that State governments are encouraging relatives of heroin addicts to carry an antidote called Narcan.

 

Why detox is so important?

When a heroin addict decides to quit, the fear of withdrawal often changes his or her mind. It’s not uncommon for a heroin addict to fabricate reason after reason why they cannot quit, especially why they can’t quit today. They often say they are going to quit – but never do. They make veiled attempts at quitting, but instead, remain addicted. This is typical heroin addict behavior. It’s also the main reason why heroin detox is a better solution.

 

Physical dependence

Physical dependence to heroin means a heroin user is susceptible to withdrawal whenever he or she stops taking heroin. The length of time required to become physically dependent varies, but in general, it takes a few weeks of daily use. Heroin dependents are so driven to avoid withdrawal symptoms, they stop at almost nothing to obtain more and more heroin, even if that means damaging relationships, losing a job or stealing.

There are men and women who believe they can quit whenever they choose to quit. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The science shows that no other drug in history is as addictive as heroin. It’s also one of the most difficult drugs to get off of.

 

Why is treatment important?

Heroin tops the list of problem drugs. It causes the greatest burden of disease and drug overdose deaths. Additionally, heroin use bankrupts finances, erodes memory, diminishes sexual reproductive health and change the user’s personality.

Health problems related to heroin abuse:

  • Heroin Overdose
  • Hepatitis C Virus
  • Hepatitis B Virus
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Heart Infections
  • Lung Infections
  • Skin Infections

 

Treatment for Heroin Addiction

We don’t recommend anyone detox themselves. The potential downside is discomfort and relapse. We’re here to tell you that heroin recovery does not have to be a messy affair. If you let experts manage your detox, your chances of success are greatly improved, and in the end – that’s what matters.

A range of treatments including medicines and behavioral therapies are effective in helping people quit heroin.

Medicines include buprenorphine and methadone. They work by binding to the same opioid receptors in the brain as heroin but more weakly, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Another treatment is naltrexone, which blocks opioid receptors and prevents opioid drugs from having any effect.

Behavioral therapies for heroin addiction include contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Contingency management (motivational incentives) provides vouchers or small cash rewards for positive behaviors such as staying drug-free.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps modify the patient’s drug-use expectations and behaviors, and effectively manage triggers and stress. These behavioral treatment approaches have proven effective, especially when used along with medicines.

Detoxification programs use advanced therapeutic techniques that are both scientifically proven and cost effective. Extensive experience and knowledge enable programs to deliver safe and effective treatment.

 

Hazards of Heroin

Heroin use alters brain function

Heroin slows down how fast a person thinks and reacts, and it may also slowdown a person’s ability to recollect stored memory and this affects the way a person acts and makes decisions.

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What Is Heroin Withdrawal?

Heroin withdrawal is a cluster of recognizable signs and symptoms that manifest within hours after cessation for any person physically dependent to heroin. Heroin withdraw includes adverse reactions, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness and insomnia. Medical textbooks refer to heroin withdraw as “Opioid Abstinence Syndrome” but most heroin addicts just call it dope-sick. Regardless of what you call it, it can be excruciating, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve been helping heroin addicts recover, safely and comfortably with great success for many years.

 

Timeline of Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin withdrawal symptoms typically emerge within 4-12 hours after cessation. Symptoms get worse over the next few days, then slowly subside over the next several days. Heroin withdrawal syndrome generally lasts 7-10 days in total, however some withdrawal symptoms, such as sleep disturbances and heroin cravings may linger for weeks even months.

 

Heroin Overdose

Many heroin addicts eventually overdose but they survive. This is called a near miss. On the other hand, when a heroin addict overdoses and dies it’s called a heroin overdose fatality. It’s estimated that for each heroin overdose fatality there are at least 30 near misses. In 2015, there were over 12,000 heroin overdose fatalities, which means at least 360,000 near misses.

Signs of a heroin overdose include:

  • Gasping or not breathing
  • Pupillary constriction
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Clammy skin
  • Convulsions
  • Coma

 

How addictive is heroin?

The addictive nature of heroin is unparalleled. It’s addictive because it enters the brain rapidly, produces more pleasure than any natural occurrence, and works 100% of the time. It affects regions of the brain responsible for producing physical dependence and it’s the most toxic recreational drug available. You can easily overdose on heroin. In fact, in 2015, there were more than 12,000 confirmed heroin overdose fatalities. That’s a record.

 

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