Substance Use

Heroin Detox

TABLE OF CONTENTSTable of Contents

powder drug with spoon and hypodermic needle

Heroin Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Heroin is perhaps one of the most potent opiate narcotics. Its intensely addictive nature is a consequence of the fact that the human brain is wired to respond to this drug’s chemicals. As soon as the brain’s receptors get a taste of heroin, the path to addiction is set. 

According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, out of the people that try heroin, 23% become addicted to it. And that’s not all. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that those addicted to the substance are also likely to abuse other drugs, such as cocaine or prescription painkillers.

Heroin is not only highly addictive but also extremely dangerous:

  • From 1999 to 2019, more than 500,000 people died of opioid overdose according to a CDC report
  • In 2020, 92,000 people died in the United States from drug-related overdoses
  • In 2019, 10.1 million people aged 12 or older had misused opioids in the past year. The same year, 745,000 people used heroin

Quitting a heroin addiction alone is difficult, and can be impossible for some. Heroin detox at a drug rehabilitation center is one proven way to stop a heroin addiction safely. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with heroin addiction, call Zinnia Healing at (855) 430-9439 to explore our heroin detox and treatment options.

What Causes Heroin Addiction?

Heroin is a drug made from morphine. Morphine is a natural substance found in opium plants. Heroin is often white but can also be brown, gray, or black. Black heroin is called black tar. Although people sniff, snort, and smoke heroin, people with heroin addiction often inject it. In addition, some people mix it with other drugs such as cocaine.

Here, the brain binds to opioid receptors. Opioid receptors are involved in the feelings of pleasure and pain. They are also involved in vital functions like controlling heart rate and breathing. Initially, when a person uses heroin, they experience a feeling of euphoria. Due to tolerance, they continue to chase this feeling but are unsuccessful. So, they begin to use more and more of the drug.

Sometimes heroin is cut using other substances such as baby powder and powdered milk. Heroin on its own dissolves in water very easily. Combined substances interrupt the dissolution, making the drug harder to inject. This could lead to collapsed veins, tissue death, and abscesses. However, mixed heroin gives a lower high, so people using this form may use it more often.

People addicted to heroin are not always aware that they have an addiction. But anytime a person continues to use heroin despite undesirable side effects or interruptions in their daily activities, they are considered to have a substance use disorder (SUD). 

Other people may discover that they have a heroin addiction when they try to stop. Stopping abruptly can cause severe withdrawal, starting in as little as a few hours after quitting.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Using Heroin?

The most severe long-term effects of opioid use are the loss of white matter in the brain. This affects behavior, responses, and decision-making. This is why people with heroin addiction often struggle with mental health issues.

Perhaps the most telling long-term effect of heroin use is drug-seeking due to heroin use disorder. People with heroin use disorder relapse over and over again. They participate in risky behavior and obtain heroin by any means.

People with heroin addiction have often tried to quit independently but could not handle the severe withdrawal symptoms. This causes feelings of hopelessness, which can lead back to using. It is a vicious cycle that can be helped through supervised heroin detox.

If you or a loved one are struggling with heroin addiction, reach out to a drug rehabilitation center for help. Most major insurance companies cover inpatient heroin detox. In addition, the Family Medical Leave Act allows you to take medical leave from work for drug rehabilitation. You only have to request this time off, and you do not have to tell your boss you’re seeking drug rehabilitation — or that the rehabilitation is for heroin addiction.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Acute Withdrawal?

Not all patients going through heroin detox will experience the same symptoms. Withdrawal intensity depends on a variety of external factors such as:

  • The severity of the addiction (how much heroin has the patient abused and for how long)
  • What other substances they were taking
  • Family history of addiction
  • Other medical conditions

However, there are a few common symptoms patients might experience:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Severe perspiration
  • Abdominal and muscle cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

In most cases, heroin withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening. However, they could disrupt life as usual, making a person more susceptible to mental health disorders. Depending on the above-listed factors, the intensity of withdrawal can be devastating. These are some of the more serious symptoms of heroin withdrawal.

  • Depression
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Hypertension
  • Muscle spasms
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Drug cravings

When Does Withdrawal Start After Stopping the Use of Heroin?

As a short-acting opioid, heroin will take effect quickly after being consumed and leave the bloodstream just as quickly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that withdrawal symptoms can occur as soon as 6–12 hours after the last dose. Symptoms are likely to peak in 2–3 days and can last up to 10 days.

Find your new beginning; give yourself — or another person you care for — the gift of sobriety at Zinnia Healing. We offer substance abuse treatment and heroin detox in a safe, medically supervised environment. Give us a call 24/7 at (855) 430-9439 to explore our substance abuse programs.

Why Does Heroin Detox Take So Long?

The first step in heroin detox is to flush heroin out of your system. The heroin detox process can last for up to 10 days. However, heroin withdrawal can cause side effects that last much longer. Unfortunately, this is often the case, and severe symptoms can affect a patient long-term.

For instance, if a patient becomes depressive due to a heroin withdrawal, their treatment does not stop at the 10-day mark. Patients may be required to seek treatment for months, even years, after they have a successful heroin detox. This is usually the case if they have psychological disorders from heroin addiction or withdrawal.

Differences Between Home Heroin Detox and Supervised Programs

While it is possible to complete heroin detox at home, doctors recommend doing so under close supervision. Given its extreme side effects, at-home heroin detox can be difficult for the patient. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends a combination of medical detox and therapy treatment as the best and most effective approach. This ensures that your mental health is addressed along with symptoms of withdrawal.

At the peak of withdrawal, patients usually experience intense drug cravings. On their own, these cravings are hard to fight. And the moment they’re experienced, the patient is in danger of relapsing. However, patients have a higher chance of overcoming their addiction by checking into a detox center. Here, they’ll receive support and tools to help them power through their addiction.

Patients will receive detox medication in a medically supervised program and remain under supervision throughout heroin detox. Rehab centers also offer additional therapy treatments to help people overcome their affliction and prepare them for rehabilitation.

Heroin Detox and Treatment at Zinnia Healing

At Zinnia Healing, you’ll see the difference both our committed staff and dually accredited programs make in the lives of heroin-addicted people every day. We work alongside medical professionals to treat your addiction to heroin. We are well-acquainted with many addiction types, so we are equipped to treat any addiction you’re struggling with. Our facility uses the latest and most effective treatment modalities to confront heroin addiction and stop it in its tracks.

Graduates of our heroin detox and heroin addiction programs enjoy successful recovery even after graduation. They often share their successes with new patients to encourage them and help them move forward. Zinnia Healing drug addiction programs have given many people a new lease on life.  

Withdrawing from heroin is never easy, and we understand the challenges you face ahead. Our heroin detox and addiction rehab programs offer the skills you need to understand your addiction and the tools you need to rehabilitate successfully.

Taking the First Step Toward Heroin Detox

Heroin addiction is an issue that affects more and more people each year. The best chance at complete rehabilitation is to seek the help of a specialized rehab center. Heroin addicts need the supervision of medical personnel to get through withdrawal safely and avoid relapse. The first step toward recovery starts by asking for help in the right place.

There are many forms of treatment available to help with heroin addiction. Two of the most common treatments for heroin addiction are medication-assisted and psychosocial therapies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three medications for use in opioid dependence: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. The first two are successful in preventing lethal relapses and cases of overdose.

Psychosocial treatment for heroin addiction involves therapy at a rehabilitation facility. This form of treatment includes working with a psychologist, substance abuse counselor, or mental health therapist to get through your addiction. We offer both forms of therapy at our accredited facility.

Zinnia Healing offers many addiction treatment programs, including heroin detox for people struggling with heroin addiction. If you or someone you know has symptoms of heroin addiction or another addiction like alcoholism, we can help. We offer heroin detox treatment in a safe and supportive environment with clinical evidence-based therapies and medically trained staff. Our intake staff accepts calls 24/7 at (855) 430-9439.