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Heroin Detoxification And Withdrawal Symptoms

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By Author: kayla smith
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Heroin withdrawal symptoms may get started as early as 6 to 12 hours after your last dose, they are most dangerous at between 2 and 4 days of abstinence and mostly gone by the seventh day. Typical withdrawal symptoms include:
• Anxiety, irritability and agitation.
• Muscle twitches and spasms.
• Muscle and joint pain.
• Headaches.
• Insomnia.
• Tearing.
• Runny nose.
• Increased sweating.
• Increased urination.
• Frequent yawning.
• Insomnia and heroin cravings.
Though severe physical symptoms subside within a week, lingering anxiety, depression, insomnia and drug cravings can be prolonged for weeks or months. This is known as post acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWs.

Heroin Withdrawal Risks and Dangers
Though heroin withdrawal feels pretty uncomfortable, it is almost never dangerous for people in reasonably good health.
Heroin withdrawal can be more dangerous for anyone with coexist physical or mental health condition, for example:
• Withdrawal- related dehydration is more dangerous for a person who is suffering ...
... from diabetes, or, a person with managed schizophrenia is at increased risk of an acute psychotic episode during the intense withdrawal period.
If you have a current psychiatric or medical condition, you should Take advise and discuss your withdrawal plans with a health professional prior to detoxing.2
Rare but possible complications include:
• Breathing vomit into the lungs (aspiration).
• Dehydration from excessive diarrhea and vomiting.

The Biggest Risk Is Relapse Overdose
Though heroin withdrawal symptoms probably won't hurt you, relapse overdose can take your life.
You are at significantly elevated risk of fatal overdose if you relapse after even short periods of abstinence. Most opioid deaths occur in people who have just detoxed. If using after a break – be sure to use a smallest dose than what you took before to your break.
• A week or two of abstinence can reset your tolerance to zero and your old ‘normal’ dose could be potent enough to kill.

So Why Get Professional Help?
Most people can easily attempt a heroin detox without needing professional assistance. That being said, entering an outpatient or residential detox program definitely offers some significant advantages.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms are rarely dangerous and people kick heroin without help all the time – so the question arise is that what’s the point of spending time, energy and money going to a detox program for the withdrawal period?
Here some of the benefits of professional help include:
• Increased comfort – Getting appropriate medications at appropriate times can produce comfort. For most people, this is a significant benefit.
• Improved safety – Though heroin withdrawal alone is very rarely dangerous, complication risks increase when heroin withdrawal co-occurs with a psychiatric or medical health condition.
• Getting into an ongoing treatment program – Just getting through the detox period does little to keep you clean over the long run. Staff at a professional detox program will assist you and help you find an appropriate treatment program for continuing treatment at the end of the managed withdrawal period. Since many people with heroin addictions also have co-occurring mental illness, you may also get linked to appropriate mental health care.

Though you can safely try a cold-turkey detox on your own, doing it alone by yourself leads to more discomfort and greater odds of early relapse. Getting professional assistance and appropriate medication increases and give your best chances of a successful outcome.

The Importance of Regular Monitoring
Why do you need to see a health worker each day?
Typically, on an outpatient basis you will come to see expert health professional at least once daily for a check-in. In a residential detox, monitoring occurs more regularly. When observing your progress, health professionals will evaluate the following:
• Your overall progress (looking for any complications or excessive difficulties).
• The severity of your current withdrawal symptoms.
• Your response to any withdrawal medications.
• Your current motivation level.
• Your current other drug use.

Frequent monitoring helps to stop small and early complications from becoming serious problems, it facilitates a move from outpatient to residential care for anyone not doing well at home and it allows for medication adjustments to ease discomfort and reduce side effects.

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