During the initial evaluation phase of heroin detox, a medical team will determine the patient’s physical and mental conditions. After this, the stabilization phase of the treatment will begin. The purpose of this phase is to safely remove heroin from the body while maintaining medical stability. During this time, the medical staff will monitor the patient’s vital signs and help them cope with the physical and emotional symptoms of withdrawal. While the initial evaluation stage is the most critical, the second phase can help the person achieve a stable state.
After a medical evaluation, an inpatient detox program can begin. This type of treatment involves administering long-acting opioid medication to reduce withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. This type of treatment does not lead to a high or a sense of euphoria. The dosage is gradually reduced until the patient is completely free of opioids. Methadone is the only FDA-approved medication for heroin withdrawal. However, buprenorphine is a less expensive option with fewer side effects. Suboxone also contains naloxone, which blocks opioid receptor sites.
Professional heroin detox programs offer pharmacological treatments as well as company. Patients are usually given either methadone or buprenorphine. Methadone is an oral medication that enters the brain slowly without causing a high feeling. Injections and subdermal administration of buprenorphine are other options available. Infusions are another option. While suboxone is more expensive, it is considered to be the most effective form of treatment for withdrawal from heroin.
A professional heroin detox program includes pharmacological treatments to combat withdrawal. The medication is often taken orally and slows the effects of the drug. It is important to note that methadone is an opioid, and the drug is not addictive. Buprenorphine has a lower side-effect profile than methadone and is considered the best treatment option for heroin addiction. Buprenorphine is used more frequently than methadone.
While heroin is generally safer than alcohol, it is still a dangerous drug. Overdose can lead to collapsed veins, heart infections, kidney problems, and coma. These complications can result in death. Almost 10,000 people die every year due to a heroin overdose, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This number is rising every year. The sooner the addict seeks treatment, the better chance they will stay sober.
During the medical detox, a patient will experience a series of symptoms. Symptoms of heroin withdrawal can last for up to a week. The patient will experience a severe influx of nausea, vomiting, and anxiety. The symptoms of withdrawal are very difficult for the individual, but doctors will provide medication to reduce the risk of self-harm. If a person is unable to control their symptoms, they may self-harm or relapse.