When someone goes without using heroin, depending on the length of time of use, and amount, the onset of heroin withdrawal can manifest in a variety of different ways. When fighting addiction it is best to be prepared for withdrawal and seek addiction experts that can help you safely detox at an experienced heroin rehab center.
Understanding Where the Signs of Heroin Withdrawal Come From
When a person abuses heroin it reacts with the reward center of the brain aligning a feeling of euphoria with the drug, while making your brain chemically dependent on the heroin for happiness. When you withhold it from your body, the brain no longer releases dopamine naturally. This relays effects to your central nervous system causing you to feel intense discomfort and pain. To counteract these sensations, therapists offer medication-assisted care, and other holistic treatment options to make sure a client is safe and comfortable while going through heroin withdrawal.
Examples of therapy approaches include:
Buprenorphine treatment, which assists with heroin withdrawal through craving reduction and pain management
Methadone treatment for the gradual tapering off heroin without intense signs of withdrawal
Nutritional counseling that helps you prepare for a healthy lifestyle after rehab
Massage therapy as a tool for relaxing aching muscles
Exercise therapy that focuses on boosting dopamine production naturally
The Heroin Withdrawal Timeline
Everyone experiences withdrawal differently. For some, the first withdrawal symptoms begin six to 12 hours after the last dose. For others, it’s a full day before they notice the first signs. Some common first signs are flu-like sensations and soreness.
As time progresses, the sensations worsen. Heroin addiction treatment center specialists now introduce medication-assisted treatment to avoid health complications. Similarly, you have intensifying cravings. Over the first two days, pain, gastrointestinal upset, and muscle spasms are common and experts at treatment facilities have procedures in place to help you detox safely.
One may also experience worsening depression. Because dopamine production doesn’t occur naturally while going through withdrawal you may feel habitually saddened. That’s why therapists will soon also begin dual diagnosis treatment. You learn how to manage depression while getting addiction treatment.
Days three and four continue in much the same way. You feel hot and cold. Muscles ache. But by the end of day four, you start to feel better.
Cravings are reducing. You don’t need as much of the medication. You can tell that acute withdrawal is coming to an end. Now’s the time to talk to a therapist about continuing treatment at a rehab facility.
Many heroin detox centers are part of rehab facilities. If you choose this type of facility, the transition happens seamlessly. However, if you select a stand-alone detox center, you may have to make the switch.
When Signs of Heroin Withdrawal are Behind You, Rehab Begins
After the withdrawal process, your body is able to detox from heroin breaking the chemical dependency. It is best post-detox to see a therapist and continue heroin addiction treatment in order to prevent relapsing. In addition, many rehab facilities have life skills training and reimmersion programs that allow you to live a healthier more fulfilling life.