Heroin is a very addictive and illicit opiate that is processed from morphine, which is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the poppy plant. Heroin gives the user an intense euphoric rush followed by a state of sleepiness and wakefulness; it can be injected, snorted, or smoked. People often report getting addicted to heroin after their first use due to the intense high that it produces and repeated exposure to the drug can lead to both mental and physical addiction. Heroin addiction is often a result of an individual becoming addicted after being prescribed opiate pain relievers for an injury or surgical procedure. With the current laws that have been passed, it has become increasingly more difficult to get a prescription for opiates, so people will then turn to heroin to prevent the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that occur from opiate addiction. The National Institute of Health says:
Abuse of heroin and prescription opioids is a long-time concern in the United States. Opioids are also the most common group of drugs abused in places like Asia, Europe, and Oceania, and worldwide consumption of opioids is rapidly increasing. There are approximately 15.6 million illicit opioid users around the globe and the consumption of opioids is rapidly increasing. In 2016, an estimated 11.5 million Americans aged 12 years or older abused opioid pain medications. Of that, 1.8 million had substance use disorder resulting from prescribed pain medications. From 2000 through 2015, approximately 500,000 people died from opioid overdoses. Clinicians wrote 259 million prescriptions in 2012 for opioids, enough for every adult in the United States. (NIH)
Once a person has become addicted to heroin, abruptly stopping the drug causes severe and debilitating withdrawal symptoms.
What Are the Dangers of Quitting Heroin Cold Turkey?
Trying to quit heroin cold turkey can be dangerous. The physical withdrawal symptoms of heroin are often too much for a person to handle on their own. An individual may try to detox to quit and then end up relapsing because the symptoms are too hard to handle. Once a person quits heroin, their tolerance for the drug is lower, meaning that they need less of it to get high. Since they had a high tolerance before, they use the same amount of the drug as they did before they stopped, and it’s too much. This is what causes overdose and overdose deaths. Another danger from quitting heroin cold turkey is dehydration. Withdrawal from heroin can cause nausea and vomiting, and vomiting over some time can cause severe dehydration. Heroin withdrawal also leads to emotional instability from depression and anxiety and a lot of times it is severe enough to cause people to resort to self-harm, self-destructive behaviors, and even suicide. It is safer to detox from heroin in a medically supervised treatment environment where the individual can be monitored and given approved medications to help with the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Medical heroin detox in South Florida is the best way to safely get off this dangerous and addictive drug.
Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal
Heroin withdrawal can cause several different uncomfortable physical symptoms. Some of these symptoms can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle and bone pain
- Cold sweats
- Abdominal cramping and diarrhea
- Increasing tearing
- Runny nose
Withdrawal from heroin can also cause various psychological symptoms. Some of the psychological effects of heroin withdrawal are:
- Depression and anxiety
- Insomnia and restlessness
- Difficulty concentrating and finding pleasure
The symptoms of heroin withdrawal usually start within 12 hours of the person’s last use. Several factors can affect the withdrawal process including how much of the drug was taken for how long and also how the heroin was taken (snorted, injected, or smoked). The physical symptoms can last up to 10 days and normally peak around the second or third day. Psychological withdrawal symptoms last much longer and can sometimes linger for six months or longer.
Treatment for Heroin Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, our addiction specialists are available to assist you around the clock. Evoke Wellness Miramar offers cutting-edge addiction treatment. We offer a safe environment where our clients are treated with respect. We know detoxification isn’t an easy process, so our medical professionals provide the most comfortable experience possible. You do not have to suffer or be afraid any longer. We will take great care of you or a loved one during the heroin detox progress.