Do I Need Heroin Detox
While heroin abuse rates have declined over the past two decades, heroin addictions continue to carry a high risk of serious long-term health problems, and even death. According to the Medical College of Wisconsin, on any given day, heroin users are seven to 10 times more likely to die than non-users of the same age. As stopping heroin use altogether marks the first step towards recovery, many addicts never make past this crucial first stage.
Brain and body functions suffer considerable damage with long-term heroin use. These effects leave a person with little to no resolve or willpower when trying to stop using. Heroin detox programs provide recovering addicts the care and treatment needed to make it through heroin detox and enter the next stage of the recovery process.
Brain Disease Effects of Heroin
Over time, heroin’s effects alter the overall structure of a person’s brain as well as the way it functions. Much of the damage caused by heroin takes place along the brain’s reward pathway. The reward pathway plays a pivotal role in a person’s learning processes by regulating dopamine chemical levels throughout the brain. Each time a person ingests heroin, massive quantities of dopamine automatically flow through the brain’s reward pathway. After a while, continued heroin use rewires this pathway and in effect assigns as much “importance” to heroin as it does food and water.
The overall effect of these changes drives a person to compulsively seek out and use heroin much like anyone would seek out and consume food and water. Heroin detox facilities are experienced in providing people with the medical care and treatment needed to help recovering addicts stop using and take back their lives from the grip of addiction. Without needed heroin detox treatment, the effects of heroin on the brain make it all but impossible to stop using heroin for any length of time.
Opiate Withdrawal Syndrome
Once the body becomes dependent on heroin, tolerance levels continue to rise for as long as a person uses. If the body’s need for heroin goes unmet, a person will experience the start of the opiate withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms associated with this condition include:
- Achy or painful muscles
- Problems sleeping
- Nausea and vomiting
Heroin detox treatment provides a form of medication therapy designed to alleviate symptoms of opiate withdrawal syndrome. A person’s chances of successfully stopping heroin use decrease considerably without the support and care provided through heroin detox programs.
Potential for Relapse
Attempts to stop using heroin on one’s own can easily result in relapse episodes considering the effects of heroin on the mind and body. As the body’s tolerance levels will decrease during abstinence periods, any relapse episodes can easily result in overdose. For heroin and other opiate drugs, overdose is the number one cause of death from using these drugs.
Heroin detox treatment provides a safe environment where recovering addicts are monitored around the clock. Using medication therapies and intensive counseling work, heroin detox programs give recovering addicts the best chance of remaining drug-free for the long-term.