Once someone has grown dependent on heroin, attempting heroin detox in Nashville can be an uncomfortable, even painful experience. As prolonged use of heroin creates changes at the chemical level in the brain. In turn, these impact behaviors and emotions, making someone put the drug before everything else in their life.
At Detox Nashville, our goal is to help those struggling with heroin addiction. Fortunately, we can encourage them to make it through the difficult withdrawal stage of recovery as comfortably as possible.
What is Heroin Addiction?
When heroin enters the brain—either through intravenous injection, inhaled, or smoked—it is converted back into morphine, binding to the brain and body’s opioid receptors. These opioid receptors govern the perception of pain and reward, which is why using heroin increases pleasurable feelings and decreases pain.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
It is highly advised that one undergoes heroin detox while under professional medical supervision. Attempting solo withdrawal can be dangerous, posing a high risk of relapse. Some common symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Emotional difficulties (agitation, hopelessness, despair)
- Anxiety and depression
- Increased heart rate
- Restlessness and fatigue
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle and joint aches/pains
- Lack of appetite
- Runny nose
- Intense cravings for heroin
It should be noted that heroin withdrawal alone isn’t considered life-threatening. Rather, it is the combination of symptoms that can lead to fatal consequences. The severity of heroin withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the physical makeup of the person using heroin, how much was being used, which other drugs were being used, and the method of use.
Heroin Detox and Withdrawal Timeline
The following is an approximate timeline for heroin detox and withdrawal. However, this timeline is an approximation because each person will experience symptoms and recovery differently:
- Eight to 24 hours: Symptoms start to be felt within hours of the last use. This can result in excessive sweating and body aches.
- 24 to 36 hours: Symptoms intensify, heightening the risk of psychological and physical complications connected to drug withdrawal.
- Days four through six: Heroin withdrawal feels better at this point as heroin continues to leave the system, but for some long-term users, or those with other health complications, certain effects can linger.
- Day seven and beyond: Most of the more intense withdrawal symptoms have subsided. This is when therapy can begin in earnest.
What Happens During Heroin Detox in Nashville, TN?
Heroin detox eliminates all the toxins and chemicals that have built up in the system through extended heroin use. Detox is the necessary “first step” on the path to addiction recovery. In fact, detox brings the body into a substance-free state before someone begins recovery.
Upon entering heroin detox in Nashville, clients undergo an initial health assessment. This will help determine the severity of the addiction. Our staff also checks for any co-occurring conditions such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. Next, we admit clients to our detox program. Here, our staff provides 24/7 medical and psychological support as they undergo the detox process.
Heroin Detox Medications
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for heroin withdrawal is a research-supported treatment approach. It has been proven safe and effective in helping people achieve a successful recovery from heroin addiction. As well, this therapy type helps with prescription opioid addiction and alcoholism.
Those undergoing MAT for heroin addiction take prescription medications. This ends their heroin use safely, without the painful withdrawal symptoms typical of kicking the habit. However, MAT is not some “silver bullet” cure for heroin addiction. Those taking medications for their withdrawal symptoms must also go to therapy sessions.
This helps them develop the skills needed to resist relapse. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorse the best use of medications during detox and recovery.
The four medications utilized by Detox Nashville to reduce or minimize the symptoms of heroin withdrawal are:
Methadone is an opioid used for pain relief, addiction treatment, and the maintenance of opiate dependence. Additionally, it is a combination drug containing dextropropoxyphene and naloxone, active ingredients found in Naloxone (Narcan). Methadone binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. As a result, this produces a pain-relieving effect that is similar to heroin and other opioids.
Naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids like heroin and fentanyl by blocking the opioid receptors in the central nervous system. (It does not block the effect of alcohol or marijuana.) For example, if a person uses heroin while taking naltrexone, they won’t experience heroin’s pleasurable effects. The brand name medications containing naltrexone include Revia and Vivitrol.
Buprenorphine is a “partial opioid agonist,”. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, but does not activate them. In fact, this prevents drug cravings and other withdrawal symptoms that would normally occur when a person stops using opioids. For this reason, it has been proven effective in treating opioid dependence. Buprenorphine is included in several brand-name medications, including Suboxone, Subutex, Bunavail, Zubsolv, and Cassipa.
Clonidine is a “centrally acting alpha-agonist”. It is effective in countering high blood pressure and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In addition to lowering the heart rate, it reduces heroin withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, muscle aches, restlessness, sweating, as well as a runny nose. Clonidine cannot curb heroin cravings, but it can reduce its intensity. Lastly, the brand-named version of Clonidine, Kapvay, comes in an extended-release tablet.
Benefits of Our Heroin Detox in Nashville, TN
Some people living with a heroin addiction might feel tempted to detox at home for several reasons. They can include cost, a negative stigma, and ongoing work, school, or family obligations. Nevertheless, heroin detox without medical supervision can be ineffective and even dangerous.
At Nashville Detox, many different tools are available to help you detox safely, with fewer uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. All in all, with more detox tools available, someone has a better chance of remaining sober.
Here are just a few of the benefits of our medically supervised detox:
- A safe environment. Medically-supervised detox happens in a safe environment, where participants cannot access addictive substances. This eliminates the risk of immediate relapse.
- Round-the-clock care. Throughout a person’s time in detox, they receive constant care and monitoring from a team of skilled professionals.
- Evidence-based services. Medically supervised detox incorporates research-supported techniques and best practices to prevent relapse and cope with withdrawal.
- Compassionate support. The professionals of Nashville Detox treat all clients with dignity and compassion.
Change Your Life With Heroin Detox in Nashville, TN
If you or someone you care about has a problem with heroin, it may be time to seek professional help. At Detox Nashville, addiction treatment specialists work with clients to assess their situation and craft individualized treatment plans that will suit their needs. Last but not least, we also use holistic methods to help heal the entire person. Insurance like BlueCross BlueShield and UnitedHealthcare can help cover costs.
Contact us today and we will be happy to answer your questions.