Heroin detox in the UK has become somewhat controversial due to the use of substitute medications like methadone or buprenorphine. However, it need not be so. Any method that helps the heroin addict break his or her addiction and live a drug-free life is good. Addiction Helper is here to help facilitate the heroin detox process for you.

Heroin is an opiate with very powerful and lasting effects on the human body. It is such a powerful drug that it is nearly impossible to come clean without outside help. That’s why the NHS, drug addiction charities, and private clinics all offer heroin addiction detox and rehab. You should seriously consider using their services if you have a heroin problem.

The symptoms of heroin detox have been likened to the effects of influenza. However, addicts state that cravings for heroin make the sensations experienced much worse.Heroin detoxification at home can therefore be more difficult, due to the lack of medical facilities and support an addict would get as an in-patient at a rehab centre.

If addicts try home detox there are plenty of ways to make it more tolerable.The first thing they have to do is convince themselves that it is something they really want to do.Once they have ‘mentally, detoxified, half the battle has been won as this will be the key to keeping them ‘sober’.Do not forget that it is possible for addicts to train their mind into believing that they do not need this drug anymore.

For detoxing at home, the addict must plan ahead and ensure that they have everything they need to hand.Their focus should be on treating the symptoms they will feel as they detoxify.Obtaining over the counter medication is essential, including items such as painkillers, anti-sickness and anti-diarrhoea tablets, something to help with sleep and also some form of medication to help with the effects of a runny nose and sneezing.The addict’s may also ache and bathing in a hot, medicated bath, may ease the symptoms.

Whilst going through heroin detox it is essential to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water, which will help with the headaches too.People have their own individual symptoms to overcome, but most of all, the addict must stay mentally strong in order to overcome the addiction.

Substitute Medications

In the old days, heroin detox was usually approached using the cold turkey principal. Heroin addicts were placed in the recovery room where they would be monitored and made as comfortable as possible. Then everyone just waited. If a medical emergency arose, medical staff would attend to that emergency.

Today, things are a bit different. The introduction of substitute medications has made it possible to treat heroin addicts in a way that minimises the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Some of the other benefits of the substitute medications include the following:

  • Stabilisation – Prescribing a substitute medication prior to heroin detox helps the individual to stabilise his or her habit before undergoing treatment. Stabilisation often makes detox a bit easier.
  • Cost – Because the NHS covers the cost of prescription medications, heroin addicts can get their substitute medications at no charge. They no longer have to commit crimes or engage in other undesirable behaviour to pay for their habit.
  • Safety – A prescription medication eliminates the need for self-injecting heroin. That means no more shared needles and other risky behaviours.

The controversy surrounding substitute medications comes by way of how they are used. When prescribed as a temporary aid to stabilise a heroin habit and lessen the symptoms of withdrawal, they can be very effective and useful. However, more and more NHS clinics are using them as a permanent heroin replacement.

In such a case, a heroin addiction is not ever truly broken. Substituting one drug for another does not equal recovery. It is merely replacing an addiction to illicit drugs with a similar addiction to a government-supplied drug. We urge you to be very careful about substitute medication. Make sure you are using it for the right reasons.

Heroin Detox and Residential Treatment

Addiction Helper has years of experience assisting heroin addicts and their families. If there is one thing we learned, it is that heroin detox and residential treatment, combined, offer the greatest chances of permanent success. They are not simply quick fixes that deal only with the physical addiction while ignoring the mental and psychological.

When detox and rehab are combined in a residential programme, the heroin addict is given the best chances of success. Detox is medically supervised, and can usually be completed in about seven days. During that time, the clinic may use substitute medications to ease withdrawal symptoms. However, a private clinic rarely uses the medications as a permanent heroin replacement.

You should know that heroin detox could be uncomfortable even with the use of substitute medications. Remember that heroin does significant damage to your body; damage that result in withdrawal symptoms once the drug is no longer available. During detox, you may experience some or all of the following:

  • dilated pupils
  • agitation and anxiety
  • muscle aches, runny nose, sweating
  • insomnia and persistent yawning
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea
  • abdominal cramping.

Withdrawal symptoms usually begin to appear within 12 hours of the last use of heroin. If you have been on methadone regimen for any length of time prior to detox, your symptoms may not begin to appear until up to 30 hours after your last use of methadone. The good news is that while uncomfortable, the withdrawal symptoms related to heroin are rarely fatal. As long as your detox is monitored then you should come out the other end just fine.

After Detox

If you receive your detox as part of a residential treatment programme, it will be followed by psychotherapeutic treatment that can last anywhere from four to 12 weeks. The psychotherapeutic treatments are designed to deal with the psychological and emotional dependencies associated with heroin addiction. Often times these dependencies can be more difficult to break than physical dependence.

The residential clinics Addiction Helper works with are all staffed by trained professionals who specialise in drug addiction rehab. They may utilise any number of therapies throughout your rehab programme; therapy that may include one-on-one counselling, group support and counselling, and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). At the conclusion of your residential programme, you will be directed to an aftercare programme to finish the process.

Aftercare provides additional support designed to help prevent relapse. This is absolutely vital for heroin detox and rehab. Recovering addicts who do not participate in aftercare are statistically more likely to relapse within two years. Addiction Helper firmly believes in aftercare, which is why we make it part of the programmes we develop on behalf of individual clients.

Get Started Today

Heroin detox is just the first step in taking your life back from drug addiction. You can access detox through an NHS clinic and your GP, a drug rehab charity, or through a private, residential clinic. The most important thing is that you decide to do so as soon as possible. Without detox, you are not likely to ever break free from heroin addiction.

The trained staff at Addiction Helper are ready right now to assist you. If you’re willing to call our helpline, you will be greeted by someone whose number one goal is to see you come clean once and for all. We will do whatever we can to help, including listening to what you have to say, assessing your current circumstances, devising a treatment plan, and helping you gain admission to a detox and rehab clinic. Please help yourself by letting us help you.