Heroin produces an intense rush of euphoria and warmth followed by drowsiness and sedation, and while pleasurable, this high does not last long, leaving users immediately wanting more and more of the drug. Your intense need to use more and quickly increasing tolerance levels can easily lead to overdose and accidental death. Also, the vastly varying quality of the drug you will find on the street adds to its dangers, as you will never have a clear idea of how much of the drug you are actually taking. Heroin and complications from heroin use kill over 10,000 users annual, yet existing statistics on heroin use do not show any indications that use of the drug is decreasing. The highly addictive nature and dangers of heroin demand a medically-supervised detox.
Heroin Abuse’s Short-term Effects
Short-term heroin use has a variety of negative side-effects ranging from the uncomfortable to the very severe. These side-effects include:
- dryness of the mouth
- itching skin
- constricted pupils and sensitivity to light
- nausea or vomiting
- breathing slowed
- heart-rate slowed
- below normal body temperature
- blue (cyanotic) extremities
Long-term Effects of Heroin Abuse or Addiction
Symptoms of long-term heroin use or abuse include many life-threatening side-effects which include:
- decay of teeth and gums
- decreased appetite resulting and malnutrition
- serious constipation
- abscesses, infections or sores (excoriated skin)
- decreased sexual desire or function
- increased illness (immune system impairment)
- weakness and sedation
- sleeping difficulty including insomnia
- cardiovascular problems
- irreversible liver and kidney damage
- cancer resulting from hepatitis
- brain damage from lack of oxygen
- problems with memory
- depression or emotional numbness
Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal
While many heroin withdrawal symptoms can cause severe pain and distress, your doctor can control many with medications if you choose a medically-supervised detox. You will likely experience many of the following symptoms with different severities during heroin withdrawal:
- abdominal cramping
- runny nose
- chills and/or sweats
- body aches
- vomiting and/or diarrhea
- irritability and/or restlessness
- difficulty in concentrating
- increased heart rate
- difficulty breathing
A Safe Heroin Detox Will Require Medical Supervision
Heroin is an extremely dangerous drug to use and just as dangerous a drug to detox from if unsupervised. Heroin’s ability to impair both your breathing and your heart rate make even a single instance of use a potentially life-threatening event. Its other effects — on everything from digestive, sexual and psychological health — also make heroin debilitating and a threat of permanent physical damage if use continues.
The safest way to break free from heroin will involve a medically-supervised detox. A medically-supervised detox is your best guarantee of physical, psychological and emotional safety during this period as it will provide you with 24×7 supervision by our trained and experienced doctor, nursing and therapeutic staff. Also, since your doctors can help mitigate or alleviate many symptoms through the use of prescribed medications, you will have the most comfortable experience possible under medical supervision.
A comfortable experience will increase your odds of completing your detox and will also reduce your chances of relapse. Relapse with any drug — and especially with heroin — poses extreme dangers, as you are more likely to overdose on the drug during relapse than at any other time, and as a result, your chances of accidental death will also be at its highest. Further, a successful detox means you will get the greatest possible benefit from your subsequent addiction treatments post-detox.
Why an Integrated Approach to Heroin Detox Will Give You the Best Results
Addiction has both medical and behavioral underpinnings. To break free from heroin, you will have to tackle both aspects of your drug use. A medically-supervised detox, if successfully completed, will end your chemical dependency, but if you do not address your emotional and psychological needs for drugs, you will likely return to using.
If you understand the reasons why you use, you can begin to develop better strategies and habits that can help address your deepest concerns in healthier ways. An integrated approach to recovery, however, does not stop there. What makes The Serenity Recovery’s approach to recovery both unique and successful is its emphasis on compassionate, human and patient-centered care.
Throughout our clinical offerings, you will feel the qualitative difference this philosophy will make in your care. Your self-confidence and the belief that you can maintain your sobriety later will help you stay sober post-treatment. The Serenity Recovery Center views all of its addiction recovery offerings as a way to restore, as much as possible, the person you were before addiction, making you your own best resource for staying sober once you leave. You deserve a drug-free life, and we can help you reach your goal and leave addiction behind.
Call The Serenity Recovery Center today at 844-339-6964 to discuss how compassionate, medically-supervised detox and addiction treatment can help you break from heroin addiction.