Heroin use disorder is a serious condition that requires treatment, care, and support. People who are dealing with problems related to heroin use are often concerned about what the withdrawal process will be like, often leading them to continue using even when they are ready to stop. Learning more about what heroin withdrawal feels like, as well as the physical signs of heroin withdrawal, can help you make the best choices about your recovery care. Seeking treatment at a heroin addiction treatment center might be the first step on your recovery journey.
What Is Withdrawal and Why Does It Happen?
When a person uses certain types of drugs over a period of time, the body makes changes to its functions and systems to account for the presence of the drug. This is sometimes referred to as ‘physical dependence.’ As long as the person continues to take the drug, the body maintains these circumstances. However, when the drug is suddenly stopped, the body’s systems and functions have to return to their previous states, which can cause an array of symptoms sometimes called ‘withdrawal.’ These symptoms can be uncomfortable and make a person feel very ill. Withdrawal is not permanent, but it will last until the body returns to its normal state.
Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal
In the case of heroin, the withdrawal process can be challenging. It is not dangerous on its own, but if a person stops using heroin for a period of time and then returns to use, they are at the highest possible risk of overdose. Overdose is a serious condition and can even be fatal, so getting help to stop using heroin is a very good idea.
Some of the signs and symptoms of heroin withdrawal are:
- Feeling agitated or irritable
- Eyes watering and nose running
- Stomach problems like cramps, nausea, and diarrhea
- Muscle aches
How Can Medication Assisted Treatment Help?
Medication assisted treatment (MAT) is a type of treatment for substance use disorder in which a patient is given medications to help them transition away from drug use without a sharp withdrawal process. In the case of heroin, drugs may be administered that block the patient’s ability to feel ‘high’ when taking opioids. When used in conjunction with other treatment methods such as counseling and group therapy, MAT can be a highly effective way for patients to break the cycle of addiction. MAT can also be conducted on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to access recovery care without having to drop everything for a period of weeks or months, as in a residential program.
Many people who have not had experience with substance use disorders might not realize that they are serious conditions, much like other types of physical and mental illnesses. In order to recover, patients need support from their loved ones, care from treatment professionals, and access to a recovery-focused community of peers. Studies have shown that people who participate in formal substance use disorder treatment have the best possible chance to maintain their recovery over time and return to work, school, and other life activities.
BrightView Can Help with Treatment for Heroin Use Disorder
At BrightView, we are strongly committed to making sure that our patients can access the recovery care they need, when and how they need it. For this reason, we utilize flexible scheduling, telehealth appointments, and accept many different insurances, including Medicaid and Medicare. If you or someone you care about has been struggling to stop using heroin or with some other substance use issue, reach out to our caring staff today at 888.501.9865.