Getting Help for Heroin Addiction

Getting Help for Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction is a serious disease, but a treatable one. If you’re using heroin, it’s critical that you stop now, because each new high could be your last. There’s no way to be safe about it.

Movies depict heroin recovery as a quick, simple, albeit horrific process: suffer for a few days or weeks and then move on. The reality is that recovery will require more than just detox. It’s a long-term process that require determination, patience, and a lot of knowledge about your condition.

Can I Just Quit?

At some point in the progression of this disease, users stop getting high. The most they can hope for, then, is to feel normal. That’s because their bodies have come to rely on heroin to maintain a normal state of being. You shouldn’t taper off heroin — it’s still too dangerous — but you shouldn’t go cold-turkey, on your own, either. Heroin withdrawal should only be undergone in a medical detox clinic, where you will be monitored and treated with meds as needed.

What Happens When You Stop?

Quitting or drastically reducing your heroin intake sends the body and brain into panic-mode, which manifests as a set of flu-like symptoms: shakes, sweats, vomiting, hallucinations.

If you’re ready to undertake heroin withdrawal — or any opiate withdrawal — anticipate the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Body pains
  • Sweats and chills
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Painful erection
  • Sweating
  • Tearing
  • Vomiting

How long does it take to detox?

Acute symptoms peak around 72 hours and linger for anywhere from 7 to 10 days afterward, while protracted withdrawal – mild, manageable symptoms like insomnia and anxiety – persist for months or years.

How Do I Stop Safely?

Before entering detox, you’ll be subjected to a set of physical and mental assessments to determine your level of physical dependency. For referrals and services, you can contact either an addiction specialist (MD), a social worker, a licensed psychologist, a psychiatrist, or a medical doctor of any sort. This will also direct future treatment recommendations. Some healthcare specialists recommend tapering instead of going cold-turkey.

Following rehab, you may be referred to a long-term inpatient or intensive outpatient clinic. Detox is only the first step. To get started on your recovery, call Blueprints: (888) 744-9969


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Are you or your loved one seeking help? Let us be your guide and your roadmap to recovery.

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