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Heroin Withdrawal, Treatment, and Rehab: Finding Help in Orange County

Addiction Treatment Alexa Iocco | October 28, 2019

Drug & Alcohol Treatment in Costa Mesa, CA | Resurgence Behavioral Health

Heroin is a highly addictive drug produced from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy in Southeast Asia, Mexico, and Colombia. A medically supervised Heroin rehab program is a proven way of dealing with withdrawal symptoms and the addiction itself. Here in Orange County, our heroin rehab facility can help you overcome your addiction and set you on a path toward long-term sobriety.

Heroin Addiction

Heroin is a powerful opiate that can exert an intense effect on the brain, particularly its reward system. It does this by associating itself with the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain like dopamine. In normal circumstances, these chemicals are only released to reward behavior needed for survival, such as eating. Heroin skips all that by immediately giving the user a feeling of contentment and relieving anxiety. The craving for this immediate effect is what leads to addiction.

The problem, however, doesn’t just stop there. Heroin also affects the brain’s reward system by increasing its tolerance to the drug with continuous use. What this means is that a user will eventually need to increase his or her dosage to get the same kind of “high”.

Now imagine an addict just going cold turkey on heroin. This act would almost always result in withdrawal. Withdrawal is a terrible experience that those battling addiction are often forced to keep using to alleviate its symptoms.

Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal

The most common withdrawal symptoms include nausea, sweating, dilated pupils, anxiety, muscle aches and cramping, and the feeling of having a horrible flu. These symptoms set in fast, often between six and 12 hours after a user’s last dosage. It’s similar to those hooked on prescription opioids, only heroin’s symptoms can set in faster.

The length of withdrawal symptoms vary depending on a number of factors, such as the length of time the user has been on the drug, the frequency of use and the amount of heroin used, and if there are other underlying medical conditions present.

Lastly, the person who has withdrawn from heroin use may still experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), which may bring about difficulties in sleep and concentration, depression, panic attacks, memory loss, anxiety, and other symptoms caused by neurological changes from heroin abuse. Making these symptoms go away will take months and dedication to being drug free.

Treatment of Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction can be treated through therapy, medication, and support groups in either an inpatient facility or outpatient program. But because quitting heroin entails severe withdrawal symptoms, it would be better for a user to check himself in in an inpatient treatment center. This is especially true for those who have used heroin for a long time.

Detox is commonly the first step in treating this type of addiction. It is advised to have a medically trained team of professionals oversee a user during this process as withdrawal symptoms are often painful and can last for weeks.

Inpatient Heroin Rehab

Inpatient rehab has been proven to lessen the chances of a recovering addict relapsing owing to the lack of outside influences. Ones time in an inpatient facility is often spent in daily therapy and support groups. Different rehab centers offer different types of activities. For instance, some are more physical, while others prefer to keep it relaxed.

Completing an inpatient program is not the end of the road. Aftercare is important for former addicts and is done with outpatient treatment and support groups with rehab alumni.

Heroin Addiction Medication

Various medications are used to ease individuals off heroin use by reducing cravings and preventing further use. These medications include buprenorphine, a partial opiate agonist that reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms; methadone, a stronger version of buprenorphine that serves the same function; naltrexone, a medication that prevents the body from feeling the euphoric effect induced by heroin; and Subuxone, a combination of buprenorphine and Naltrexone, which alleviates withdrawal symptoms and inhibits heroin effects.

Continuous Heroin Treatment

Those unable to go into rehab often turn to outpatient programs for help. These programs are recommended to those with milder addictions, allowing them to get treatment while maintaining their normal routines. Those who wish to take this route should still meet with an addiction specialist to determine if the right level of care.

After rehab, the goal is to prevent relapse, and this can be done by making regular visits to a therapist. Therapy can help recovering users to identify and overcome weaknesses that can trigger relapse and offer methods to cope with cravings. Narcotics Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous, and other similar groups can also help recovering users in maintaining their sobriety.

First Step to Heroin Addiction Treatment

The first step to freeing yourself from your heroin addiction is quitting, and then actively seeking help through counseling or treatment if you have co-occurring addictions. Treatment options are widely available for anyone struggling with heroin addiction, in addition to financial assistance from locally and state-funded programs. If you don’t know how or where to begin, contact an addiction specialist today.

Orange County Heroin Rehab

Our treatment programs in Orange County offer a complete treatment program that integrates mental health, substance abuse, and primary care services. We offer detox, both 12-step and SMART recovery groups, and a comprehensive drug treatment program. We are not a one size fits all treatment facility, and this sets us apart from other treatment centers. Our treatment plans in Orange County are customized to each patient’s needs and preferences and are administered by our staff of highly motivated and expert professionals.

We Can Help

We believe and have proven many times that addictions can be effectively and safely treated. Our Orange County heroin rehab facility offers inpatient and outpatient care for addiction and our aftercare programs ensure that you have the tools you need to maintain sobriety when the formal treatment is through.

We can help you find the recovery you’ve been looking for, and all you need to begin is call. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you take back your life from addiction.

Alexa Iocco

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