There is so much about heroin addiction that warrants absolute scrutiny. Of all the drugs that drug users abuse, heroin, and fentanyl are the most addictive and dangerous. There is ample evidence to suggest that people can fall victim to heroin addiction in as little as a couple of weeks. Another really troubling thing about heroin addiction is it can take people into the depths of addiction like no other drug seems to be able to do.
That’s why people with a heroin addiction almost always have to enlist the services of a medically monitored detox program to help them get clean. A medically monitored detox program is run by medical professionals who are experts in the area of drug addiction treatment. They develop these detox programs so they can monitor the progress of clients as they go through withdrawal.
Heroin withdrawal can be kind of harsh and dangerous depending on factors such as the following:
- The amount of time the drug user has been using heroin
- The frequency of heroin abuse
- The amount of heroin the user has to use to get the high they expect
In the worst cases, heroin withdrawal could become life-threatening.
To help you understand more about the dangers associated with heroin withdrawal here are a few of the most common withdrawal symptoms:
- Respiratory difficulties, shallow breathing
- Sudden and drastic increases in blood pressure and heart rate
- Onset of psychosis, depression, and anxiety
- Difficulty sleeping
- Muscle cramping in the stomach, nausea, and vomiting
- Hallucinations and bad nightmares
- Difficulty with motor control and concentration
- Tremors in the extremities and body convulsions
As you can see, there is nothing on this list that isn’t dangerous. That’s why detox programs are such a big part of the heroin addiction treatment process. With the medical staff standing by, there is always someone watching clients, making sure they are safe. Should anything go wrong, the medical staff can administer relief medication. Now, let’s take a look at how long heroin detox programs usually last.
How long does it take to detox from heroin
In normal cases that don’t involve a really significant heroin addiction, the detox process will typically take about a week. During this time, the worst of the withdrawal symptoms will occur during days two to four. By the time a client gets through day five, the cravings start to diminish and the client starts to feel better. Unfortunately, far too many heroin addiction sufferers enter rehab with a really severe addiction problem. When they need to detox, they usually get placement in a tapering program. A rehab medical staff member will recommend or prescribe a tapering program when it is too dangerous for a client to detox too quickly. In a tapering program, a doctor will usually prescribe a tapering drug like suboxone.
Suboxone itself contains opioids as an active ingredient. It differs in the fact it is not nearly as addictive as actual heroin. This allows a doctor to prescribe suboxone for as long as a month without them having to worry about the client becoming addicted to the suboxone. To be clear, suboxone is addictive. It’s just a poor substitute for heroin. While a client is on suboxone, a doctor will monitor their progress. Over several weeks, the doctor will start lowering doses until the client has better control over their withdrawal symptoms. Eventually, clients will get to the point they can be weaned off off any and all opioid substances.
Since it takes so long to get through a suboxone tapering program (as long as one month), clients are sometimes permitted to use the substance and detox at homes. As long as they don’t abuse the suboxone, they can enjoy the comforts of home while they detox. When the heroin detox process is completed, clients should be able to cope with the rigors of therapy. Your job is to worry about admitting you are addicted to heroin and need help.
Our job is to make sure we have the services you will need when you are ready for treatment. To get the treatment ball rolling, you can start by giving one of our representatives a call at 833-820-2922. That one call will open the lines of communication between you and our staff members. Please give us a call and let us tell you about our facility and addiction treatment services.