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Heroin- Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, And Treatment

Heroin happens to be a cheaper substitute for strong and habit-forming drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin. According to CNN, most of the heroin injection users initially abused one or the other kinds of opioid drugs which were previously prescribed to them. Individuals who suffer from opiate addiction choose heroin as it is difficult to divert, obtain, and alter prescription pain killers. Heroin withdrawal, it must be remembered, can be pretty extreme. The withdrawal symptoms don’t last for more than a week. They include:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Nervousness
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Muscle spasms
  • Extreme cravings
  • Relapse

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that in these last ten years, heroin abuse has increased largely for Americans ageing from 18-25 years. Around 8200 people died due to an overdose of heroin in 2013. Given that heroin causes dependence, it has severe withdrawal symptoms too. Thus, the ones who are addicted to heroin must be placed under vigilance of medical professionals and go through medical detox. This process will enhance the cleansing of heroin from your body.

Range Of Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms might vary from person to person. The factors determining the body and the brain’s dependence on the drug are the time period for which heroin was used, way of its abuse, and the amount of heroin consumed each time. Thus, severity of these withdrawal symptoms is likely to vary. If someone has had a past with addiction or mental illness, then he is more prone to become dependent on the drug.

The vital faculties of your central nervous system, like, respiratory levels, heart rate, blood pressure, are subdued by heroin. Heroin reacts with the opioid receptors present in the brain, stimulating the chemicals which are released by the brain to bring about a sense of thrill. Abuse of heroin brings about a flood of pleasure. An opposite effect takes place the moment heroin is removed.

Withdrawal symptoms aren’t all that long term if you haven’t been addicted to it for months or years. The mild withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Tearing
  • Vomiting
  • Sweats
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle pain
  • Extreme yawning
  • Chills

The moderate symptoms of withdrawal of heroin are:

  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Concentration problems
  • Trembling
  • Goosebumps

The severe and extreme withdrawal symptoms of heroin are:

  • Depression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle spasms
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Hypertension
  • Impaired respiration
  • Drug cravings
  • Difficulty in feeling pleasure

Though some of psychological withdrawal symptoms of heroin can be deadly and pretty complicated, chances are, these symptoms won’t end up being fatal. However, depression, another side effect of heroin withdrawal, may lead to suicidal thoughts. It is always advised to not quit heroin abruptly and seek the assistance of medical professionals, who will engage in a variety of methods to make the withdrawal process healthy and safe.

Time Taken To Safely Detox From Heroin

Heroin has a very quick effect on the system and it also disappears from the blood stream within a short span of time. Withdrawal symptoms from heroin commences about six to twelve hours after the last dose, as stated by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The peak of the symptoms is reached in about 2 – 3 days and may extend for a few more days.

The process of detox cleanses the body and gets rid of the drug. It is recommended that detox is carried out in a specialized medical facility. It will offer medical detox which will not only cleanse your body but also reduce chances of a relapse.

Heroin- Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, And Treatment

The whole process of medical detoxification lasts for 5-7 days. However, it may last longer if you have formed an extreme dependence on heroin. The medications and therapies used in medical detox strive to cure the body and the brain of dependence on heroin. Individuals are kept safe and comfortable during the whole process by closely monitoring the heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory levels. At heroin detoxification centers, heroin may be replaced by supplementary medications like anti-depressants, anti-nausea medications, or anticonvulsants to treat certain symptoms.

Withdrawal And Suboxone

Individuals receiving treatment in rehabilitation centers generally go through medical detox followed by concentrated treatment by therapy. Heroin is unique because it is present as prescription medications in order to help in both sobriety and also withdrawal management. A person recuperating from heroin addiction may be cured with Buprenorphine (Suboxone), methadone, or naltrexone. During withdrawal, these medicines are helpful as they have an ability to reduce lethal symptoms, for instance, cravings.

Suboxone has a different purpose in this case. Suboxone is purchased by some heroin addicts as it can help maintain addiction. Suboxone reduces withdrawal symptoms that are physically painful during detoxification.

How to treat heroin dependency?

Methadone is proved to be extremely helpful in treating heroin addiction.  It is substituted for the drug whose effects are extreme but which stays in the system for a short period of time. As methadone stays in the stream of blood for one entire day, less amount of the drug will be needed at a time. Heroin withdrawal is managed by methadone by triggering off opioid receptors almost in the identical process as the drug itself. The quick advent of euphoria produced by heroin is a lot less intense when it’s produced by methadone.

Another long-lasting opioid is also Buprenorphine. It is considered to be more beneficial than methadone as it reaches a sublimation point after a fixed amount is consumed. Naloxone when mixed with Buprenorphine products blocks opioid receptors. Thus, the user starts abstaining from heroin out of fear for extreme and painful withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox will comprehensively treat dependence on opioid drugs and ensure complete safety during the detoxification process.