Once a person has been using heroin regularly for a period of time, their bodies will become used to the drug and require it for normal functioning. Sudden stoppage of heroin will result in a very painful and unpleasant condition known as withdrawal. It’s a main reason why many users won’t stop using the drug. Symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle and bone pain
- Stomach cramps and pain
- Restless legs
Detox centers offer a way to withdraw from heroin and other opioids that is relatively comfortable. Certainly it’s much better than doing it alone at home. Drug-assisted medical heroin detox often uses the following medications:
- Buprenorphine, short-term detox dosage regimen
- Methadone, short-term detox dosage regimen
- Muscle relaxers such as Robaxin
- Chlordiazepoxide, a benzodiazepine similar to Valium
- Thorazine, a major tranquilizer
- Clonidine, a drug used to treat high blood pressure
So, let’s take a look at each of these and see how they help patients trying to get through opioid withdrawal. Generally, the worst symptoms of withdrawal will abate within a week to ten days. Lesser symptoms can persist for longer, and cravings for the drug can go on for a long, long time; years even.
How Detox Drugs Can Help
The medications listed above are all prescription drugs. You must be under a doctor’s care to receive them. Treatment centers all have at least one physician on staff, and this physician will be very knowledgeable in the mitigation of withdrawal symptoms. You can’t expect complete relief, but these medications will definitely help keep you much more comfortable than if you tried to do it alone. You will also be getting emotional support during this time, and that helps a lot, too.
Buprenorphine and methadone are both opioids, but they don’t produce much of a high, if any at all. They work by attaching to the same brain receptors as heroin does, helping to relieve many of the worst symptoms. The dose given is low, and it’s gradually reduced over several weeks before finally being stopped.
Muscle relaxers help with the restless, jittery legs and arms of withdrawal. Clonidine is most helpful. It’s in a drug class called the beta blockers, which are used for high blood pressure. But beta blockers are also very helpful in relieving opioid withdrawal symptoms as well. Thorazine is an anti-psychotic if given in larger doses, but in smaller doses, it acts as a tranquilizer, helping the withdrawing person to relax. Finally, chlordiazepoxide, or possibly another benzodiazepine, may be used to also help the person relax and sleep. It will be given in small doses over a short period of time, as it’s potentially addicting itself.
There is no need to suffer through withdrawal on your own. Get some help. Get some support, too. If you want to stop, but you’re afraid of withdrawal, call us here: We can answer your questions and help you get started. We are here to help and serve you. Call 855-782-1009