One of the most addictive illicit drugs used in the UK, heroin is a powerful opiate which causes high dependency. According to a survey, heroin abuse among users increased from 33% in 2015 to 42% in 2017. Also, in 2019/20, the police of Scotland seized main class A drugs, including the highest quantity of heroin (222.5Kg) in the time series. Depending on the quality, heroin is injected, snorted, or smoked by the users to create a euphoric feeling, leading to altered brain chemistry. When users consume heroin regularly or on binges, the misuse can cause physical dependency, leading to more heroin intake to function normally. While heroin produces an immediate euphoria, and people often use it to ease their symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental illness, it may lead to an addiction.
Heroin abuse or addiction forces people to use the drug repeatedly and even in high amounts if tolerance is built. At this point, most people do not want to go through heroin abuse treatment and start their recovery because of the painful and possibly life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. However, it is easy to cope with these symptoms by depending on heroin detox.
But the question is, how long does it take to get out of the heroin rehab? To find the answer, keep reading this article.
Understanding The Heroin Rehab Timeline
Heroin rehab is an addiction treatment centre that allows patients to recover from drugs. First, people are exposed to abstinence from substances with the help of detoxification and withdrawal. After that, patients are moved to an addiction treatment program, where they receive further medical assistance under the supervision of trained healthcare professionals. Detox is a process carried out by doctors to flush out all the toxins from the body, bringing out various psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms. Though withdrawal symptoms are the same in all individuals, their intensity and frequency vary according to addiction severity. Generally, heroin abuse withdrawal symptoms arise after or within six hours of the last use and subside in five days to a week. However, few patients may experience withdrawal symptoms for longer after their previous heroin dose. This condition is called post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).
Some lasting withdrawal symptoms include:
- Panic attacks
- Mood swings
- Poor concentration
- Increased anxiety
- Poor sleep
- Memory loss
Also, every individual is different and needs a personalised heroin abuse treatment plan in order to get better at their own pace. First, the medical professionals address the heroin use history, medical records, and other essential details to create the treatment plan, and then the duration and format are decided. Most rehabs also provide customised aftercare recovery plans to the patients to maintain their sobriety. However, the aftercare plan relies on a patient’s progress and responsiveness to the treatment.
What to Expect from Heroin Detox?
Heroin withdrawal is uncomfortable, and people perceive it like that, especially if they go through it without professional medical assistance. Unfortunately, going through heroin detox also brings excellent physical discomfort, and the common symptoms include:
- Runny nose
More severe withdrawal symptoms may include depression, increased anxiety, fever, breathing difficulties, and insomnia. Extreme heroin cravings are also challenging to deal with during the recovery process. However, patients shouldn’t bother about the cravings and focus on addiction recovery.
Medications Used in Heroin Addiction Treatment
In the severe cases of heroin abuse, medical professionals at heroin rehab offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in the form of prescribed drugs. A few medications involved in the process include:
- Methadone: A low-strength opiate, methadone acts slowly and prevent severe withdrawal symptoms to taper patients off heroin.
- Buprenorphine: Usually prescribed during heroin detox, buprenorphine help reduces the discomfort in patients due to physical symptoms, like muscle aches and vomiting. It also inhibits heroin cravings.
- Naltrexone: Best for people who already completed detox, naltrexone block brain receptors that react to heroin and is not sedating or addictive.
Detoxing under medical supervision also offers patients nutritional support and 24/7 assistance. They also address a patient’s emotional or mental health issues during detox and refer them to appropriate healthcare professionals in adverse situations.
What to Expect from Heroin Abuse Treatment?
Most people may feel uncomfortable after completing the heroin detox. They may experience intense heroin cravings or irritability and find it challenging to deal with withdrawal. In these cases, going through a heroin abuse treatment program after detox can help. It provides foundational support to the patients and helps them prevent relapse during this time.
The typical components of heroin addiction treatment programs include behavioural therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and contingency management. While the former focuses on a person’s behaviours and thoughts and helps them bring a positive change to stop drug use, contingency management recompenses patients with vouchers for each attempt to stay heroin-free. Patients can redeem vouchers for food, drinks, movies, and more.
Find Out More About Heroin Rehab
Knowing what heroin rehab offers helps an addicted person quit drug use and work on recovery. However, not everyone deals with heroin abuse addiction well and may relapse due to intense heroin cravings after completing the treatment. Therefore, heroin abuse treatment aftercare plans are in place to help people maintain sobriety. If you are also looking for an addiction treatment centre to reduce heroin use, it is time to take the steering wheel into your hand. Find your nearest heroin rehab in the UK to kick-start your recovery today.
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