The percentage of patients who relapse in treating chronic disorders like hypertension is comparable to those suffering from substance use disorders. Like other chronic diseases, treating addiction is a process that takes effort and patience. That fortitude is especially crucial during one of the most physically challenging parts of heroin recovery– the detoxification stage.
Heroin detox is never pretty. Regardless, addicts must commit to and endure it as part of their recovery. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything you can to mitigate the side effects throughout the detox process.
The information below will give you insight into what to expect during your heroin detox and how to endure the side effects. Read on to learn more about the heroin detox process and how you can find help on your journey to sobriety.
What Happens During a Heroin Detox?
Heroin is an opioid drug derived from morphine. When someone uses the drug, it clings to their brain’s opioid receptors, giving them a euphoria. The intense pleasure released by using this drug becomes addictive.
There are many health benefits to recovering from an opioid addiction that can only begin after detoxing. Completing a detox alone is possible, though difficult, but not recommended. If you aren’t doing a medically-assisted detox, it’s vital to have one or more reliable people available to help you through it.
During a medical heroin detox, an individual will be monitored and cared for by trained aids. Depending on the individual’s needs, the process can take anywhere from four to fourteen days. But the average length of a heroin detox is six days.
During this time, the person will go through various withdrawal symptoms. Most heroin detox symptoms are uncomfortable but not life-threatening or dangerous. However, in severe addiction cases, the side effects become intense and life-threatening– these cases require medical supervision throughout the detox process to preserve the addict’s life.
Finally, withdrawal symptoms can last for up to a week or two after completing the detox process. Most often, these are cravings for another dose of the drug. But, many recovering addicts experience mood swings, anxiety, and agitation for a while post-detox.
If you’re concerned that your or your loved one’s heroin addiction is so severe the detox will need medical supervision, you should reach out to a professional before beginning the process. There are many quality resources for drug rehab in Ventura county that can help you proceed.
Side Effects of A Heroin Detox
Everyone who goes through heroin withdrawal will have a different experience. However, it’s impossible to avoid side effects altogether. The most common side effects you may experience during a heroin detox are:
- Muscle aches
The severity of these side effects will depend on how long the person has been using heroin. Some of the more intense, less common side effects include:
- High blood pressure
- Profuse sweating
Sometimes, someone undergoing heroin detox must go into inpatient rehab or receive medical detox services to prevent being hospitalized by these severe side effects.
How to Endure a Heroin Detox
There is no comfortable way to detox from heroin or any drug. You will have symptoms and side effects that are difficult to handle. However, there are withdrawal management methods to help mitigate the impact of these harsh side effects.
Hydrate Your Body
Some of the primary side effects of a heroin detox involve losing fluids. Whether you break out into cold sweats, experience diarrhea, or vomit, you will lose a lot of fluids and electrolytes. Keep water and hydration aids (like Pedialyte and Liquid IV) on hand, and remember to hydrate often.
If you’re detoxing at a facility, you may be on a regimen of medications that help heroin detox symptoms. But if you don’t have access to a rehab center, you can still speak to a doctor about prescriptions that can help you through detox. Even OTC medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help with the muscle aches accompanying a heroin detox.
Distractions go a long way in helping you through heroin detox. Curate your Netflix cue, do a puzzle, or play video games to keep your thoughts off using heroin. Remember to choose a distraction that calls your attention and doesn’t frustrate you so much that your cravings worsen.
Lean on Others
Whether you’re at a facility or detoxing at home, you should have someone there to support you through the process. If you do not have anyone around to help, reach out to a local support group. You can connect with people who have been where you are and create a support network.
Exercise releases endorphins that help you feel good without getting a fix. Though it’s not the same, it can help replace addicts’ urges for the pleasure release opioids provide. Plus, it can work as another way to distract your thoughts and rewire your habits.
Make Spiritual Connections
This tip isn’t for everybody, but spirituality can help many people through the detox process. Moreover, spirituality doesn’t always mean religion. Connecting with your spirituality can mean practicing yoga, meditation, or walking in the grass barefoot.
Visit a Rehab Facility
Finally, we recommend completing your detox at a drug rehab facility in Ventura county. These coping strategies are great and can help, but the aid of addiction experts like those at Altitude Recovery is incomparable.
Drug Rehab in Ventura County
Heroin addictions can change the life of the addict and their loved ones. Every recovering addict must begin with detox, no matter how challenging the detox process is. Although completing a heroin detox at home is possible, it will be hard on everyone involved.
The most assured way to deal with the side effects of heroin detox is with help from medical detox services. Altitude Recovery is among the best Ventura county substance abuse treatment centers. Our doors are open for those seeking help overcoming their addiction.
Contact us today to learn more about our medical detox services.