Heroin withdrawal at detox centers in NJ is both physical and psychological, with short and long-term effects that require medical and behavioral supervision. While physical manifestations of withdrawal have a beginning and end, many addicts say the mental effects can last a lifetime.
There are medications that can act on the same brain structures and processes as addictive opioids, but with protective and normalizing effects. Some medications that aid in heroin withdrawal includes:
- Suboxone – This medication is administered when a person starts withdrawing, typically for the first 3 to 7 days, but up to 10. In some cases, people also use Suboxone for longer periods of time as a maintenance medication.
- Naloxone – This is a life-saving medication for emergency overdose treatment. It is also co-formulated to normalize the addictive effects of other drugs during detox.
- Altrexone – This medication is used to help prevent relapse after detox is complete.
Heroin stimulates the release of dopamine, which results in feelings of euphoria. However, the brain adjusts to handle the overflow, which damages its ability to produce dopamine and other feel-good chemicals naturally. Over time, the user becomes dependent on heroin to keep painful withdrawal symptoms at bay. Once heroin is no longer being taken, withdrawal occurs in three phases.
First Phase – A treatment team provides around-the-clock medical monitoring. During this time, intravenous treatments may be given to replenish depleted nutrients. Withdrawal symptoms can build over the first 48 hours, peak the third day, and lessen during the next 7 to 10 days. The symptoms include:
- Drug Craving
- Muscle cramps and bone pain
- Loss of Appetite
- Runny Eyes and Nose
- Dilated Pupils
Second Phase – During this phase, the body begins to produce its own dopamine again. However, as the body adjusts, the following symptoms can occur:
- Goosebumps and sudden chills
- Abdominal cramping
Third Phase – Although the body has partially recovered physically, psychological symptoms are common in the absence of the euphoria-producing opiate that can mask underlying issues. Symptoms that can occur include:
- General malaise
- Lingering Aches and Pains
- Mild to moderate depression
Are You in Need of Detox Centers in NJ?
At the Discovery Institute, medical professionals are able to monitor individuals withdrawing from chemical dependencies 24/7 and offer medical assistance when needed. Doctors can also provide these individuals with medications to alleviate symptoms brought on by withdrawal. Inpatient care programs can significantly reduce the risk of harm and death among individuals who are detoxing. For more information, contact Discovery today.
Dr. Joseph Ranieri D.O. earned his BS in Pharmacy at Temple University School of Pharmacy in 1981 and His Doctorate Degree in Osteopathic Medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1991. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and a Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine Addiction Certification. Dr. Ranieri has lectured extensively to physicians, nurses, counselors and laypeople about the Disease of Addiction throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 2012.