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Heroin Withdrawal and the Need for Residential Detox
After weeks or months of regular heroin use, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage or control intake amounts. As these effects become more pronounced, a person may well attempt to stop using the drug on his or her own. More often than not, these attempts fail miserably, leaving a person even more so dependent on the drug.
Heroin withdrawal effects account for much of the reason why quitting is so difficult. Heroin withdrawal brings on a range of physical and psychological symptoms that can quickly overwhelm a person’s ability to abstain from further drug use.
Under these conditions, there’s a very real need for the type of treatment supports available through residential detox care. In effect, without some form of residential detox care, heroin withdrawal will continue to drive the drug abuse cycle.
Heroin Withdrawal Effects
Heroin belongs to the opiate class of drugs, the same class as morphine, Vicodin and Demerol. Opiates not only produce pain-relieving effects, but also cause considerable disruption within the brain’s chemical system in the process. This ability to disrupt the brain’s chemical make-up ties into heroin’s addictive potential.
At the start of heroin use, growing chemical imbalances weaken the brain’s ability to maintain normal bodily functions. Before long, heroin withdrawal symptoms start to develop in response to the brain’s weakening state. According to U. S. National Library of Medicine, heroin withdrawal symptoms may take the form of:
- Aching muscles
- Feelings of sadness and despair
- Sleep deprivation
Rather than ride out the symptoms and let them pass, heroin all but compels a person to keep using the drug in order to gain relief from withdrawal symptoms.
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While this transpires, the brain’s tolerance for the drug’s effects increases, which means a person has to take even larger doses in order to gain relief from uncomfortable heroin withdrawal symptoms. In effect, a cycle of increasing tolerance levels and withdrawal effects takes hold, driving compulsive drug-using behaviors and the eventual spiral into addiction.
The Need for Residential Detox
Residential detox programs operate within a closed treatment environment that’s monitored 24-hours a day. During the course of treatment, medications will be administered to help relieve uncomfortable withdrawal effects.
According to University of Maryland, the heroin withdrawal process also takes a toll on a person’s emotional well-being, which only works to aggravate the degree of discomfort experienced. In order to address this, residents engage in a range of psychosocial treatment interventions, such as group therapy, psychotherapy and support group work where they express how they feel and learn healthy ways of coping with emotional and physical discomforts.
For someone going through the very worst case of heroin withdrawal he or she has experienced thus far, the provisions available through residential detox offer him or her the very best chance of making it through the heroin withdrawal process.
If you or someone you know struggles with heroin withdrawal and are considering residential detox treatment, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at 800-721-8114 to speak with one of our addictions specialists.