How to Quit Heroin

Published on 1/31/11
Categorized in Heroin Addiction
How to Quit Heroin

Heroin is one of the most addictive and dangerous substances in the world. Luckily, with the help of a heroin rehab center, recovery is an attainable reality.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is a chemical depressant, meaning it suppresses the function of the nervous system. Heroin produces sedation, muscle relaxation, respratory depression, pain relief, and, if administerd through intravaneous injection, feelings of euphoria. It is derived from the morphine alkaloid in opium poppies. Users take heroin by injecting it in their veins with a syringe, "freebasing" it by smoking the white powder, or snorting it, a method by which the heroin absorbed through the thin tissue in the sinus cavity.

Signs of Heroin Use

Heroin users and addicts show distinct signs when under the influence of heroin, the most obvious being:

  • Itching and scratching at the skin
  • Flushing and rashes
  • Dry mouth (medically termed "xerostomia")
  • Pupil constriction
  • Disorientation
  • Track marks (scars and bumps around major veins)

If a loved one is showing signs of heroin use, please contact a heroin rehab center immediately for help. Learning how to quit heroin is important, but what is more important is the safety of an individual plagued with this destructive physical addiction.

Reasons to Quit Heroin

Heroin use is physically destructive and addictive. Heroin users injecting heroin intravenously can suffer from:

  • Fatal blood-borne disease contraction from non-sterile needle sharing, like HIV and Hepatitis
  • Contraction of bacterial and fungal endocarditis
  • Abscesses
  • Collapsed veins caused by the acid (usually citric juice) mixed when "shooting" heroin intravenously

All heroin users can suffer from:

  • Poisoning from contaminants added to the heroin to increase volume (also known as "cutting" heroin)
  • Decreased kidney function
  • Constipation
  • Physical tolerance
  • Addiction
  • Physical dependence -- resulting in intense, painful withddrawal symptoms, causing a heroin user to need heroin to feel physically normal
  • Fatal overdose -- symptoms lasting from minutes to hours caused by the suppression of the breathing reflex as a result of the depressive nature of opioids on the nervous system. This means an individual can suffocate to death from heroin overdose.

Quitting Heroin Cold Turkey

It is almost impossible to quit heroin cold turkey, with withdrawal symptoms causing serious and extreme pain to the individual, severely debilitating them for 3 to 7 days. A user dedicated to quitting must be prepared for these physical maladies. Opiate withdrawal is rarely fatal, but with proper medical rehab center treatment, withdrawal can be safe, eased with the proper administration of treatment drugs.

A heroin user should visit a doctor and recovery specialist immediately for a proper and safe recovery procedure.

Visiting a Heroin Rehab Center

Rehab centers specialize in treating severe physical, psychological, and behavioral addiction, with medical and prescriptive treatment not available outside a medically licensed facility. AllTreatment strongly encourages heroin addicts to visit a rehab center.

Drugs Used to Quit Heroin at Rehab Centers

Buprenorphine and the sublingual (pill version) of the drug named Suboxone are both used for opiod addiction treatment. Like heroin, buprenorphine is a depressant binding to opioid receptors in the brain. Unlike heroin, buprenorphine does not produce euphoria or the other desired effects of heroin use. As such, it is often used for immediate short-term withdrawal management while a patient is suffering from the serious phsyical withdrawals associated with quitting heroin.

Methadone is an older and more commonly used chemical to treat opiate addiction and physical dependence. It also stabalizes withdrawal symptoms in heroin addicts by affecting opiod receptors in the brain in a similar manner as heroin, without producing the same intoxicating effects.

Both methadone and buprenorphine help users abstain from relapse by greatly reducing the physical craving for heroin and opiods without producing the same mind-altering effects of inebration.

Summary

Heroin addicition can be deadly. Learning how to quit heroin is the first step toward a path of sobriety and a healthier life. It is not advised to undergo self-treatment because heroin withdrawal is extremely painful and can be dangerous, especially if the user must endure it alone. AllTreatment strongly recommends for heroin addicts to visit a heroin rehab center. For more information, you can contact a heroin rehab center from our directory.

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