5 Tips for a Safe Heroin Detox
Whether smoked, injected or inhaled, heroin abuse remains one of the most debilitating forms of drug addiction. As of 2005, an estimated 379,000 people aged 12 years old and older reported using heroin, based on data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a powerful opiate a drug, heroin effects easily slow down vital bodily processes. With long-term use, both brain and bodily functions undergo considerable damage as heroin weakens the body’s physical structures as well as the chemical processes these structures regulate. Heroin detox is the first step towards taking back control of your life from drug addiction. When considering a safe heroin detox, the method that “works” is the safest as failed attempts place users at a high risk of overdose.
Here are five tips to help ensure a safe heroin detox
1. Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Insomnia is one of the many withdrawal symptoms that occur during a heroin detox period. Lack of sleep can only make this difficult process worse. A regular exercise routine, be it walking, jogging or any activity that raises the heart rate can burn off excess energy and help the body relax when it comes time to go to sleep.
While over-the-counter sleep aids may seem like a good idea, they can actually make the problem worse considering how heroin has already disrupted the body’s chemical balance. It’s also a good idea to cut back on caffeine and nicotine intake.
2. Relieving Aches and Pains
As heroin disrupts the brain’s ability to regulate nerve signal transmissions, muscle aches and pains are to be expected during heroin detox. Over-the-counter medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can provide considerable relief from aching muscles and bones.
Both ibuprofen and naproxen will work well, though it’s important not to exceed maximum recommended dosage amounts. When taking both medications at the same time, be sure to count each medication’s dose towards the daily-recommended maximum dosage amount.
Detox is the first step in heroin addiction recovery. Call us today for more information and resources.
3. Relief for Nausea and Vomiting
Long-term heroin use can wreak havoc on a person’s gastrointestinal system. Consequently, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea symptoms will most likely occur during heroin detox. Once again, over-the-counter remedies can work wonders at relieving withdrawal effects.
Pepto-Bismol does a good job at reducing nausea and vomiting symptoms, though many people may require a double dose since gastrointestinal functions are in “drug recovery mode.”
On average, heroin detox withdrawal effects shouldn’t last longer than one to two weeks, so symptoms lasting longer may be caused by another medical condition.
4. Stay Hydrated
On average, water makes up anywhere from 50 to 65 percent of a normal functioning human body. As diarrhea is yet another common symptom from detoxing, this loss of fluids places added strain on the body’s recovery process.
For someone in heroin detox, staying hydrated greatly assists in restoring the body’s normal chemical functions.
5. Consider Medication-Assisted Treatments
Heroin’s effects on brain chemical neurotransmitter functions have a crippling effect on the body. According to Harvard Health Publications, these conditions make it that much more difficult to overcome heroin detox withdrawal effects.
Medication-assisted treatments, such as methadone and buprenorphine therapies are quite effective at reducing the severity of withdrawal effects. Medication-assisted treatments also help reduce persistent drug cravings. In effect, this approach to heroin detox eliminates the two greatest challenges recovering addicts face: withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings.
Are you ready to begin heroin detox? Call 800-483-2193(Who Answers?) now to speak with a caring treatment specialist!
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Transcript for CDC Telebriefing: New Vital Signs Report- Today’s Heroin Epidemic.
- Harvard Health Publications (Harvard Medical School). (2005). Treating Opiate Addiction, Part I: Detoxification and Maintenance.