This illegal drug is derived from morphine, which is derived from poppy plants and is highly addictive. Those addicted to heroin use it because it causes a euphoric state but it can also cause harmful effects on your body like lung complications, liver failure, and collapsed veins. When one addicted to heroin attempts to go off it and become drug free it can cause severe withdrawal symptoms like an intense craving for heroin, vomiting, depression and anxiety, and more. These withdrawal symptoms can start from seven to twenty-four hours after the last dose and may get worse between the second and fourth day of withdrawal. Because of the severity of withdrawal symptoms most heroin addicts will seek an addiction treatment inpatient center. Most of these centers have a thirty-ninety day program. It is hard to beat this addiction on your own so this is why most who really want to become clean seek inpatient addiction treatment.
In these centers the addiction treatment starts with detoxification and includes behavioral therapies. When a person detoxifies they are eliminating the toxins that are released by the heroin from their body. This can be done in one of three ways.
• Discontinue heroin use suddenly-with this method you will suffer severe withdrawal symptoms that could lead to the relapse of using heroin. If you are in an inpatient addiction treatment center they do have medications that will help you through this period and may help the withdrawal symptoms to not be as bad so they can be managed with less discomfort.
• Detox the body with medications-there are three medications that can be used for heroin addiction treatment. Methadone has a drawback, which is that some get addicted to it. Buprenorphine is thought to be safer with a less chance of addiction. Suboxone helps to give you less severe withdrawal symptoms. All three are used to help you taper off heroin and the dosage is gradually lowered and then stopped.
• Rapid detox-this is a controversial method in which the user is administered an opioid antagonist that will detox your body within a span of three hours. Normally it will take three to four days.
It is widely suggested that as part of the addiction treatment program, both inpatient and outpatient, that continual behavioral therapy programs be followed to help you stay off heroin. These can include cognitive and behavioral therapy and contingency management therapy. In most cases a person who is addicted to heroin will seek an addiction treatment program on their own when they really want to become clean but in some cases it may be court ordered. When the person is not considered an adult then the parents can have them put into a treatment plan.