If you’re seeking treatment for heroin addiction, the first thing you’ll need to do is detox. Detoxing usually takes about a week, but it can be a painful process. Withdrawal symptoms are often severe and, in some cases, even dangerous. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to help. What resources can help you detox from heroin in Florida?
Florida is a state that’s been hit hard by the opioid crisis throughout the United States. It’s common for prescription and illicit opioids to be used illegally all over the state. Successful drug rehab is an urgent need. Drug rehabs tend to deal with the mental aspect of addiction, but you need to overcome the physical withdrawal first. This is where a detox center comes in. Some detox centers are part of a larger rehabilitation facility, while others offer detox services alone.
Detox centers are, as the name implies, places where you go to safely detox from drugs and alcohol. It’s important to go to one of these centers to have a medically supervised detox from heroin. Only with medical supervision can you receive the care you need to safely weather the withdrawal process. Your medical team can provide resources that help ease the pain of symptoms.
Heroin withdrawal doesn’t look the same for every person. A number of factors will affect the progression. The way someone abused heroin, how long they’ve abused it, and the dosage they took will all affect your dependency. The more dependent you are, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms will typically be. If you’ve previously withdrawn from opioids or have a history of mental illness, your withdrawal might be more intense.
For many heroin users, the withdrawal process feels a lot like the flu. Mild symptoms set in first, followed by more moderate and severe symptoms as the withdrawal progresses.
Mild symptoms might include:
- Cramping of the abdomen
- Sweats and chills
- Runny nose
- Aches in the muscles and bones
Moderate symptoms include:
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Issues with concentration
- Tremors and goose bumps
Severe symptoms include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Cravings for the drug
- Unusually rapid heart rate
- Spasms in the muscles
- Issues with respiration
Even severe symptoms aren’t usually life-threatening, but some medical symptoms come with potential complications that can be life-threatening. For this reason, you should never quit heroin cold turkey without having mental health and medical professionals supporting you.
Managing Withdrawal Symptoms with Medication
When you go through the withdrawal process at a detox center, you may be prescribed medication to help with the symptoms. Your doctor may replace the heroin with an opioid that works for longer periods of time. You may also be prescribed antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and anti-nausea medication to help with specific withdrawal symptoms.
The FDA has approved the use of a drug called Suboxone to help with cravings during withdrawal. It can also be used to help with continuing cravings throughout the treatment process. This means it’s considered a “maintenance” medication. Suboxone is used to prevent relapses by suppressing drug cravings.
With that said, there have been cases in the past where Suboxone was used recreationally. Some heroin users use Suboxone to ease their withdrawal symptoms between heroin doses. This use of Suboxone is very dangerous and can lead a person to develop an addiction.
Another commonly-used drug is methadone. This long-acting opioid can be substituted for shorter-acting heroin. In the majority of cases, methadone will be active in the user’s bloodstream for a whole day. Methadone helps minimize withdrawal symptoms by activating a person’s opioid receptors.
Methadone is a federally regulated drug. When prescribed, it’s typically provided in pill form once per day. From there, the methadone doses can gradually taper down.
One other medication that might be prescribed is Naltrexone. This opioid antagonist blocks the brain’s opioid receptors, so you don’t get high even if you use opioids. This drug is often used to maintain heroin abstinence on a long-term basis.
It’s important to be honest with your medical team about your history of drug use. If you don’t give all the information, they won’t be able to help you effectively.
If you’re ready to get help for your addiction, talk to one of our trained counselors at 800-737-0933.