Heroin addiction is one of the many problems our country faces as it continues its battle against the opioid epidemic. Each year, thousands of people become addicted to heroin use, with many passing from its fatal effects.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the number of deaths due to heroin-involved overdose has multiplied almost sevenfold between 1999 to 2020. However, there is still a silver lining. In 2020, the CDC reported that the death rate due to heroin-involved overdose went down almost 7% compared to 2019.
Heroin may be a highly addictive opioid drug, but heroin abuse and addiction is still a treatable condition.
Taking the first step to treat substance use disorders can be very difficult. The rest of the journey will be no different. Still, with help from the right people, it is possible to fully recover from heroin addiction and live a sober life.
What Is Heroin Detox?
The first part of recovering from heroin addiction is detoxification. This also applies to other opioids. It is not an easy process. After an extended period of using addictive substances, its physical and mental effects on your body can get in the way of your treatments and recovery process.
A complete heroin detox purges the drug from your body. A heroin detox essentially sets the stage for your body and your brain to reset. This helps adjust your brain chemistry and begin to reduce cravings. Long term recovery and an overall health is possible.
As such, a heroin detox is an essential step for anyone hoping for lasting recovery.
Why Undergoing a Heroin Detox Is Crucial for Recovery
When you use heroin, regardless of how you may choose to take the drug, it primarily impacts your brain — particularly the brain’s reward system.
It binds to opioid receptors found throughout your brain and body. In doing so, it can stimulate feelings of pleasure, dull your sense of pain, and even affect your heart rate, sleep cycle, and breathing.
Heroin and other opioids basically cause an imbalance among the chemicals your body needs to function properly. As your brain and body gets used to heroin, it starts to develop a tolerance to the drug. Without increasingly higher doses, the body becomes unable to operate normally.
Heroin not only affects the way the brain regulates hormones and reacts to various triggers but even the structure of the brain itself. As long as the drug is inside your body, these changes will persist.
Undergoing treatment for heroin detox will purge the drug from your body and allow your brain to begin to go back to its regular state.
What Is Heroin Withdrawal?
Heroin detox can take quite a toll on your body. When the body is deprived of a substance it has become physiologically dependent on, it can react badly. This results in heroin withdrawal.
Heroin users can experience the heroin withdrawal timeline and heroin withdrawal symptoms differently based on various factors, such as:
- The amount of heroin used
- The frequency of heroin use
- The method of drug delivery
- The overall duration of the drug addiction
For some, the initial withdrawal symptoms can appear as mild symptoms or intense symptoms within just several hours of not using. Others can start to experience withdrawal symptoms between six to 12 hours after their last heroin use.
Post-acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS)
Depending on how long a person has been struggling with heroin addiction, they may also suffer from post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) or also known as protracted withdrawal. This refers to a set of symptoms that occur long after the detox and withdrawal is completed.
PAWS can also happen intermittently or inconsistently. Common examples of PAWS include anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia.
Learning how to handle triggers, stressors, and post-acute withdrawal, helps your overall mental health.
Thinking about using heroin is something to discuss in support groups to avoid a relapse. At Turning Point of Tampa we discuss relapse prevention and how to handle physical and mental cravings.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Some people describe experiencing heroin withdrawal symptoms like an extremely horrible case of flu. The withdrawal symptoms can last up to a week, with the overall pain and discomfort sometimes lasting even longer.
Individuals who have gone through heroin withdrawal symptoms have reported feeling the worst during the second or third day. This is typically when the withdrawal symptoms peak.
Physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:
- Dilated pupils
- Muscle spasms
- Body aches or pain
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Excessive yawning
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Gastrointestinal problems or upset stomach
- Abdominal or stomach cramps
- Cramps in other limbs
- Heaviness of the body
- Crying jags
- Increased resting respiratory rate
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Goosebumps or goose flesh
- Fever and chills
- Runny nose
Mental or emotional symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:
- Anxiety or depression
- Heroin cravings
A heroin detox treatment facility like Turning Point of Tampa offers ongoing treatment from medical professionals to keep you as comfortable as possible as you experience these withdrawal symptoms.
At Turning Point of Tampa, our inpatient medical detox allows you to receive medical treatment. Checking into our heroin detox center helps decrease the burden of the heroin withdrawal symptoms.
Additionally, detoxing from any opioid without medical supervision can be dangerous because of the risk of relapse.
Dangers of Quitting Cold Turkey
In general, the longer the heroin addiction or drug abuse has gone on, the worse the withdrawal symptoms can become. In certain cases, the withdrawal symptoms can be life threatening.
If you abruptly stop using heroin, the risks of experiencing intense or potentially life-threatening symptoms will be greater.
This is what makes going cold turkey dangerous — especially when you do it all alone. Stopping the use of heroin or your choice of substance immediately can lead to powerful cravings and other severe withdrawal symptoms.
In comparison, a medical detox and medically supervised withdrawal period is much safer. It slowly weans you off addictive substances. You gradually stop using by decreasing the amount you use regularly.
This results in less shock on your body. It also helps minimize the heroin withdrawal symptoms or its severity, making them more manageable.
Receiving medical and emotional support from our team at Turning Point of Tampa helps to avoid the risk of relapse.
Detox Center at Turning Point of Tampa
The detox center at Turning Point of Tampa provides patients with a a safe place to address clinical care, psychological problems, medical issues such as sleep disturbances and co morbid or co occurring disorders that may be of concern.
Everyone is welcomed and we understand the intense level of making a decision to stop using. Our professional help supports and educates every person as they walk through the recovery process.
Heroin Detox Treatment at Turning Point of Tampa
Once you choose to go through the admission process to our inpatient heroin detox program, you can expect to meet with nurses and doctors to ensure the medications needed to assist you in successful protocols are outlined.
Our medical detox program uses different medications to help patients stay safe, healthy, and comfortable throughout the detox process and resulting symptoms of withdrawal.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is approved by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Turning Point of Tampa believes in medication assisted treatment but we do not believe in using medication that can be abused or that is addictive. We focus on using Vivitrol and Naltrexone to control cravings.
These two substances can be used long-term if indicated and patients can be on them while they are in our care and in the treatment process.
Over the years severe cases of opioid use and other substances allowed our team the opportunity to try several medications as they came on the market. Suboxone and Subutex are two specific drugs that we do not use long term.
Actually, we have helped some detox from these drugs as we listen to the patients coming in and telling us how they have been abusing it and that it does make them feel high when they take it.
If indicated we will use Subutex during the detox and withdrawal process on our detox unit.
All patients are off all medications including sedatives and benzodiazepines prior to discharge from treatment.
Long-term Recovery Goals
With medical help and psychological support, many individuals can regain control of their lives and achieve long-term recovery goals. Detox alone is not enough to break free of opioid addiction, but it can jump-start a meaningful journey toward lasting sobriety and make the detox and withdrawal process easier.
Medications are used in detox to decrease symptoms and minimize cravings. They help your body adapt to the fact that you are no longer using heroin.
Although some of the medications used are also opiates or have addictive properties, there is little to no chance of addiction during medication-assisted treatment thanks to the doctors’ and nurses’ careful supervision at Turning Point of Tampa.
You won’t be replacing your heroin addiction with a new one. You can rest assured you will achieve your goal of sobriety and drug abstinence upon completing your heroin detox.
During a medical heroin detox or taper, you can expect the following:
- Regular monitoring of patient vitals, including blood pressure and pulse
- Blood or urine screening to ensure correct intake of medication
- Prescription of other medications to manage specific symptoms, like poor sleep
- Introduction of cognitive behavioral therapy and support groups
- Gradual reduction of medication dosage
Heroin Detox Center in Tampa Florida
For individuals who have been struggling with substance use disorder for a long time and are highly dependent on heroin, it is more advisable to choose an inpatient treatment. An inpatient heroin detox center like Turning Point of Tampa gives you a safer and more secure space to manage symptoms of withdrawal.
Undergoing inpatient heroin detox makes it easier to receive medication assisted treatment and ensure proper withdrawal management.
Below are some benefits you can expect from our inpatient heroin detox program:
- Medically supervised and safe detoxification services
- Highly structured environment
- Constant monitoring during withdrawal
- Timely and accurate intake of any medications
- Assistance in transitioning into residential substance abuse rehab program after completing detox treatment
- Insurance coverage – Turning Point of Tampa is an in-network facility with most major insurance providers
- Lower odds of relapse
- Increased likelihood of successful recovery
Turning Point of Tampa detox center employs highly trained and experienced staff who can ensure you receive the right amount of care and supervision, especially while undergoing withdrawal and its symptoms.
The standard care for withdrawal management includes:
- Staying in a calm and quiet environment
- Being allowed to rest or sleep if you wish
- Moderate physical activities, like walking
- Doctors on call in case of complications
- Behavior management strategies
Seek Help for Heroin Addiction and Withdrawal Today
If you or a loved one is trying to overcome heroin addiction, know that you do not have to go through this trial alone. There are plenty of people who can help you find the strength to take the first step on your recovery journey.
Choosing the right inpatient heroin detox program can make a huge difference in your overall experience.
At the Turning Point of Tampa detox center, you are fully supported by our highly experienced medical and clinical staff. We understand no two patients or detoxes are alike. We develop individualized heroin detox and withdrawal plans following ASAM protocols to make your recovery as smooth as possible — while also ensuring its success.
Call us today for any questions about our heroin detox programs.