Struggling with addiction is challenging, but heroin detox centers can help you break your ties with drugs and enjoy the better life you deserve. However, not all heroin detox centers follow the same detoxification process, and there can be some major differences depending on where you go.
Understanding the Heroin Detox
Before you compare and contrast the detoxification process for drug detox centers, it’s important to understand the objective of the process itself. A heroin detox is a stage of roughly seven days where patients cease all heroin consumption. This can be challenging, and withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable at times.
Although detox isn’t easy, it’s a necessary step on the road to recovery. Rehab, for example, can’t begin until a patient has completed detox and is able to function in a stable environment without the all-encompassing physical craving for drugs. After detox, patients will be free from the toxins that drug use leaves behind, and they will be cognitively ready to learn as much as possible about recovery, coping strategies and therapy.
One way to handle a heroin detox is through replacement therapy. Essentially, this is a process where patients who are addicted to heroin are given a synthetic opiate medication. This replacement opiate won’t deliver the high or feeling of actual heroin, but it will effectively stave off withdrawal symptoms.
There are two common replacement opiates used in detox and therapy: Methadone and Buprenorphine. A dose of either drug lasts longer than a dose of heroin, which means that they don’t have to be administered as frequently and can help to prevent withdrawal symptoms for as long as 72 hours at a time.
One of the concerns associated with replacement heroin therapy is that these opiate medications are sometimes relied on for a lifetime. In some ways, they are simply replacing one addiction with another. However, there’s no question that relying on an opiate medication without mind-altering side effects is better than an addiction to heroin, which can lead to countless problems with family, friends and the ability to enjoy life or maintain a career.
A process used by heroin detox centers is known as opiate weaning. As the name suggests, this is a detoxification method that weans patients off of opiates. Synthetic opiates like the ones above may be used, but the goal is to wean off of them quickly rather than forming a new, secondary addiction.
Opiate weaning can be helpful because it eliminates the very harsh first 72 hours of a heroin withdrawal. Upon admittance, patients may be administered a synthetic opiate that will essentially trick the body and mind into thinking it has received a dose of heroin. Withdrawal symptoms can still occur, but they are milder. The goal is often a complete weaning from all opiates in under two weeks.
How Heroin Detox Centers Handle Withdrawal Symptoms
The detoxification process among heroin detox centers can also differ when it comes to how withdrawal symptoms are handled. In high-quality medical facilities, it isn’t unusual for patients to receive IVs with rehydration fluids or electrolytes to handle the dehydration that comes with heroin withdrawal. Or, they may administer painkillers and even sedatives to encourage sleep rather than insomnia.
While there are plenty of heroin detox centers and methods to choose from, one stands out above the rest. New Start Recovery, with two locations in Southern California, offers a comprehensive detox for heroin. Call 855-737-7363 to learn about the incredible level of care available and how you can transform your life starting today.