How to Stop Taking Heroin Safely
If you or someone you care about is struggling with a heroin addiction, quitting the drug can be a difficult and challenging process. But with the right support and treatment, it is possible to overcome drug dependence and regain quality of life.
The people who are driving the increase in heroin addiction and overdoses are mainly young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.
But what makes heroin so addictive, and how can someone quit using the drug? Despite the drug’s high propensity for addiction and overdose, thousands of people quit using heroin and go on to live sober.
Contact us today or call (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our programs and how we can help you or your loved one overcome heroin substance use disorder.
How to Quit Heroin
Here are some steps that you can take to help you to quit heroin and start your journey to recovery.
1. Seek Professional Help
Quitting heroin cold turkey is dangerous and can be life-threatening.
Therefore, the first and most important step in quitting heroin is to seek help from a medical or mental health professional.
They can provide you with the medical detox treatment you need to overcome your addiction and manage the psychological and physical symptoms of withdrawal.
2. Build a Support Network
Quitting heroin can be a lonely and isolating process, so it’s important to have a support network of friends, family, and loved ones who can provide emotional support and encouragement.
Consider joining a support group, such as Narcotics Anonymous, where you can connect with others recovering from addiction.
3. Avoid Triggers and High-Risk Situations
One of the biggest challenges of quitting heroin is avoiding triggers and high-risk situations that may lead to relapse.
This may include hanging out with friends who use heroin, going to places where heroin is readily available, or being around certain people or situations that may trigger cravings.
By avoiding these triggers and high-risk situations, you can increase your chances of success in recovery.
3. Engage in Healthy Activities and Hobbies
Finding healthy activities and hobbies that provide a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment can be a powerful tool in your recovery from heroin addiction.
These activities can include exercise, sports, art, music, or anything that brings you joy and helps distract you from cravings.
4. Address Underlying Mental Health Issues
Many people who struggle with heroin addiction also have underlying mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or trauma, that may have contributed to their addiction.
By addressing these issues with mental health therapy and medication, you can reduce the risk of relapse and increase your chances of success in recovery.
5. Ask About Medications
Some medications can help a person safely detox and manage heroin withdrawal symptoms.
Because heroin hijacks the brain’s neural pathways, withdrawal symptoms for heroin can last for months or years. Taking medications like buprenorphine/naltrexone can stop these symptoms and help a recovering addict avoid relapse and live a life of sobriety, free from cravings.
Methadone is a form of opioid replacement therapy; it binds with the same receptors in the brain as heroin, but does not produce euphoria or have other adverse effects.
Buprenorphine is a prescription drug that affects the same area of the brain but less intensely than methadone and more predictably than heroin, which keeps cravings at bay effectively.
6. Get Inpatient Treatment
For individuals with more severe addictions, heroin inpatient treatment programs near them may be necessary for their recovery.
While medications may not work for everyone, they can be an essential step on someone’s journey to sobriety.
How Long Does It Take To Quit Heroin?
The recovery timeline looks different for everyone and it depends on factors like your history of alcohol and opioid use; your mental health; and the support network you have around you. A heroin recovery timeline could look like this:
- 2-3 weeks to go through the primary withdrawal period
- 1-3 months to go through structured treatment
- 1 year or more of follow-up care as you transition back to normal life
Is It Hard to Get Off Heroin?
Quitting heroin can be challenging due to its addictive nature. The effects of heroin on the body can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit, including physical pain, intense cravings, and negative mental health implications. Fortunately, recovery is possible.
For heroin users to ensure a lasting recovery, they should get help from a rehab treatment facility that can provide on-going support through the process, whether you decide to detox inside the facility or on your own time as you continue living at home. Any level of support will prove extremely valuable during the withdrawal process and beyond.
Can Someone Taper off Heroin?
In some situations, your healthcare provider may recommend you slowly taper off your heroin dose in order to minimize severe side effects. However, it’s generally preferred to get you off heroin as soon as possible, which is why some recovery centers will recommend medications to help with detoxification.
If you’re trying to quit on your own, you should be careful about tapering your heroin dose yourself as it’s extremely easy to fall into a state of relapse, especially if you don’t have the right mental health counseling and supports in place.
How to Get Help When Getting Off Heroin
Quitting heroin is not easy, but with the right support and addiction treatment, it is possible to overcome this addiction and build a fulfilling and drug-free life.
Remember to take it one day at a time, and don’t hesitate to reach out for help when you need it.
Zinnia Health understands that overcoming heroin addiction and drug use can be difficult, but our team of experts will support you every step. We want to help you get your life back on track and live a healthy, happy life free from drug abuse. Contact us today or call (855) 430-9439.