Dealing with Heroin Withdrawal and Detox in Maine
In 2014, Maine was ranked first in the United States for long-term prescriptions for opioids. Unfortunately, the data has not gotten much better for the state since then. In fact, between 2010 and 2019, at least 2,700 individuals died from opioid-related overdoses in Maine. The state has been hit hard by opioid addiction, and as a result, many people in Maine have sought help for the problem. Heroin is a significant part of the problem because it’s long been known that prescription opioids are a gateway to the street drug heroin.
Heroin in Maine
The National Institutes of Health in 2020 reported that 80% of individuals with heroin substance use disorders began with a substance use disorders to prescription drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), heroin is the most addictive drug and the most abused opioid.
The good news is that you can find a heroin withdrawal detox program in Maine, such as Liberty Bay Recovery Center, to help you stop using heroin. The center is not only professional and comprehensive, but it is also accredited.
What Are Opioids?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2019, approximately 10.1 million people aged 12 and above misused opioids in the previous year.
Opioids are drugs derived from the opium poppy plant that grows in Mexico, South America, and Asia. The drugs interact with the brain to reduce the feeling of moderate to severe physical pain and create the feeling of relaxation or a “high.” Prescription opioids include OxyContin, Vicodin, fentanyl, morphine, and others. However, there are also illegal opioids. One of the most popular of these is the street drug heroin.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a highly addictive opioid drug that comes as white powder, brown powder, or black tar, which is a black sticky substance. Heroin can be odorless or have a vinegary smell. Also, it has a bitter taste.
Street names for heroin include smack, dope, junk, and snow. To use heroin, individuals inject, snort, or smoke it.
Is Heroin Legal?
In the United States, Oregon decriminalized heroin, making small amounts legal. Oregon’s move may be the future, but it’s not the present. Although some other states have made drugs like marijuana legal, none of them, other than Oregon, have made heroin legal.
Heroin has been illegal in America since 1924. In the United States, heroin is a Schedule I drug categorized by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, making it illegal to possess, give, or sell the drug. Doing so can result in possible prison time. As of 2021, at least 35 countries have the death penalty for drug offenses if you are caught with heroin in countries outside North America.
What Does Heroin Do to the Body?
As soon as the individual takes heroin, it affects the central nervous system, enters the brain quickly, and brings about a severe rush of euphoria. Because the drug is so potent, the very first dose of heroin could result in vomiting and dizziness.
For a few hours after, the user will feel like they are in a cloud or a dream. You will feel relaxed and without a care. The drug is so addictive that a person can get addicted after just one or two times using it.
What Are the Risks of Heroin Use?
It’s not surprising to know that there are many short- and long-term risks of having a heroin substance use disorder. Here are some of the short-term effects:
• Dry mouth
• Severe itching
Another very common short-term effect of heroin use is “nodding.” This is the act of going in and out of consciousness as if falling asleep and waking up and falling asleep again.
Long-term effects of a heroin substance use disorder include:
• Collapsed veins
• Liver disease
• Kidney disease
• Irregular menstrual cycles
• Mental disorders
• Weight loss
Another very common long-term effect of heroin use is severe withdrawal symptoms that happen when you cannot get more heroin.
When people inject heroin, it’s an extremely dangerous practice. The drug is easy to overdose on. When you share needles, you are at risk of contracting a serious disease, such as HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C. You are also at risk of vein damage, blood clots, and infections. Overdosing from heroin is a strong possibility with any method of taking it, and it can lead to death.
Heroin is extremely dangerous when mixed with other substances, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines like Xanax. Another major problem with heroin in the 21st century is that there are many dangerous opioids it can be cut with, such as fentanyl. Fentanyl is more dangerous than heroin.
The other severe consequence of heroin is how it affects everything around you. A heroin substance use disorder will affect not only the individual using the heroin but also their family, friends, and acquaintances. It can devastate your career, education, and finances.
When you receive help for a heroin substance use disorder, the professional staff can help you get control of your life so that you can repair any damage that has been done to your family, finances, and other areas of your life. It may seem like an impossible task, and perhaps it would be if you tried to do it alone. But when you enter a recovery center, you’re not alone.
What Are the Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal?
One aspect of a heroin use disorder that plagues many users is the concern about withdrawal. When a person uses opioids, the opioids attach themselves to the opioid receptors in the brain, gastrointestinal tract, and spinal cord. Using opioids can lead to physical dependency and severe withdrawal symptoms that can be mild, moderate, or severe.
The more heroin a person uses, the more tolerance for the drug they develop, which means they have to take more and more. The receptors in the brain become dependent on the drug to function. And it’s the symptoms of heroin withdrawal that make many individuals with substance use disorder not want to try to quit.
No doubt heroin withdrawal is severe, but it’s even more severe if the use of heroin is stopped suddenly. It’s important to know that withdrawing from heroin without medical assistance is called “cold turkey,” and it can be very debilitating to the body.
Such a process is never recommended. Instead, entering a professional rehab center is the best way to get off heroin and stay off heroin.
Withdrawal symptoms from heroin begin six to 24 hours after use. They can include:
• Stomach pains
• Difficulty sleeping
• Muscular pain
• Cold flashes
• Extreme cravings
These symptoms typically stop on their own after 10 days. However, dealing with those symptoms alone without going back to the drug has a high level of failure and is very risky.
What Is a Program for Heroin Withdrawal and Detox?
Because heroin is such a highly addictive drug and because the withdrawal symptoms are so severe, withdrawing from heroin with a medical detox program is the best road to success. Qualified detox programs, such as the one at Liberty Bay Recovery Center in Portland, Maine, include both a detox program and mind, body, and spiritual programs to help a substance user get off heroin and stay off heroin.
Getting Off Heroin or Detoxing
To help a person stop using heroin, treatment facilities like Liberty Bay Recovery Center utilize two drugs: Suboxone and Subutex. These drugs are FDA approved and include an active ingredient known as buprenorphine. They help a user to stop using heroin without cravings or withdrawal symptoms.
At the beginning of the withdrawal procedure, Subutex is typically used. After withdrawal, Suboxone is used for maintenance. Suboxone contains naloxone, which helps prevent a patient from misusing the drug. These are all part of the professional medical detox program.
Staying Off Heroin or Rehab
To stay off heroin for the long term, a professional and comprehensive heroin addiction treatment center for men and women is what you’ll want. Such a center understands that heroin is highly addictive and dangerous. Still, it employs the staff and the physiological and psychological tools to help you recover and regain control of your life.
Professional, accredited, comprehensive rehab centers offer both outpatient and residential programs. These programs provide a wide range of support that a qualified staff can determine is best for your needs. In other words, you don’t have to worry about entering a rehab center and be faced with having to figure everything out for yourself. Again, you’re never alone.
What Is Liberty Bay Recovery Center?
Recognized for its holistic approach to alcohol and drug rehabilitation, the accredited Liberty Bay Recovery Center is ideal for those suffering from alcohol and drug substance use disorders. Our heroin withdrawal detox program in Portland, Maine has experienced staff members who have also dealt with addiction themselves, so they can relate to what you’re going through.
Having staff members who have recovered from substance use disorders helps make you feel as comfortable and supported as possible. In this environment, you know that you are surrounded by people who genuinely understand and know that recovery is possible.
After you are medically detoxed by qualified medical staff, with a process designed to make you as comfortable as possible, you are guided through a comprehensive rehab process tailored to your needs. One of the most challenging components of rehabilitation is stopping the temptation to go back to heroin after you’ve detoxed. Liberty Bay Recovery Center offers a home-like atmosphere with an open-door policy.
This is not a hospital atmosphere where you’re wearing hospital gowns. Such conditions don’t encourage clients to stay as long as necessary to complete the rehab process.
At Liberty Bay Recovery Center, clients rehab in modern, comfortable, elegantly furnished rooms with lots of space for their personal belongings and access to laundry facilities during recovery. In addition, each client gets diverse, healthy meals because nutrition is vital for a healthy recovery process, especially due to poor eating habits that may have been exacerbated while on heroin.
Treatment at a qualified, thriving rehab center is never a one-size-fits-all approach. The treatment is tailored to the individual and includes one-on-one counseling, group counseling, family programs, 12-step program meetings, and relapse prevention. It’s also important to note that the staff at Liberty Bay Recovery Center helps with aftercare resources and continuing care arrangements with a list of qualified, professional treatment centers. Contact Liberty Bay Recovery Center in Portland to get on the right track to recovery.