What to Do When You’re Craving Heroin
Addiction to heroin is a tough battle, and for many heroin-addicted individuals, their struggle to quit heroin is extraordinarily complex. Heroin is an opioid drug, which means that when a person uses it for months, and most often many years, they become physically dependent on it. Physical dependency on opioids causes a person to experience severe withdrawal symptoms that cannot be tolerated without medications. Heroin withdrawal symptoms begin with flu-like symptoms that quickly get worse the longer they do not use more heroin or other opioid drugs. The onset of opioid withdrawal symptoms also begins in as few as four hours after the last use.
Once a person does get prescribed the necessary medications to help them more easily overcome the withdrawal symptoms, they are finally halfway through the struggle. Being clean from opioids like heroin means freedom — No more withdrawal symptoms that have to be managed every day by continually having heroin their system. For most heroin-addicted people, this means not having to come up with endless supplies of money to buy more heroin. Heroin addiction takes over people’s physical health but also ignites like no other drug the disease of addiction, which is not cured of abstinence.
Staying Clean from Heroin
Remaining clean from heroin requires that an individual seeks help and guidance from a qualified heroin addiction treatment program. The tools that a quality rehab program give opioid addicts are proven to help even the most chronic opioid-addicted individuals learn how to live without heroin for good. The programs that Evoke Wellness Florida offers have ongoing success rates for assisting individuals in freeing themselves of opioid use disorder, also known as heroin addiction.
The programs that help our clients get and remain drug-free rely on evidence-based forms of therapy that are proven to work. Evoke Wellness Florida also depends upon holistic therapy methods that provide an extra layer of support as holistic therapy is the practice of treating the disease of addiction with ways that comfort the individual’s mind, body, spirit, and emotions. For example, holistic therapy methods teach individuals how to relax by learning meditation and using guided visualization at the beginning and end of each day.
Another holistic practice is yoga. Yoga revives the body as well as the mind, spirit, and emotions. Cravings for heroin will be challenging during the first year of recovery. Yet they do diminish the longer a person remains clean. Getting through the cravings is not easy and can easily cause a person to give in to their cravings and relapse.
If you or a loved one is experiencing extreme cravings for heroin, the first thing to do is get medical support. The medications that are available now that are safe and affordable reverse opioid withdrawal symptoms, AND they dramatically reduce cravings. Suboxone or buprenorphine is now the gold-standard medicine that has led millions of heroin addicts far away from their addiction for good.
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Heroin Abuse
If you or a loved one is already using medication-assisted treatments such as buprenorphine, to remain drug-free from heroin, the next priority is to verify that the dose is accurate with their prescribing medical doctor. Other methods for reducing cravings that former heroin users confirm work to end the cravings are the following:
1) A long hot shower or bath. The stimulation of warm or hot water helps release endorphins which are the body’s natural pain killers and the same neurotransmitter that opioids release when someone uses heroin.
2) Enjoy some comfort food and indulge in your favorite sugary treat. Sugar and fatty foods (comfort foods) also release dopamine that is another brain chemical like endorphins that cause a person to feel good.
3) Do some vigorous exercise like running, lifting weights or complete a hard work out and do both. Endorphins are again released when a person pushes themselves and sweats during a workout. The body releases surge of endorphins to reduce pain from the force of the exercise on the body. The familiar phrase ‘runners high’ references the feeling people experience when the rush of endorphins occurs from intense workouts.
4) Call several friends who are in recovery from heroin addiction. Calling others who have remained clean form heroin will not only support the person who is feeling weak, it will help take their mind off of their cravings.
5) If your cravings do not diminish and continue for more than a few hours, consider entering or re-entering a heroin addiction treatment program. You or your loved one may be lacking the skills necessary to enjoy being free from their addiction. Outpatient and Intensive outpatient programs have helped many recovering heroin addicts stay on track to remain clean.
Overcome Heroin Addiction
Recovery from heroin addiction requires professional help from experts who understand the science behind the discomfort and urges to use heroin. Evoke Wellness in Florida has years of experience helping people attain long-lasting recovery from heroin addiction.