Heroin Detox in Tennessee
Law officials in Tennessee are becoming more and more worried about the use of heroin. In 2020, 2,321 cases of heroin use were recorded. That is almost double the reported amount of cases in 2018. Here at Nashville Detox, we offer a 4-Step program to detox and sobriety.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine. It is often injected into the blood, but it can also be smoked or snorted. Heroin quickly enters the brain and binds to the parts that control feelings of pain and pleasure.
What are the Effects of Heroin?
Many people explain that they feel an intense “rush” when using heroin. But there are many dangerous side effects.
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Clouded mental functioning
- Coming in and out of consciousness
- Severe itching
- Infection of the heart lining and valves
- Liver and Kidney disease
- Lung complications
- Swollen tissue filled with pus
In addition to these effects, heroin users are at risk of overdose. In 2018, there were a total of 369 heroin-related deaths reported in Tennessee. A heroin overdose decreases the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain. This can induce a coma and permanent brain damage.
What Makes Heroin Addictive?
Heroin addiction is created through a cycle. The heroin hijacks the brain and triggers the release of dopamine. Once these levels of intense calm and pleasure are felt, it is all you will crave. When weaning off heroin, there are uncomfortable and painful symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms are bad enough to tempt addicts to seek out the drug again. The cravings become overwhelming, worsening over time. This is how the cycle of heroin addiction is formed.
What are the Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal?
Heroin can cause severe symptoms of withdrawal when weaning off the drug. These symptoms can start within only a few hours of the last time the drug was taken. Additionally, the amount of time heroin was used, how it was abused, and how much will all play a role in the withdrawal.
Symptoms of heroin withdrawal can be divided into three categories: mild, moderate, and severe.
Mild Withdrawal Symptoms:
- Abdominal cramps
- Muscle and bone aches
Moderate Withdrawal Symptoms:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Trouble concentrating
Severe Withdrawal Symptoms:
- Anxiety and depression
- Rapid heart rate
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe heroin cravings
Many of these symptoms have long-term effects on the body. Heroin addiction will create life-long complications, some of which are life-threatening. For example, weaning off heroin causes depression, leading to suicide. This is why stress management and a good support system are so crucial when beginning your heroin addiction treatment.
What Does the Heroin Withdrawal Timeline Look Like?
Weaning off of heroin is not a quick or easy task. The heroin detox process is long, and one should never attempt to quit “cold-turkey.” Quitting heroin abruptly without any help from medical professionals is dangerous and rarely successful.
The “acute withdrawal syndrome” lasts for one week from the last dose of heroin. Withdrawal symptoms will begin 6 to 12 hours from the last dose. The peak of the withdrawal period is 1 to 3 days from the last dose. This is when symptoms are the most severe. Around 7 to 10 days after weaning off heroin, the symptoms will begin to subside.
The “post-acute withdrawal syndrome” refers to any time after those first ten days. Withdrawal symptoms from a heroin detox can persist for weeks, months, or even years after your last dose. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood swings
- Gastrointestinal issues
It can be challenging to stay sober, especially early on in your road to sobriety. That is why our addiction treatment professionals work with patients to decide the best course of action.
What are the Heroin Addiction Treatment Options?
There are a variety of treatment options available for heroin addiction. The two most common approaches are behavioral therapy and pharmacological, or the use of medications. Both of these treatment methods help guide the brain back to normalcy. However, the most effective approach involves a combination of the two.
It is essential to find the approach best suited to each patient. That is why Step 2 of our heroin detox approach is to “evaluate.” Our medical staff will evaluate which approaches are best suited to the patient. Common behavioral therapy methods include contingency management and cognitive-behavioral management.
After the patient has been stabilized, Step 3 of our detox program, they enter the treatment stage. Patients weaning off heroin will need either short- or long-term care. We offer an intensive outpatient program (IOP) and a residential treatment program. Both options are designed to provide you with the support and care needed on the road to recovery.
Pharmacological Treatment (Medications)
As mentioned, the withdrawal symptoms of heroin detox can be severe. With careful supervision, our medical professionals prescribe medications to address the withdrawal symptoms. The number of medications will be gradually reduced as the patient moves towards recovery.
Some of the most commonly prescribed medications for heroin detox are:
Methadone has been used since the 1960s to treat heroin addiction. The medication is taken orally so that it reaches the brain slowly. This reduces the “rush” that usually hits the brain. It is also effective in preventing withdrawal symptoms.
Buprenorphine was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002. The medication relieves withdrawal symptoms and eliminates the “rush.” To prevent heroin users from trying to get high by injecting the medication, it has been designed to trigger withdrawal symptoms. The only way to relieve these symptoms is to take the medication by mouth.
Naltrexone was approved by the FDA in 2010. The drug is designed to be injected, and the effects are long-lasting. This is helpful, as patients only have to take the medication once a month. The medication is not addictive or sedating, which reduces the risk of any physical dependence.
What are the Next Steps in Heroin Addiction Treatment?
The severity of the heroin addiction and the type of facility chosen both affect a patient’s treatment. That is why our medical professionals evaluate each individual to find the right fit for them.
Heroin Detox: Stabilization
Step 3 of our approach to detox and sobriety is to “stabilize” the patient. This phase usually lasts between a few days andone1 week. A trained professional will be present to supervise throughout the process. Medication will be provided to manage the withdrawal symptoms of weaning off heroin. All medication will be administered under the close watch of our professionals.
Heroin Rehab: Treatment
The final step is treatment. This is when the patient enters either short- or long-term care. There are multiple options to choose from to best fit your life.
Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are designed for patients with more severe heroin addictions. Treatment usually ranges from 8 to 10 hours a week, between 3 to 5 visits. This is designed so that patients can learn to manage their stress and cope with their sobriety while still performing regular activities. Group therapy, family therapy, and individual therapy are all commonly used in IOPs.
Residential programs offer 24/7 emotional support. Patients live at the facility with around-the-clock supervision. The length of the stay is evaluated as the treatment progresses. Our house has single bedrooms with a TV in each room. Professionally trained nurses and technicians are always available. For your privacy and protection, we do not share the address of the house publicly.
Coming up with a plan and developing a support system to stay sober after your heroin detox is vital to your success. Between 40% and 60% of recovering addicts experience a relapse. Aftercare is this plan that is put into action early in recovery to prevent relapse. It is also designed to help you get back to your normal life.
An aftercare plan is unique to everyone. Factors often include hobbies, activities, therapy, and finding a support system. Medical professionals are available to help you develop your aftercare plan. As you move down the road to recovery, you may adapt your plan. The aftercare stage usually lasts a few months to a year after heroin addiction treatment.
Common aftercare plans include:
- Attending recovery meetings
- Finding a sobriety sponsor
- Attending individual and group counseling sessions
- Practicing a new hobby or skill
Creating a support system for friends and family is also crucial. Having people to celebrate your success and sobriety milestones with is motivational. They will be there to encourage you to continue your healthy behaviors.
Reach Out to Nashville Detox Today!
We understand that it can be challenging to ask for help. In recent years, the use of heroin in Tennessee has been on the rise. Nashville Detox is the premier drug addiction detox program in the state.
We accept most commercial insurance plans (ComPsych, Humana, Aetna, United Healthcare, Optum, Cigna, Magellan Health, BlueCross). Contact our team to see if we accept your insurance provider.
Don’t let your heroin addiction go untreated. Reach out to us today to find out about our heroin rehab program!