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Heroin Detoxification

Over the course of the past several years, heroin abuse and addiction have become major health-related concerns throughout the United States. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that in the year 2017 alone, roughly 948,000 Americans admitted to using heroin. The same report concluded that the number of people meeting the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) criteria for heroin dependence during 2016 was roughly 626,000. This number had increased from 214,000 in 2002. Heroin abuse and dependence is most common amongst 18-25 year olds. From 2008 to 2012, treatment admissions for heroin abuse among men and women in this age group increased from 11 percent to 26 percent.

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At CuraWest we specialize in treating heroin abuse and dependence disorders. Our comprehensive and highly individualized detox program is geared towards pain-free and efficient withdrawal. The symptoms of heroin withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable and potentially dangerous if left untreated. At CuraWest, we treat psychological, physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms simultaneously, making for an integrated and effective detox experience quite unlike any other. We specialize in treating men and women who have been through detox beforehand, but have not managed to stay sober for an extended period of time afterwards. Our program of clinical care is truly unmatched, and cannot be found in any state-run facility or traditional hospital setting.

About Heroin

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heroin is an addictive and illegal opioid narcotic – one that often leads to serious health-related complications, including overdose and overdose-related death. Heroin is derived from morphine, a naturally occurring opiate, and reduced to a brown or white powder or a dark, sticky substance known as “black tar.” In most cases, individuals who use heroin will either snort or inject the substance. However, over the course of the past several years, intravenous heroin abuse has been on the rise countrywide. Once heroin is ingested (by any means) it rapidly enters the brain, and binds to opioid receptors on cells throughout the body. These cells regulate feelings of pain and pleasure and control numerous bodily functions including sleep, heart rate and breathing.

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When it comes to heroin use, there are numerous short and long-term effects. Some short-term effects include dry mouth, a heavy feeling in the arms and legs, severe itching or flushing of the skin, nausea and vomiting, “nodding out” – moving in between consciousness and semi-consciousness, and an inability to function at a normal cognitive capacity. These symptoms will take hold shortly after an individual ingests the chemical substance, and they will begin to wear off in several hours.

Long-term effects of heroin use include:

  • Insomnia and other sleep-related issues
  • Severe stomach cramping and chronic constipation
  • Sexual dysfunction for men and a change in menstruation for women
  • Collapsed veins resulting from intravenous drug use
  • Heart infection (infection of the heart valves and lining)
  • Chronic pneumonia and other lung-related issues and complications
  • Skin issues like abscesses and scarring
  • Psychological issues, most commonly depression or moderate anxiety

If you have been suffering at the hands of heroin addiction and have begun to experience some of the long-term effects, CuraWest is available to help. Our comprehensive detox program not only works to treat the symptoms of withdrawal, but it effectively treats all of the symptoms associated with long-term heroin abuse and dependence.

Heroin Addiction – Signs and Symptoms

When it comes to heroin addiction, there are numerous signs and symptoms to look for. If you are unsure as to whether or not your loved one is suffering at the hands of a heroin addiction, call us at any time of day – our team of treatment advisors is happy to help you determine which symptoms to keep an eye out for, and whether or not medically monitored detox is a logical next step.

The most common signs and symptoms of heroin addiction include:

  • Ongoing gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting and constipation
  • Slowed or irregular breathing/respiratory depression
  • An inability to speak clearly/slurred speech
  • “Nodding off” or falling asleep seemingly without warning
  • Small and constricted pupils
  • Track marks on the inner arms/bruising on the inner arms
  • Mood swings and increased irritability
  • Dishonesty and other means of deceptive behavior
  • A significant loss of motivation or desire to participate in activities that were previously enjoyed
  • A decreased performance at school or at work, often marked by increased absences and a lack of motivation
  • A withdrawal from loved ones and an obvious avoidance of friends and family members
  • Psychological symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Decreased attention paid to personal hygiene
  • Financial issues, which could be marked by an increased need to “borrow” money or involvement in illegal activities like stealing

If you believe that your loved one is suffering at the hands of a heroin abuse disorder, give us a call at CuraWest. We are available 24/7 at (303) 710-8839 where a Treatment Advisor is standing by for you. The first step on every road to long-term heroin addiction recovery is medically monitored detox. While the symptoms of withdrawal are not generally life-threatening, they can be so physically uncomfortable that they lead an individual back to heroin use before the detox process has even concluded.

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Heroin Withdrawal – Signs and Symptoms

Most individuals who have gone through heroin withdrawal liken the symptoms to those of a bad flu. The US National Library of Medicine explains that cutting back on heroin after even a few weeks of use will result in a wide range of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms associated with heroin withdrawal are broken down into two categories – early withdrawal and late withdrawal.

The early stage of heroin withdrawal will typically begin within the first several hours of the last use, and include:

  • Agitation and irritability
  • Mild to moderate anxiety
  • Runny nose
  • Profuse sweating
  • Mild to moderate muscle aches and pains
  • Stomach cramping
  • Yawning and watery eyes
  • Insomnia

The late stages of heroin withdrawal will take hold around 12 hours after the final use, and will last for up to two weeks. However, if these symptoms are adequately treated in a medical detox facility, they will be resolved far more quickly.

The late stage symptoms include:

  • Severe abdominal cramping
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Intense headaches 
  • Severe anxiety, sometimes marked by panic attacks
  • Cold sweats, uncontrollable shaking and body tremors 
  • Insomnia and other sleep-related issues 
  • Severe depression, which can lead to suicidal ideation
  • General feelings of restlessness and discomfort 

These symptoms can be uncomfortable – but heroin withdrawal does not have to be a painful and unpleasant experience. At CuraWest we are dedicated to providing our clients with a completely pain-free detox. Not only was our home-style retreat designed with client comfort in mind, but our team of compassionate professionals works together to ensure that each individual client is receiving the quality clinical care that he or she both needs and undeniably deserves.

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Why is Medical Detox Necessary?

When it comes to heroin withdrawal, medical detox is always necessary. This is partially because Medication Assisted Treatment is generally utilized as part of a comprehensive heroin detox program. At CuraWest, we believe that MAT can benefit clients in numerous ways. Not only do some medications alleviate symptoms of heroin withdrawal almost completely, but they effectively combat the psychological cravings that lead many men and women to relapse before the recovery process has come to an end. Some of the medications we utilize in the treatment of heroin withdrawal include suboxone, clonidine and other comfort medications. These medications are far safer than opioid narcotics, but they save the same basic internal function by attaching to opioid receptors within the brain. At CuraWest we always utilize MAT as a short-term solution, and we believe that medication, when used, should always be part of a more comprehensive detox program – one that includes other methods of healing as well, such as therapy and holistic modalities.

Our Simple Admissions Process

Our admissions process is simple, straightforward and completely stress-free. All you have to do is give us a call and we will do the rest – from free, no-obligation insurance benefit checks to the development of viable and stress-free travel plans. To learn more, give us a call today at (303) 710-8839.