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Risks of Heroin Abuse: Withdrawal and Detox

Anyone suffering from a substance abuse problem knows the fear and anxiety associated with even the thought of entering a treatment program. Detoxification can be an unpleasant experience, to say the very least. The negative side effects are uncomfortable and potentially harmful, even possibly fatal to the individual. In essence, there is little incentive for users to get clean when they are able to numb the pain by continuing to use drugs.

Heroin and other opiate addiction has risen to epidemic levels in the United States over the past several years and appears to be on the rise and completely uncontrollable. On a national scale, it may seem that little can be done to curb the spread of addiction. However, on an individual level, recovery is definitely possible.

The first step toward a life without heroin is understanding the addiction process and various ways it can be overcome. Armed with knowledge, users and their loved ones can start the process of detox and recovery from an addiction to heroin or other harmful substance.

Addiction To Heroin

There is no easy way to admit an addiction. Unfortunately, when people are suffering a private addiction to any substance, especially heroin, they tend to withdraw into themselves in an effort to keep the problem a secret. They may even be successful until it is ultimately too far advanced to effectively keep from people any longer.

Heroin is a difficult master because the chemical makeup of the drug has the ability to cause an instant need for more, hence the quick addiction. The addictive nature will most certainly affect different people in different ways, and there is simply no possible way to predict what will happen after just one use. Likewise, there is no effective way to predict what the withdrawal process will be from one user to the next. There are some basic generalizations that can be made about the heroin detox process.

What Is Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin withdrawal is the direct result of a user taking the drug deliberately, or being denied the ability to use the substance. Whether the cessation is forced or by choice, there is going to be a reaction by the user.

Because heroin affects the body in multiple ways, the body will respond to the lack of heroin in many different avenues. It is important for users and their loved ones to realize that the withdrawal process will definitely affect the physical, mental, and emotional health of the individual. To what degree these changes will hit may be unknown, but these areas will be impacted during the recovery process.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

To understand the behavioral changes of a person overcoming their heroin addiction, friends and families can refer to a chart of common withdrawal symptoms. These guidelines will help loved ones and the user feel more comfortable with the processes as they arise and not to panic or give up too easily.

  • Agitation
  • Intestinal irritation
  • Muscle pain
  • Change in body temperature
  • Change in sleeping pattern
  • Cravings

Agitation and anxiety arise when the body becomes restless without heroin. These emotional responses along with the intense cravings are normal responses and will vary depending on the individual. Extreme changes in behavior are possible but temporary. It is important not to let this aggression or manipulation cause a lapse in judgment.

The physical symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and intestinal cramps are among the most uncomfortable part of heroin detox for the user. This can last from several hours to several days depending on the severity of the addiction.

Muscle pain, weakness, and cramping are also very common side effects of heroin withdrawal. This happens as the drug is gradually reduced in concentration from every muscle in the body. Again, the severity will depend on the person but most users should expect some sort of muscle discomfort or random minor pains throughout their body. Headaches are a common and likely event during the initial withdrawal process but can be treated with an increased intake of water to combat dehydration.

Changes in sleeping patterns such as insomnia or binge sleeping are to be expected as the body attempts to cope without the drug. It is not unusual for a person detoxing from heroin to sleep for several days or remain awake for several days, almost without a break. Changes in body temperatures will also range from extreme cold and chills to extreme hotness and uncontrollable sweating. These behaviors are very stressful to the body and increase the negative effects of withdrawal.

Heroin Detox

The process of overcoming addiction is difficult but there is a scheduled framework. Experts and counselors are available to assist with each phase of the recovery process. There are several methods of effective detoxification and trained personnel will help the user determine which is best for their situation.

When medical intervention is the recommended form of drug detox treatment, trained staff is available for observation and support. This monitoring process ensures that the patient is safely and comfortably led through the detox and the remainder of the recovery process.

If you or a loved one is ready to start the process of overcoming heroin addiction, the experienced staff at Novo Detoxification Centers is here to help. You do not have to walk this path alone. Contact Novo Detox today for more information. Your future is waiting.

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