If you are one of the 600,000 plus that struggle with heroin and opiates addiction and are in need of help, you are not alone and help is available for you.
Opiates are narcotics that affect the central nervous system and brain by blocking the opioid receptors. The opioid receptors are responsible for blocking pain and inducing a feeling of euphoria. Heroin is an opiate along with vicodin, morphine, oxycontin and percocet and like those drugs, there is a potential for dependency. Heroin is derived from morphine and when it is used it converts back to morphine in the brain. While heroin is an opiate, most of the time when we use the term opiate it is referring to prescription pain killers like vicodin, percocet, morphine, oxycontin and others.
Heroin use and opiate use in general, comes with a particular set of side effects that most users experience, the most common and severe being constipation. Most opiate and heroin users reported painful and hard stools. Other side effects with opiate and heroin drug use are dry mouth, tremors, insomnia, dizziness and drowsiness, low blood pressure, abdominal pain, muscle spasms, circulatory collapse, heart attack, confusion, anxiety, depression and coma.Â The most pleasant side effect is the euphoria experienced.
Medical detox from heroin and opiate addiction is encouraged as there may be significant withdrawal symptoms and quitting cold turkey can be extremely unpleasant depending on the amount of the drugs you have been using, how often you have been using them and how long you have been using heroin and opiates. Withdrawal symptoms may include: diarrhea, flu like symptoms, abdominal cramps, sweating, muscle and bone pain, nausea and vomiting, anxiety and irritability.
Outpatient medical detox is an opportunity for you to self report to a clinic or doctorâ€™s office to receive medication to help you detox at home and it lets you continue your daily routine. Subutex, suboxone and methadone are the drugs most often used in outpatient detox. All three of these drugs are considered opiate replacement, and contain opiates. So in effect, you are exchanging one drug for another. When used as a temporary medication to alleviate withdrawal symptoms they can be quite effective.
The problem with outpatient detox is that many physicians prescribe these drugs as long term replacement therapy which is dangerous and unnecessary. Many individuals believe they need these drugs long term, and continue taking them for several months or years. There is a high rate of opiate and heroin relapse for these people. Those who go in and out of opiate detox and bounce back and forth between opiates and replacement therapy are at a much greater risk for accidental overdose and death.
Inpatient detox allows the heroin or opiate user to check into a detox facility and get the help they need while resting. Traditional hospital detox and IV therapy private medical detox are the most often used, but there are vast differences between the two.
Hospital detox generally places their patients in psychiatric units or puts them on lockdown, where IV therapy medical detox offers private rooms for their patients to detox. Hospital detox uses oral medication that in seen as being much less effective at reducing the withdrawal symptoms for patients. IV therapy medical detox uses the intravenous method, which allows the physician to make adjustments to the medication as the withdrawal symptoms change which keeps the patient comfortable.
Once you have successfully completed detox, you may want to enroll in a program that can help you rebuild your life; and seek long term solutions to your substance use problems. St. Jude Retreats features a cognitive behavioral education program that takes guests through a process where they are able to analyze their thoughts, motivations, choices and behaviors. This enables them to identify areas of their life they want to change so they can develop behaviors and habits that are productive, positive and purposeful. Our guests discover that they can have a life that is permanently free from heroin and opiate addiction.