Heroin is an incredibly addictive drug that makes serious changes to the brain and body. The physical dependence that heroin use causes leads to a host of severe withdrawal symptoms that can feel overwhelming. Many people with heroin addiction need to continually use greater amounts more frequently simply to stave off possible withdrawal symptoms. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Repeated heroin use changes the physical structure and physiology of the brain, creating long-term imbalances in neuronal and hormonal systems that are not easily reversed. Studies have shown some deterioration of the brain’s white matter due to heroin use, which may affect decision-making abilities, the ability to regulate behavior, and responses to stressful situations. Heroin also produces profound degrees of tolerance and physical dependence. Tolerance occurs when more and more of the drug is required to achieve the same effects. With physical dependence, the body adapts to the presence of the drug, and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced abruptly.” The changes to the physical structure of the brain require that one continue to use the drug just to feel “normal.” Heroin withdrawal symptoms can be very painful and it is highly suggested to enter into a medically supervised detox. While opioid detox is rarely lethal, the symptoms may be so severe that it is unlikely a person will be able to make it through the process without relapsing at some point. Even if a person is able to detoxify their bodies of heroin, recovery is unlikely without receiving follow-up treatment. Dr. Elizabeth Hartney, in a 2018 Very Well Mind article entitled What to Expect from Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms, explains, “The initial comedown of heroin withdrawal can vary in time and intensity, and although typically withdrawal symptoms will begin 6 to 12 hours after the last dose, peaking within 1 to 3 days, and gradually subsiding over 5 to 7 days. However, some users experience weeks or months of withdrawal symptoms, known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).” Symptoms will vary in intensity based on one’s addiction, and include, but are not limited to: anxiety, insomnia, runny nose and flu-like symptoms, abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Detox professionals are able to manage and treat symptoms as they occur.
Your story doesn’t have to be caught up in the painful cycle of addiction. You can begin building a brighter future by making the courageous decision to seek help now. Oceanfront Recovery, a men’s treatment center in the heart of beautiful Laguna Beach, understands the paralyzing grip that drug addiction holds over victims and offers customized opiate treatment in Orange County that helps address the unique needs of each individual, seeking to heal the person from the inside out. For information about Detox and other individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777