Among younger Americans, heroin abuse has doubled in the last decade. The term “opioid crisis” barely conveys the seriousness of the emergency. Heroin addiction endangers more than 600,000 Americans, a number that does not take into account other opioid addictions. Approximately 15,000 die in this country every year from a heroin overdose.
Heroin, one of the most addictive substances there is, ruins lives and ends them. At Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge (PAATC), we do not want you or anyone you love to become a statistic. If you’re over the age of 18, our heroin detox in Rehrersberg, PA can help you. Please reach out if you have any concerns at all about heroin addiction. You can use our simple online form or call to speak to someone immediately at 844.442.8673.
3 Advantages of Heroin Detox before Rehab
Detox is the period of physical withdrawal when all remnants of the drug accumulated in the body are released. Patients who have been dependent or addicted for a long time can experience life-threatening side effects during withdrawal. Even when that is not the case, we advise medical professionals’ close supervision in a residential detox program.
Three key benefits to professionally supervised heroin detox are safety, symptom mitigation, and success:
- Safety: Medical supervision allows for quick adjustments in care based on the individual’s experience. Furthermore, there will be no possible access to the drug, which would endanger safety mid-detox.
- Symptom mitigation: Professionally administered medications and other treatments will lessen the painful and disorienting side effects of withdrawal.
- Success: Inpatient, medically monitored detox correlates with better long-term recovery outcomes.
Detox is only the first step of recovery from heroin addiction, but it is necessary. You cannot attain sobriety without it. A successful detox is a significant achievement, and PAATC’s professional staff wants to help you get there.
How Does Heroin Impact the Brain?
Heroin operates in the brain by flooding the dopamine receptors and artificially creating a euphoric high. The brain of someone dependent or addicted becomes accustomed to the drug and will no longer experience the effects unless they take higher doses. Soon, the brain cannot produce its own dopamine, and the person who is addicted can only experience pleasure when they use the drug.
Prolonged use or high dosages results in changes to the brain’s structure and physiology. For example, the loss of white matter within the brain causes a decline in the ability to make decisions, regulate behavior, or respond to stress.
There are more than 30 serious effects of heroin addiction, including:
- Chronic pneumonia
- Liver disease
- Heart infections
- Kidney disease
- Suppressed immune system
Withdrawal symptoms range in severity in accordance with the level of dependence and duration of abuse. They are extremely unpleasant. Fear of the process is often enough to keep people who wish to stop using drugs from reaching out for help. Heroin withdrawal begins as soon as the drug is withheld, with symptoms appearing within six to ten hours. Symptoms typically peak on the third day and subside gradually between days five and seven.
Side-Effects of Heroin Detox
Withdrawal from heroin involves numerous physical symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Excessive sweating
- Violent tremors
- Muscle cramps and spasms
- Intense drug cravings
Withdrawal is dangerous, which is why you should undertake it under supervision. At PAATC, we have a detox treatment center specifically for heroin withdrawal.
Heroin Detox and Addiction Treatment
Once the acute detoxification period is over—usually in a week or two—it’s time to start thinking about that next step. It’s important to stay motivated and committed to making lasting changes in order to avoid relapse. The best way to achieve long-term recovery from heroin addiction is through comprehensive treatment that includes counseling, therapy, and aftercare.
Counseling helps individuals understand the impact of their addiction on themselves and others, and teaches them techniques to manage cravings. Therapy can take many forms: individual, family, group or a combination of all three. It often addresses underlying issues that may have contributed to the initial use of heroin to help the individual address and cope with them in healthier ways. Aftercare includes support groups, 12-step programs, sober living arrangements, etc., and can provide much-needed accountability to ensure continued success.
The road to recovery is often challenging, but with a supportive network of family and friends, comprehensive treatment, and commitment to lifelong recovery, it is possible to live a life free from drug abuse.
Get the Help You Need at PAATC
Our faith- and evidence-based recovery programs start with detox and usher you through the entire recovery journey based on your individual needs, lifestyle, and health status. Professional staff members expertly and compassionately guide you through each step. We do not treat those under the age of 18, but any teens and adults over this age are welcome to contact us to get support.