Studies have shown that many people begin using heroin after becoming addicted to prescription opioid medications.
According to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), “The threat posed by heroin in the United States is serious and has increased since 2007. Heroin is available in larger quantities, used by a larger number of people, and is causing an increasing number of overdose deaths. In 2014, 10,574 Americans died from heroin-related overdoses, more than triple the number in 2010. Increased demand for, and use of, heroin is being driven by both increasing availability of heroin in the U.S. market and by some controlled prescription drug (CPD) abusers using heroin. CPD abusers who begin using heroin do so chiefly because of price differences.”
Regardless of how a person gets started on heroin, the results are the same.
Heroin users are consumed by an addiction that ultimately leads them to premature death. With the heroin and opioid epidemic becoming such a serious problem, treatment centers have begun to include on-site medical detoxification programs as part of their addiction treatment. Detoxing from heroin is not easy or pleasant, and many users and addicts avoid it at all costs, perpetuating the problem. Whether an individual is detoxing on their own, due to lack of resources or simply running out of the drug, or in a hospital or treatment setting, these are the effects they can expect.
Effects of Heroin Detox:
- Extreme agitation and anxiety
- Severe restlessness
- Moderate to severe muscle aches
- Sweating and chills
- Abdominal cramping with diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
- Possible seizures
The severity of detox symptoms will depend on the person’s body, how much heroin they were using, and length of use. During detox from heroin, withdrawal symptoms usually begin within 12 hours of the last dose and can last up to a couple of weeks, while they lessen through time. Medical detox is the ideal way to experience heroin withdrawal. When detoxing from heroin in a clinical setting, the patient’s vitals will be monitored by medical staff to keep them relatively comfortable while their body gets rid of the drug.
Are you or someone you love addicted to heroin? If so, the idea of suffering through withdrawals can be terrifying. You don’t have to do it alone, and recovery is possible. Please reach out and speak with someone about finding help for your situation.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (2016). (U) National Heroin Threat Assessment Summary – Updated. DEA Intelligence Report. DEA-DCT-DIR-031-16