Heroin Addiction

by Jake Colton

What is Heroin?

Heroin is a drug made from morphine, a natural substance in the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder. Heroin can be injected, smoked or snorted.

Heroin Addiction and Detox

  • Self detox
  • Medical detox

Heroin Treatment in Chicago

  • Methadone
  • Suboxone

For more in depth info on effects, ROA (route of administration), and risks of heroin use visit these other pages…

  1. Heroin – What is it?
  2. Heroin – How is it used?
  3. Heroin – What are the effects?
  4. Heroin – Risks

Heroin Addiction and Detox

With repeated heroin use a person will quickly develop tolerance and withdrawal. This is particularly the case if the heroin is injected. Some people report being able to snort heroin recreationally though intravenous heroin use on a recreational basis is rare. One of the main reasons being the intense withdrawal symptoms accompanied with the drug. withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, diarrhea, vomiting and cold flashes.

Heroin Self Detox

Some people try to detox on their own, but it is very unpleasant and most people can’t do it without help. Often people will at least use drugs such as marijuana and Xanax to ease the discomfort.

Heroin Medical Detox

Heroin withdrawal symptoms begin within about 12 hours of a last dose, peak in intensity after 2 or 3 days and last for a week or longer.
Medically supervised opiate detox programs use medications to minimize the severity of withdrawal symptoms and keep patients under 24 hour a day observation, to ensure safety and maximal comfort.

Heroin Treatment in Chicago

A heroin addiction is difficult but many people do successfully recover. That being said recovery takes time and there are no quick / easy fixes. Many people addicted to heroin relapse several times prior to maintaining abstinence from heroin over an extended period of time. Studies show that people that combine individual therapy from qualified addiction counselors with opiate replacement strategies (e.g. Methadone, Suboxone) have by far the highest rates of successful recovery.

Methadone is a synthetic opiate medication that binds to the same receptors as heroin; but when taken orally, it has a gradual onset of action and sustained effects, reducing the desire for other opioid drugs while preventing withdrawal symptoms. Properly administered, methadone is not intoxicating or sedating, and its effects do not interfere with ordinary daily activities.

Methadone maintenance treatment is usually conducted in specialized opiate treatment programs.

Buprenorphine (Suboxone)
Buprenorphine works similarly to methadone, as an opiate replacement medication by helping manage cravings for heroin use and by mitigating withdrawal symptoms.
Buprenorphine is FDA approved for the treatment of heroin addiction when sold as Suboxone or Subutex. Suboxone contains 2 active ingredients, buprenorphine and naloxone.

The buprenorphine binds to opiate receptors in the brain (similarly to methadone) and keeps you from feeling withdrawal symptoms and the naloxone is added to make the drug difficult to abuse.
The eventual syndrome of withdrawal off Suboxone is considered far milder when compared to methadone.

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