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The Treatment Helpline

For The Addict

Although you may not have realized it, the hardest step to recovery is over-- recognizing and admitting you are suffering from heroin addiction. You may have gone through some hard times with the people you love, and may have compromised yourself and your well being for some time now, but thats all in the past. Your future starts today and The Heroin Helpline is here with the tools and resources you need to repair those relationships and, most importantly, set you up on the fast track to a healthy, and happier you.

What is inpatient vs outpatient care?

Your body and mind are, both, about to go through a transformation that is going to allow you live a long, healthy life with strong relationships and a an even greater will to live. These transformations can seem difficult to manage alone, but you’re not alone. The Heroin Helpline is here 24/7 to answer any questions you may have, and help you find a program and facility that fits your needs and will deliver the help that you deserve. Depending on the severity of your addiction, we will help you figure out whether an inpatient or outpatient program is best for you.

For The Addict

Inpatient Facilities: These programs require you to enter into a treatment facility for anywhere from 30 to 90 days. Here you will be given all of the resources needed as well as round-the-clock supervision from professional staff.

Outpatient Clinics: These programs are designed for you to go through at home. The specific program varies from clinic to clinic with only requiring the development of a plan with an intake counselor and others requiring weekly or daily check-ins, therapy sessions, group meetings, etc. Outpatient programs provide the same guidance as an inpatient program, but do not provide round-the-clock supervision.

While the option for both inpatient and outpatient treatments exist, it is highly recommended that anyone suffering from a heroin addiction go through an inpatient program. The body undergoes intense withdrawal symptoms during the detox process and should be monitored by professional staff. Once the detox process is over, inpatient treatment is still highly recommended for psychotherapy in order to decrease the chance of a relapse.

What happens during the detox process?

The detox process is the first step after recognizing your addiction and the second step on the journey to recovery. When you become addicted to heroin, your body becomes dependent on the routine amount of the drug that you would intake on a daily basis. Once you stop feeding your body heroin, it starts to go through withdrawal. Detox is this process of your body suffering from withdrawal symptoms while your body rids itself of the heroin and toxins built up from excessive use. This process can take anywhere from 3 to 5 days, or even up to a week or more in more severe cases.

What are the withdrawal symptoms of Heroin?

Because the excretion of heroin is more gradual than other drugs, symptoms of withdrawal can be recurring over long periods of time and can cause users pain and discomfort.

Withdrawal Symptoms include:

  • Extreme cravings: Your body is searching for the high that attracted you to heroin in the first place, or it is seeking a temporary fix from the other withdrawal symptoms you are facing causing you to crave more.

  • Mood changes (depression, anxiousness, irritability, restlessness): Because your body has been fed an unnatural euphoria at higher doses than naturally produced, once taken away, your body longs for that feeling again sending you into a depressed, anxious, or irritable nature.

  • Body aches and pains: Heroin helps prevent the body from experiencing the feeling of pain, so once you stop using the drug, you become more sensitive to pain.

  • Stomach pain and/or diarrhea; excessive sweat, tears, and/or runny nose; nausea and vomiting: These symptoms are the most common and discomforting of heroin withdrawal, and are caused by the process of the body naturally balancing itself out.

Are there different types of Heroin detox?

There are a few detox options you can choose from, but all options are medical detoxes. This means that you are given a specific, non-addictive drug that will help comfort you from the potentially severe withdrawal symptoms of heroin. These medications are prescribed at a high dosage and are progressively decreased until your body is completely tapered off from the drug. These detox methods include:

For The Addict
  • Rapid Detox: During this process, the patient is asleep under general anesthesia and is injected with medications known as opiate blockers. Opiate blockers stop the action of opiate drugs in the body. In combination with opiate blockers, patients are also injected with medication to help reduce the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. This causes a rapid withdrawal and the detox lasts anywhere from 4-8 hours. This method can help those who have severe withdrawal symptoms or have tried and failed at conventional opiate withdrawal processes. This process is costly and must be done at a medical facility under the supervision of medical professionals.

  • Stepped Rapid Detox: During this process, small doses of the drug Narcan is in injected just under the skin and the drug naltrexone is orally taken every hour. Other medications are given to patients to help with the withdrawal symptoms that they may face. This process does not rid the body of opiates as quickly as the rapid detox method, but there is less of a need for medication to manage withdrawal symptoms.

  • Ultra Rapid Detox: This is the quickest of the opiate detox methods and a patient can be detoxified within 5-30 minutes. The ultra rapid detox method is extremely painful, so patients are again put under general anesthesia. The drug Naltrexone is given to the patient which blocks their endorphin receptors. Blocking the endorphin receptors is what speeds up the detox process and eliminates the physical dependence quicker. Like the Rapid Detox method, this method is costly and must be done at a medical facility under the supervision of medical professionals.

  • Methadone Detox: The Methadone detox method is the most common method used for patients addicted to opiates. This method is done in approved clinics and patients are given doses of medication that are tapered down for a period of 21 days until completely off the drug. Withdrawal symptoms surface during this method and other medications are prescribed to help to subdue these symptoms.

While most of these detoxes require you to be admitted into a facility, the methadone detox can, but is not recommended, be done at home. It is highly recommended that all detox processes be monitored by health professionals to ensure you the most comfortable detox possible. Also, being admitted into a facility will allow you to escape the environment you were once in that may trigger a relapse. Cravings are one of the most common symptoms and the hardest to bare. By admitting yourself into a facility, you will not be exposed to the environment that will allow you to succome to these cravings.

DO NOT undergo any home detox without consulting a professional. Call The Heroin Helpline to talk to representative and find out if a home detox is right for you. We are here 24/7 and want to make sure you undergo the proper detox process to ensure you a proper recovery.

What happens after the detox process?

Going through detox eliminates the physical dependency the body develops, but addiction is much more than just a physical dependence, it is also mental. Once the physical dependence of heroin is gone, it is imperative that you undergo psychotherapy to cope with the mental dependence caused from addiction. In more cases than none, the physiological dependence is stronger than the physical. For reasons all your own, you started using and abusing heroin, and as a result trained both your mind and body to believe that it was needed on a routine basis. Your behaviors need to be modified, your ways of coping with stress need to be altered, and the underlying psychological and emotional issues that brought you to use need to be addressed. More importantly, psychotherapy will allow you to see life in a new perspective, and believe in your future free of addiction.

The type of therapy varies by facility but The Heroin Helpline is here to help you figure out what type of therapy program is best for you and recommend a facility that will give you the resources you desire. These resources include:

For The Addict
  • Communication Classes
  • One-on-One Counseling
  • Group Therapy
  • Skill Classes
  • Art Therapy
  • Voluntary Religious Worship
  • Nutrition
  • Yoga
  • Physical Fitness
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage Therapy
  • Meditation

Our representatives are here to answer any questions you may have regarding these types of therapies and help you figure out which is best for you!

My treatment is over. What happens next?

During your treatment, you will develop a post-rehab plan that will ensure you a lifetime of sobriety. It has been proven that by staying connected through one-on-one counseling or support groups, your chance of relapsing is decreased substantially. Here at The Heroin Helpline, we want you to understand that recovery is an on going process and something you will have to work for everyday. It is important that you establish a strong support group within your friends and family; one that will be there for you if you ever need counseling outside of therapy sessions. Separating yourself from relationships and environments that were once part of your addiction is imperative to your recovery.

You made it through the darkest part of your life, and a new life is waiting here with open arms. Embrace it and allow yourself to live a life free of addiction and full of love.

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