In 2016, there were a reported 948,000 people abusing heroin. This number continues to grow, just as it has since 2007. With more people than ever before abusing heroin, subsequent overdose rates have also increased. Approximately 130 people die each day in the United States from an opioid overdose, many of which involve heroin. Additionally, about 80% of people who currently abuse heroin abused prescription painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone first. The need for heroin detox is bigger than ever.
In places like Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky, rates of heroin abuse are at an all-time high and even surpass the national average. And while many other states in the country do not experience the opioid epidemic as severely, there is seemingly no city or town in the United States that hasn’t been touched by opioids like heroin.
Heroin Addiction and Dependence
Heroin is extremely addictive. It is so addictive that abusing it for just a few days can get a person hooked. And, once hooked on heroin, the only way to go is down.
A heroin addiction that is not treated and left to worsen is deadly. Not only is it deadly because of the physical damage it can cause, but the psychological symptoms can also lead to death (e.g. suicidal behavior). Anytime a person is under the influence of heroin, they can suffer an accidental death via a fall, car accident, or overdose. If you are addicted to heroin, chances are you may be experiencing these potentially life-threatening issues or exhibiting symptoms of heroin addiction, including:
- Continuing to use despite suffering consequences related to your heroin use
- Making attempts to stop using but not being able to stay sober
- Placing great importance on your heroin use to the point where it replaces other responsibilities in your life
- Experiencing trouble at work, up to and including termination due to heroin-related issues
- Suffering interpersonal problems as a result of your heroin use
One of the most frightening consequences of heroin addiction is the risk of dependence. Dependence occurs when you are unable to go without heroin (or any other addictive substance) without experiencing painful withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms represent your body’s need for heroin, which is usually what keeps most people continuing to use.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Depending on the severity of your heroin addiction, the withdrawal symptoms you experience may range from uncomfortable to debilitating. Generally, heroin withdrawal symptoms begin to subside around one week after the last use. Prior to that, however, symptoms can begin as little as six hours after the last use and increase in severity until they hit their peak, which is usually 1-3 days in. It is important to reiterate that heroin withdrawal symptoms can vary based on how severe your addiction is (as well as other factors), however, they often include the following:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Sweats and chills
There is no doubt that heroin withdrawal is challenging. The symptoms themselves can be so upsetting that heroin addicts believe it to be a better option to go back to using. You do not have to put yourself in that position. Heroin detox can help.
What to Expect in Heroin Detox
If you are dependent on heroin, the first thing you should do when you decide it is time to get sober is getting into a heroin detox. In heroin detox, you can get the support you need to make it through your withdrawal.
The first thing you can expect when being admitted into heroin detox is to receive an assessment from the professionals on staff. That assessment will help them determine which modalities may work best for you. Once you are settled in your own space and are in the throes of detox, medical staff can help make the process easier by providing medications for your symptoms. Some symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea, and headaches, can be easily treated with over-the-counter medications. But what is most unique about heroin detox is the opportunity to receive FDA-approved medications designed specifically for opioid addicts in recovery.
Both methadone and Suboxone are medications that can help to minimize withdrawal symptoms and decrease the intensity of cravings. When combined with therapy, the use of these medications is known as medication-assisted treatment or MAT. If you begin taking methadone or Suboxone while in heroin detox, the best thing you can do for yourself is to continue on and obtain therapy once you have completed detox.
Heroin detox can feel different, depending on the manner in which an individual completes the process.
Do You Need Help for Your Heroin Addiction?
At A Forever Recovery, we understand how difficult it can be to live with an addiction to heroin. We can help you stop your active use and provide you with the tools you need in order to stay sober for the long haul.
So, do not wait another minute more. Call us right now. We can help.