Heroin Addiction

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Heroin Addiction

What is Heroin Addiction?

The timeline between the first use of heroin and addiction is short. The mild euphoric and calming properties of this drug make it highly appealing. This will drive people to use more soon after the effects wear off. Repeated use of the drug significantly increases the risk of dependence.

When a person becomes dependent on heroin, their body has adapted to its presence and requires it to function normally. Dependence results in debilitating physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when a person tries to stop using.

Heroin addiction is a progressive condition that can be fatal if left untreated. At Detox West Tennessee, we help clients struggling with heroin addiction to get the help they need. We offer a comprehensive detox program for heroin addiction.

After willingness to enter treatment, detox is a crucial first step on the path back to health. At the center,  our detox programs are fully medically supervised. We support clients in mind and body as their body begins the healing process.

Heroin Detox and Pregnancy

Pregnant women who use heroin pose a severe risk to their baby’s health. Pregnancy can be a good motivation to stop drug use, as it has dire consequences for the baby. Many mothers who struggle with heroin addiction may attempt to stop using when they are pregnant.

Any attempt to stop using should always be supervised by a medical professional. Quitting heroin use and undergoing withdrawal alone can cause severe stress, impacting the baby’s health and leading to congenital disabilities and stillbirth. Medical professionals can oversee the detox and withdrawal process to keep mothers and babies as safe as possible.

Heroin Detox Medications

Opioid withdrawal can be extremely difficult to go through alone. The World Health Organization recommends that withdrawal is supported by a medically supervised detox program. At Detox West Tennessee, addiction and mental health experts lead each of our detox programs. We offer around-the-clock, compassionate, non-judgmental support to each client that comes to us for treatment.

Throughout your detox program, which varies in length depending on the severity of your addiction, our staff will prescribe a range of medications that are suitable for heroin detox.

Heroin detox medications include:

  • Methadone

Similar to heroin, methadone is an agonist. It binds to receptors in the brain and stops opiate withdrawals. It is taken orally, which means that it reaches the brain slowly and gradually. This method of administration reduces the ‘high.’

Methadone is one of the most common and effective medications in the treatment for heroin use disorder. Methadone stays in the system for 24 hours, so it only needs to be taken once daily throughout detox. It is used to reduce withdrawal symptoms without the individual having to quit cold turkey.

  • Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine is another opioid agonist. It helps to reduce cravings for heroin without causing the ‘high’ characteristic of opioids. In low to moderate doses, buprenorphine can reduce cravings and stop withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine promotes positive outcomes in those undergoing opiate withdrawal.

  • Naltrexone

Unlike methadone and buprenorphine, naltrexone is an opioid antagonist. Opioid antagonists block opioid receptors so that opiates can’t take effect. This ultimately reduces the desire to take heroin because users will not feel high. As such, it promotes abstinence and reduces the risk of relapse.

Heroin Detox at Detox West Tennessee

At Detox West Tennessee, we understand the challenges faced by those who struggle with addiction. Taking the first and seeking professional help is a brave choice and met with compassion and respect at our center.

We aim to make this early stage of recovery as safe and comfortable as possible for our clients. Medical support is available 24/7. Any concerns or issues you may have will be heard and answered by our compassionate staff. Our detox programs are based on the latest addiction science, so you can rest assured that you will receive expert care.

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If you or a loved one are struggling with heroin addiction, please contact us today. The earlier that you seek treatment, the greater your chances of recovery.

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What Happens During Detox?

We begin by carrying out an initial health assessment. The assessment involves gaining an understanding of your medical history and the details of your addiction. This helps us determine how to effectively and appropriately approach your early recovery.

Following the assessment, we will admit you into our detox facility. We provide as much comfort and safety as possible as your body undergoes the detoxification process. We offer around-the-clock medical and psychological support throughout the entire length of your stay at our center.

Medication-assisted Treatment (MAT)

To help clients cope with the withdrawal stage of early recovery, we prescribe a range of safe and suitable medications. All medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so you can rest assured that treatment is safe, effective, and evidence-based.

We base the type of medication we prescribe on the type of drug you take and the severity of your symptoms. Some drugs do not cause physical side effects during withdrawal. In this case, we use medication to ease mental symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

Types of addiction for which we offer detox programs here at the center include:

  • Opiate addiction (heroin, morphine, codeine)
  • Alcohol addiction
  • Prescription opioid addiction
  • Stimulant addiction (cocaine, methamphetamine, Adderall, Ritalin)
  • Benzodiazepine addiction

As mentioned previously, detox for some of the above addictions involves specific medication. For example, our heroin detox program includes the use of methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

We also prescribe naltrexone in our alcohol detox program, alongside benzodiazepines, which ease the anxiety and restlessness associated with alcohol withdrawal. Benzodiazepines also reduce the risk of seizure.

Stimulant detox does not involve specific medication but instead involves medications to ease the severity of withdrawal.

Benzodiazepine detox involves a tapering process. Benzos are administered in gradually reduced doses to ease the body away from use without overwhelming the system.

24/7 Medical and Psychological Support

SAMHSA’S Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 45 advises that detoxification programs offer around-the-clock support for clients during the detox process. Research published in MEDSURG Nursing has found that consistent and compassionate care is as important as medical support regarding successfully completing a detox program.

At Detox West Tennessee, we support each client with 24/7 compassionate care and support. We are dedicated to our client’s recovery success.

How Long Does it Take to Detox?

Detox programs typically last for 7 to 14 days. This a rough timeline, as the length of detox varies between clients and depends on the type and severity of the addiction. Withdrawal symptoms typically come on within 6 – 12 hours after last use and may last for up to a week.

After the first week, some symptoms may persist, such as drug cravings and headaches. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that the quality of care received in the first week of abstinence significantly influences clients’ well-being and later recovery success.

Compassionate Care and Support at Detox West Tennessee

At Detox West Tennessee, we understand the impact that substance misuse and addiction can have on you or your loved one’s life. We have seen the havoc that addiction wreaks on individuals and their families. However, we have also seen many successful recovery stories when those addicted to a substance take the first step and enter addiction treatment.

The first step is often the most difficult. Admitting to oneself that there is a problem is challenging. Furthermore, stigma and judgment can be a barrier to treatment. At Detox West Tennessee, we offer a compassionate, non-judgmental space in which you can begin your recovery journey.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, please contact us today. Once you enter one of our detox programs, our staff will monitor you throughout your stay to keep you as safe and comfortable as possible. After you complete your detox program, you will be in a prime position to enter addiction rehabilitation and restore your life to quality and health.

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