Are you or a loved one using heroin? Do you exhibit the signs and symptoms of heroin addiction? You can stop using heroin and recover for good, but getting sober will require more than just a detox. Heroin addiction recovery is a long-term process that requires determination and patience. Learning how to quit heroin is about learning the effects of the addiction, the detox, and the recovery while undergoing counseling and medically-assisted treatment.
CAN I JUST QUIT?
Heroin addicts aren’t weak because they can’t stop; they’re truly addicted. Quitting or drastically reducing your heroin intake sends the body and brain into a panic. Never should this be attempted without medical supervision.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU STOP?
To accommodate for the depressant effects heroin has on the central nervous system and retain a state of homeostasis, the body “speeds up” its other functions. Even without heroin, this hyperactive state continues, and this leaves addicts in a state of serious discomfort, what many describe as a “super-flu.”
If you’re ready to undertake heroin withdrawal — or any opiate withdrawal — you should anticipate the following symptoms:
Sweats and chills
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DETOX?
It takes some time, that’s for sure. Acute symptoms peak around 72 hours and linger for anywhere from 7 to 10 days afterward. Protracted withdrawal – mild symptoms like insomnia and anxiety – persist for much longer, sometimes months or years.
STOP TAKING HEROIN SUDDENLY
Talk to a medical professional about medications and outpatient programs, or check yourself in at an addiction treatment facility where you can be supervised to ensure the greatest chance of successful recovery.
Addiction recovery is all about minimizing relapse risk. You can’t be hasty. Plan your sobriety mission thoroughly.
HOW TO QUIT HEROIN SAFELY
Coming off heroin requires a set of physical and mental assessments to determine your level of physical dependency. For direct help or assessments, or referrals and services, you can contact either an addiction specialist (MD), a social worker, a licensed psychologist, a psychiatrist, or a medical doctor. 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, the goal of which is to address psychological issues of dependence. Heroin addiction typically involves co-occurring mental health issues. Detox is only the first step.