Being aware of the components of the heroin rehab timeline can be helpful in convincing people with heroin addiction to quit drug use and work on recovering. Whether their heroin use is regular or done in binges, misuse can cause dependency on the drug.
When dealing with heroin addiction, some people may not want to go through detox and start on their recovery journey because they know that they will experience possibly life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. However, those symptoms can be eased by depending on medical detox before attending a heroin addiction treatment program. If you or someone you love is looking for heroin rehab options in Ohio, call Midwest Detox Center at 833.647.0392 or contact our team online to find out more about our services and programs.
Understanding the Heroin Rehab Timeline
Heroin rehab typically starts with a patient’s detox and withdrawal. After that, patients can attend an addiction treatment program and receive further aftercare instructions.
Detox will bring about varied psychological and physical symptoms of withdrawal. These can vary in intensity and frequency, and not all patients will experience the same symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can arise within six hours after the last heroin dose, peaking within one to three days before subsiding in five days to a week.
However, some patients will experience withdrawal symptoms for many weeks or months after their last heroin dose. Experts call this condition post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). Lasting symptoms can include:
- Increased anxiety
- Memory loss
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Poor concentration
- Poor sleep
Not all heroin addiction treatment programs are the same. Medical teams will often follow personalized plans for each patient. They will design these based on heroin use history, medical records, and other essential details. The duration and format of a patient’s addiction treatment program will depend on their customized plan for treatment.
After attending an addiction treatment program, a patient should also receive a customized rehab aftercare plan from the program’s medical team. This plan will rely on a patient’s progress and responsiveness to their addiction treatment.
What to Expect From Heroin Detox
Patients should expect heroin withdrawal to be an uncomfortable process, especially if they’re going through it without professional help. It will often feel like they’re going through a terrible case of the flu.
Going through heroin detox will most likely bring about bouts of great physical discomfort. Common symptoms include:
- Runny nose
More severe symptoms that could arise include breathing difficulties, depression, fever, increased anxiety, and insomnia. A challenging symptom to deal with is extreme heroin cravings. However, it is important to ignore this feeling and focus on recovering instead.
Medications Involved in Heroin Addiction Treatment
Some detox programs will be able to offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in the form of prescribed drugs. These medications can ease heroin cravings, such as:
- Buprenorphine: This drug is usually prescribed for people going through heroin detox. Buprenorphine can help reduce the discomfort due to physical symptoms like muscle aches and vomiting. It also lowers heroin cravings.
- Methadone: This medication is a low-strength opiate that is slow-acting. Methadone can prevent severe withdrawal symptoms and taper patients off heroin.
- Naltrexone: This medication can block brain receptors that react to heroin and other opioids and is not sedating or addictive. However, Naltrexone works best for those that have already completed the detox process.
Detoxing with professional help will also give patients access to medical supervision and nutritional support. If a patient has mental or emotional health issues during detox, the supervising medical team may also refer them to appropriate healthcare professionals that can help.
What to Expect From Heroin Addiction Treatment Programs
For most patients who have gone through heroin detox, the period afterward can leave them feeling uncomfortable. Most will also constantly experience intense heroin cravings. Going through a heroin addiction treatment program after detox can provide foundational support for patients. It can help them avoid relapsing during this time.
Behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency management can be typical components of heroin addiction treatment programs. The former focuses on helping patients change behaviors and thoughts that may help develop habits that support drug use. On the other hand, contingency management recompenses patients for staying heroin-free with vouchers that they can exchange for desired rewards.