One of the reasons it is so hard to quit heroin is the withdrawal process. When addicts don’t get the drug on a regular basis they go into severe withdrawal, which includes symptoms such as anxiety, depression, vomiting, diarrhea and muscle aches. It can be severely painful, and many heroin addicts feel like they are dying. It is so common among users that it’s often called “dope sickness”.
Because of the severe withdrawal symptoms heroin addicts can experience, it is imperative that heroin addicts seek treatment in a professional facility that can aid in their recover. During detox the drug is flushed from the user’s body. This lasts anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the program and the level of dependence. At first the patient is put under anesthesia and doctors literally flush the body while the patient is under. During the second phase of detox alternate opiates are given to a patient and then slowly tapered off. These legal opiates are less addictive and potent than heroin and can be administered regularly to ensure that the detox process isn’t unbearably uncomfortable for the heroin addict.
The next phase in heroin addiction treatment is the actual rehabilitation program. Not only is heroin a highly physically addictive drug, but it is also psychologically addicting. The psychological addiction is what is dealt with during the rehabilitation program after detox. There are often many issues that need to be dealt with during rehabilitation that caused the addict to start using and continuing to use in the first place. In addition to underlying issues that caused the addiction, quite a bit of damage is also caused once the addict starts using. They have often messed up most of their previous relationships with family and friends, have burned bridges with employers and may have committed crimes and must face the consequences. During heroin addiction treatment, the patient undergoes extensive therapy. There are usually three forms of therapy; one-on-one therapy sessions, group therapy and family therapy. These sessions help discover the root cause and primary motivators that have caused continued substance abuse.
After the intensive process of detox and therapy there is still much work that needs to be done in order to ensure a successful recovery. The real work begins when a former heroin user must go back to their normal life and get into a new routine of being a sober person. Putting the skills learned during the rehabilitation process is an important yet very difficult task. There are a number of support programs available that will aid a heroin addict in their continued recover. A lot of these programs are peer-to-peer groups with other former heroin addicts.
Heroin addiction is one of the strongest addictions known and one of the hardest habits to kick. Many people become addicted after one use of this drug due to its intense euphoric high. Many people who try it just for fun or recreationally end up becoming severely addicted.