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Heroin Withdrawal


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Heroin is a highly addictive opiate drug that is hard for individuals to quit without the help of a heroin addiction treatment center. Withdrawal can make becoming sober agonizing, leading to relapses in an attempt to manage the psychological and physical symptoms. Attempting to quit without support often leads to failed results, which can make beating addiction seem hopeless. Seeking help can frighten an addict who fears legal consequences, social stigmas, and being treated like a criminal.

Liberty Bay Recovery in Portland, Maine understands this fear. We also understand that beating addiction requires a heroin detox center to provide quality care with a human touch. At Liberty Bay Recovery, you will find the mind, body, and spiritual support needed to help you overcome heroin addiction.

What Is Heroin Addiction?

man at a heroin detox centerHeroin, an opioid derived from the poppy plant, creates a euphoric rush when used, affecting the central nervous system. Like other drugs derived from opium such as morphine and codeine, heroin binds to pain receptors, acting as a painkiller. However, heroin provides the addict with an immediate rush that quickly strengthens the addiction and makes it one of the most dangerously addictive opioids.

It can be combined with a number of substances, such as sugar, starch, or powdered milk, and sometimes street heroin is “cut” with poisons such as strychnine. While heroin in its purest form is a white powder, heroin prepared for illicit use can range from a white and brown powder to a dark brown or black substance known as black tar. While people commonly inject, smoke, or snort heroin, one can also ingest it or prepare it as a suppository.

A heroin addict will begin to experience negative health impacts as use becomes chronic, both physical and emotional. Addiction to heroin can strain relationships, affect a user’s job, interfere with education, or impact the user’s ability to stay fully lucid. Withdrawal from heroin can cause intense illness. For this reason, anyone with a heroin addiction needs the support of a Portland Maine drug rehab center.

Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal

Withdrawal from heroin varies according to how long and frequently the addict has used. Withdrawal onset can occur after only a few hours, though more commonly sets in between 24 to 48 hours after the last use. Mental function becomes impaired, breathing is weakened, extreme vomiting can occur, itching sensations are often experienced, and appendages can feel heavy.

Physical withdrawal symptoms during detox programs include the following:

  • Clouded mental functioning
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Cold flashes
  • Depressed breathing
  • Kicking movements
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Racing thoughts

The consequences of heroin addiction affect far more than just the user. Addiction impacts the user’s medical, social, and economic well-being and can take its toll on family, friends, and society.

Suboxone vs. Subutex

FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved drugs Suboxone and Subutex can help an addict quit heroin. Though slightly different, both drugs obstruct the effect of opiates on the brain and allow an opiate user to stop using without craving the drug or suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

Facts About Suboxone & Subutex

The active ingredient in both Suboxone and Subutex is buprenorphine, which is an opioid partial agonist. Also an opioid, buprenorphine has less severe effects than heroin and can diminish the pain and discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. This is because buprenorphine interacts with the neuron receptors that transmit pain, the same receptors sensitive to heroin and other opioids. Suboxone and Subutex do not cause the disorientation associated with opiate abuse, however. These are currently the only drugs with FDA approval for treating opioid addiction.

While both share the same active ingredient, the two medications differ due to Suboxone containing an additional ingredient called naloxone, which protects the patient from misusing the drug. Both drugs are commonly used in treatment, and Suboxone is usually used in the treatment’s maintenance phase, whereas Subutex is more commonly used in treatment initiation. When used under medical supervision at a heroin detox center, these medically managed services can help a user regain their life and manage their withdrawal symptoms successfully.

Enter a Heroin Detox Center

There are many reasons to regain control of your life and break the cycle of drug abuse, a cycle that destroys lives and damages relationships. Addiction can and does drain resources, ruin relationships, and strip away everything from you.

At Liberty Bay Recovery, a Portland Maine drug addiction treatment center, we work with major insurances such as Cigna, Aetna, Humana, United Health Care, ValueOptions, GEHA (Government Employee Health Association), UMR (United Medical Resources), Providence Health Plans, Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare, as well as state insurance. We can also accommodate a variety of self-payment options.

Contact Liberty Bay Recovery

Liberty Bay Recovery in Portland, Maine is nationally recognized for its compassionate drug and alcohol rehab programs for men and women. Through intervention, we can help you reclaim your health through our holistic approach to our heroin detox program. Then, you can move on to other levels of treatment, including our intensive outpatient program (IOP). If you’re in need of a Portland Maine heroin detox center, then contact us today at 866-824-5276.