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When it comes to heroin addiction treatment, the process involves a lot more than weeks or months of therapy to deliver a lasting recovery. There is a starting point to the treatment process that acts to set the table for everything else that follows. That beginning point is withdrawal.
For therapy to be as effective as possible, it requires that the client be capable of fully participating in the process with a clear mind and body. If they have yet to clear their withdrawal symptoms and residual cravings, they most likely won’t have the necessary capacity to handle the process. Will someone still technically under the influence of heroine be able to be open, honest, and forthright about the circumstances surrounding their addiction? Most likely not.
It’s for this very reason that most addiction treatment professionals will advocate strongly for new clients to go through a medically monitored detox program. They advocate in this direction because they understand the need for each client’s honest participation in the therapeutic process.
Rehab facilities don’t put forth detox programs as a method for generating more revenue. Theses programs serve a purpose that goes far beyond making money.
If a client enters rehab with a significant addiction to a harsh substance like heroin, they are going to encounter some equally significant withdrawal symptoms within hours of taking their last dose of the drug. The withdrawal symptoms people ordinarily experience from heroin abstinence can create very dangerous health issues. If you don’t believe that, take a look at the following list of withdrawal symptoms experts often tie to heroin withdrawal:
• Difficulties with the respiratory system
• Difficulties with the circulatory system (high blood pressure and rapid heart rate)
• Visual and auditory hallucinations
• Nightmares that interrupt sleep patterns
• Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
• Severe cramping in the stomach region
• convulsions and body tremors in the arms and legs
• Onset of severe depression or anxiety
While going through withdrawal, no one is safe doing so on their own. The goal of medically monitored detox programs is to provide clients with a safe and secure environment in which they can detox. If anything goes wrong or the client starts experiencing pain or sleeping issues, there will be medical staffers standing by to make sure clients get the relief they need. That includes relief prescription drugs if necessary.
There are two generally accepted versions of heroin withdrawal. There is the standard version for what experts would label as withdrawal from ordinary heroin abuse. The second version is what experts would label as withdrawal resulting from extensive heroin abuse, which has created a severe addiction problem.
With the standard version, clients can expect the detox process to last for as long as 5 to 7 days, depending on the extent of their addiction. It’s within the area of days 2 to 5 that the client’s exposure to severe withdrawal symptoms will reach its peak. The last couple of days usually serve to allow the client’s body and mind to return to some level of normal functioning.
If a client enters rehab with a severe heroin addiction, the detox process could take several weeks up to a month. During this time, a rehab’s medical staff might decide to place such a client in a drug tapering program. In such a program, a doctor would prescribe the use of a tapering medication like suboxone. Suboxone itself is an opioid substance. However, it does not have the same addictive properties as heroin. Doctors will prescribe diminishing doses of tapering drugs to trick the mind and body into thinking it is getting the heroin it needs. Over time, the mind and body’s dependence on opioids should diminish.
What this methodology does is provide a safer path for a client to go through the detox process. It seeks to avoid the more serious repercussions of withdrawal, those being heart and breathing problems, as well as convulsions and hallucinations.
If you are dealing with a significant heroin addiction, we implore you to not stop using on your own. It’s simply too dangerous for you to do so. It would be a good idea for you to enlist the services of a professional detox facility to help you get safely through the process. After detoxing, you should be ready to go through the therapeutic process. That is where you will get the opportunity to learn the truth about your heroin addiction on the way to learning better coping skills to avoid future relapse.
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