What is Heroin?
Heroin is a very addictive drug made from morphine; a psychoactive substance taken from the resin of the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. Heroin is an illegal drug classified as an opioid that can be injected, sniffed, snorted, or smoked.
Heroin enters the brain rapidly and binds to opioid receptors on cells located in many areas, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure and in controlling heart rate, breathing, and sleeping. Heroin causes high levels of dopamine to be released and elicits feelings of extreme pleasure and euphoria.
Heroin Detox & Withdrawal
Once the drug wears off, users experience low moods due to the body’s inability to create dopamine as it once did. After repeated use a tolerance builds up requiring users are required to use more frequently to achieve the same euphoric high, they had in the beginning. This begins the cycle of using leading to opioid dependence.
Heroin withdrawal often feels like the flu. Usually, withdrawal symptoms begin 6 – 12 hours after the last dose. Heroin detox usually lasts 3 to 4 days, in more severe cases it can last as long as 7 to 10 days with milder but persistent conditions drag on longer. Length of heroin detox is based on a number of factors such as length and amount used. The CDC suggests anyone considering quitting heroin seek medical treatment by entering an addiction treatment program.
Some symptoms include:
- Nausea / Vomiting
- Muscle aches
While heroin detox is never fatal, it is painful enough that people often relapse to stop the pain.
Detox is the set of interventions used to manage the symptoms of withdrawal. Heroin detox will use methods to address physical and psychological complications while keeping you comfortable. Therapy and medication-assisted treatments help to ease withdrawal. In hospitals and inpatient detox, the professionals will manage the heroin withdrawal symptoms, which you will start experiencing a few hours after quitting. In the case of heroin detox, a person in treatment may be treated with buprenorphine (Suboxone), methadone, or naltrexone. These medications are used to suppress symptoms. In the detox level of care, you will receive 24-hour supervision by medical staff while under the care of a physician.