For an addict who is not prepared, heroin detox can be a very unpleasant experience.
Addicts should receive proper education about the effects of heroin in order to understand what the detox process will entail. When dealing with withdrawal symptoms, knowing what to expect can be beneficial. Studies have indicated that 65 percent of heroin addicts who knew what the withdrawal symptoms would be got through the detox process with fewer problems than those who were unaware of the symptoms.
- The method in which the drug is used will have an effect on the detox process. Heroin users who inject the drug will have different withdrawal symptoms than addicts who smoke heroin.
- Injecting heroin will produce severe withdrawal symptoms while ingesting the drug will produce milder symptoms.
- Physical health plays a large role in detox. The healthier the addict is, the fewer withdrawal symptoms they will experience. There are many heroin addiction health effects that come along with the disease.
There are different methods of detox that are used for heroin addicts. Many of the methods can have medical risks associated with them and be unsafe and ineffective. A large majority of heroin addicts will have few medical problems during detox, but 18 percent of addicts will find their detox is ineffective or included medical complications.
There are three main methods of detox available for heroin addicts. Each person will respond differently to detox. Heroin addicts who find one method is ineffective have the option of using a different detox method.
- Methadone maintenance. This is the most common type of detox for heroin addicts. Over 75 percent of all heroin addicts will find this method to be effective. This is an outpatient detox in which the addict takes methadone in lieu of the heroin. They must go to a clinic or drug rehab to take the medication and are required to have frequent drug testing. After the first few weeks of treatment, about 60 percent of addicts will be able to take the medication home and avoid having to go to a clinic every day.
- Suboxone Treatment. This is one of the newest methods of heroin detox. Suboxone is a prescription medication that addicts can get from their physician. There is no need to go to clinics. This method of detox is effective in 90 percent of addicts who have a low-dose heroin addiction.
- Inpatient Treatment Facilities. About 35 percent of heroin addicts will not respond to medications and will benefit from an inpatient treatment program. Inpatient addicts will not be given a replacement drug that mimics the action of heroin. Instead, they will go through withdrawal symptoms and be given prescriptions to help them with the pains that are associated with withdrawal.
The first two methods are considered medical heroin detox while an inpatient detox is considered a natural form of detox.
When an addict is attempting to recover from a heroin addiction, the most important process is detox. This is when the chemical is removed from the body; it allows the addict to overcome their physical addiction to the substance. After the physical addiction is gone, addicts will have to address the mental and emotional conditions. Detox is the first step in addiction recovery. Heroin withdrawals can be severe and this is the main reason addicts relapse. An astounding 45 percent of heroin addicts will not complete the process of detox. The withdrawal symptoms are so severe that it is better to be addicted to the drug than to deal with the pain associated with detox and withdrawal.
Once an addict goes through detox, they can move on to the next steps in their treatment plan. More than 90 percent of addicts will benefit from counseling and therapy, either in a group setting or individually. Aside from overcoming the physical addiction to heroin, it is important for the addict to understand how the addiction was formed. Addiction treatment will also include teaching the addict how to cope with stressful situations so they do not turn to the drug as a coping mechanism. Research has shown that heroin addicts who are inpatient and successfully complete the detox process will have a lower chance of relapse and a higher likelihood of leading a drug-free life following their treatment. There are about 20 percent of addicts who will begin treatment multiple times and only 40 percent of these addicts will overcome their addiction completely and remain free of future addictions. Check here to find out more about heroin addiction facts.
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