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Overcoming a Heroin Addiction

The first step is always the hardest. If you want to successfully overcome an addiction, you need to accept that you have a problem. It is vitally important that an addict admits this and overcomes their sense of shame, so that they can get the help that they need.  However, an addiction is a physical and a psychological condition and this should be accepted.  It is important not to blame an addict. Once a Heroin addict admits that they need help, their next step will be detoxification.

Heroin Detoxification

Heroin detoxification is to put it simply ridding the body of Heroin. The body will cleanse itself of Heroin after a period of two to three weeks. However, this can cause often severe heroin withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening but they can cause real physical and mental discomfort. Symptoms can be so intense that they have been likened by many experts and former addicts to a ‘waking nightmare’.

Giving up heroin is not easy and results in many side-effects. There are various symptoms and these can include one or all the following: sweating, cramps, depression, anxiety, cravings, diarrhea, insomnia, vomiting, aches and flu-like symptoms. Heroin withdrawal is difficult for those addicted to the drug and those who care for them, especially their family.  For moderate to severe cases of Heroin withdrawals it is recommended that medical assistance is sought.

Methadone and Suboxone for Heroin Detox

There are many advantages in attending a detox rehabilitation center.  These centers can provide you with the medical treatments needed to manage Heroin withdrawal symptoms. One of the most regularly prescribed drugs used in the treatment of heroin addiction is Methadone. This medication is a synthetic opioid that limits the effects of heroin and other opiates are in a person’s system. This can reduce the effects of the withdrawal symptoms and relieve drug cravings.  Methadone has been used for many decades and has a long history in the treatment of Heroin addiction. This medication is highly effective at treating Heroin withdrawal symptoms but it can also be very addictive. This is the main downside of this medication.

Suboxone is like Methadone as it is a medication used by medical professionals to treat the symptoms of Heroin withdrawal. Suboxone is a newer drug that was specially developed to be less addictive and have fewer side effects than Methadone. Also, Suboxone can be administered in a private outpatient setting and under certain conditions can be taken at home. Suboxone is effective in treating a range of opioids including Heroin, and prescription medicines such as Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Percocet and Vicodin.

After Heroin Detox

During heroin detox treatment individuals can experience some minor secondary withdrawal symptoms. This is to be expected and it is really a sign that your body is adjusting to having no heroin in its system. While secondary withdrawal is usually not severe, they can last several weeks and even up to several months. Secondary withdrawal symptoms are so persistent that they can lead to relapse and should be managed. It is important for heroin users to seek ongoing treatment after detox such as that provided by support groups or sober living homes to ensure that a person can live a life of sobriety. Suboxone can greatly help a person to beat a Heroin addiction.