How Is Heroin Withdrawal Treated?

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Heroin withdrawal must be treated in a professional rehab facility in order for recovering addicts to safely navigate the withdrawal process. Call (800) 407-7195 now to find safe, reliable rehab centers where you can recover from addiction after being treated for withdrawal.

Professional Detox is Necessary

Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin withdrawal can be dangerous and requires professional treatment.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Withdrawal from [opioid] drugs on your own can be very hard and may be dangerous.” While the symptoms themselves are not considered to be life threatening, it is possible that the severity of the pain and discomfort you are likely to experience could lead you to relapse.

Therefore, you absolutely must attend a professional detox program of some sort, preferably one that will help you transition easily into an addiction treatment program.

Medications for Heroin Withdrawal

Withdrawal from heroin is usually treated with one of three medications. As stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “It is not recommended that clinicians attempt to manage significant opioid withdrawal symptoms without the effective detoxification agents discussed below.”

This is because opioid withdrawal symptoms, especially those associated with heroin abuse, can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. The deep muscle and bone pain and the flu-like symptoms often experienced by abusers are among some of the most intense effects.

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47,300* People Addicted
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*Statistic from 2015

The three types of heroin withdrawal medications are:

  • Clonidine: Clonidine is an antihypertensive agent that can reduce symptoms of anxiety, agitation, and cramping, as well as the flu-like and painful symptoms of heroin withdrawal. This medication does not treat cravings, nor does it minimize gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Methadone: Methadone is an opioid agonist that occupies the opioid receptors in the brain, keeping the individual who takes it from experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, including cravings. As long as methadone is taken at the right dosage, it will not become dangerous or cause euphoria.
  • Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that works much in the same way as methadone but has a lower potential for abuse because it is not a full agonist. In addition, it is usually paired in treatment with naloxone, which precipitates withdrawal in those who attempt to crush and snort it.

Preparations for Addiction Treatment

Most detox programs will prepare you for addiction treatment and assist you with your transition into this program. In many cases, the transition is more seamless this way because the rehab center provides both types of services, but it is very important that your detox program helps to prepare and move you forward into addiction treatment.

If you do not move on to addiction treatment itself after you withdraw from heroin, your detox will not be enough to keep you from relapsing back to drug abuse.

Seek Heroin Withdrawal and Addiction Treatment Now

You can begin your treatment with medically supervised detox and move on to addiction treatment as soon as possible by calling (800) 407-7195. We will help you find a program that will cater to your needs and allow you to safely recover from heroin abuse and its issues. Call now to find out your options.

the Take-Away

Treatment for heroin withdrawal often involves medications such as methadone to help alleviate uncomfortable symptoms and cravings.