Opiate Treatment Services
Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center
Heroin is an illegal opioid drug. It is also classified as an opiate because it is derived from the opium poppy plant. Common known opiates are morphine and codeine. The term opioid is used to refer to both these natural drugs as well as their synthetic relatives.
There are many synthetic opioids, but the most common forms are hydrocodone, oxycodone, and methadone. Most of these drugs have similar effects to a person’s brain chemistry but in varying degrees and durations.
These drugs can be effective in treating pain, which has led to their pharmaceutical use. However, the side effects of their long term use and chemical dependency is quite problematic. Their potential for recreational abuse is tremendous. For the most part, they are not intended for long term use, but people fall into the trap of using them habitually at large doses.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that approximately 80% of people who struggle with heroin addiction began their addiction by misusing prescription opioids. NIDA also states that 30% of the people who are prescribed opioids abuse them. And they say 10% of people who are prescribed opioids develop opioid use disorder (OUD). OUD is a mental health issue in which opioids like heroin become so problematic that they interfere with daily life.
In OUD, users have developed irresponsible behaviors that directly correlate to their usage of opioids. Addicts will have social, psychological, and physical problems not only relating to themselves but also family members, friends, coworkers, and associates. They might give up valuable items, their bodies, past favorite activities, and anything else just to use and feel “normal.”
Habitual use of opioids, and especially heroin, change the way an addict’s brain works. The nerve receptors in their brain will become dependent on the influx of opioids to function properly. When a user becomes dependent on opioids, they will be unable to stop taking them or decrease their dosage without experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal.
Heroin Detox and Withdrawal
Opioids like heroin build a physical dependence in a matter of weeks. The symptoms of withdrawal from heroin are intensely unpleasant:
- Unrest and unpleasant thoughts
- Anxiety and depression
- Muscle aches and an increased chance of tearing them
- Fever and cold sweats
- Inability to sleep despite fatigue
- Restless leg syndrome
- Abdominal cramping
- Nausea and vomiting
This brutal reality, in addition to the intense cravings, make relapse on heroin or other opioids common. Most heroin and opioid addicts are familiar with the early stages of withdrawal, as they will often experience them when they run out of drugs. But these symptoms don’t progress to their peak until 3 to 5 days after the last use. At that point, it’s common for recovering addicts to involuntarily stay awake for days due to extreme discomfort.
In rare situations, chemical dependency becomes so strong that opioid withdrawal can actually be fatal. That’s how severe they are. Addicts who have felt the wrath of heroin withdrawal most commonly fear going “cold turkey” — completely ceasing use without tapering down dosage or using other medications.
It highly recommended that a person with heroin addiction go through professionally supervised detox. Under supervision and care at heroin detox centers like ours in Orange County, addicts can receive all the health care they need throughout the detoxification process.
Our Laguna Niguel Heroin detox
A progressive detox program is the foundation for a successful long term recovery. SoCal Sunrise Recovery Center’s Laguna Niguel heroin detox program utilizes the latest in evidence-based resources and medicine. We do this to make the detoxification process as comfortable, safe, and effective as possible.
The timeline for an opioid detox typically lasts about a week. This process can sometimes take longer if there are medical complications or if other substances are being abused along with heroin. Use of longer-lasting opioids can increase the duration of the detox period as well.
We offer what is known as a medication-assisted detox. In this type of detox, trained professionals will administer medications such as buprenorphine, naltrexone, or methadone. They are opioids but lack the euphoric effects of abused opioids like heroin. Buprenorphine is commonly paired with naloxone (known as brand name Suboxone) to counter all euphoric feelings produced by buprenorphine. Naltrexone works similarly to naloxone in that they work to block highs caused by opioid use.
With extreme euphoria lacking, users can eventually get used to a more normal lifestyle. They can more quickly get back to things that previously brought them joy and keep their mental capacity up. And they can more easily participate in physical activity again — an essential part of our process here at SoCal Sunrise.
This medication-assisted treatment is important in starting heroin recovery on the right path. With the chemical dependency issues mostly taken care of through monitored medications, our team of addiction treatment experts can start fixing underlying problems with addiction.
At our Laguna Niguel heroin detox, our team has been trained to give top-notch individual care and guide group therapy to improve behavioral and mental health. We’re all about motivation and affection. We’ve helped many kick their heroin habit, and we love being part of their recoveries.
If you or a loved need to safely detox drug and alcohol addiction such as heroin addiction, contact Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center Today. Let’s get started on a personalized treatment plan today!