Heroin Detox and Withdrawal

When you choose us for your heroin detox, you are in safe hands – we have helped thousands heal from addiction. We can help you too.

Heroin Detox at the Providence Projects

At our centres, all prescribing of any medications or treatments is overseen by Dr Mufeed Niman. You will be treated in a caring and delicate manner to help make you feel safe and comfortable and to alleviate the various withdrawal symptoms. Opioid withdrawal reactions are very uncomfortable but are not usually life-threatening, especially when you confide in us and notify us of any symptoms as they occur.

We have observed that symptoms usually start within 12 hours of last heroin dose taken and within 30 hours of you were last exposed to methadone. Most of these symptoms, and sometimes all of them, are alleviated during your prescribed detox regime here at the Project. We want to emphasise, however, that detox alone is not the solution for getting rid of your cravings and kicking addiction forever. It is just the beginning of the treatment recovery process.

Without the necessary therapeutic interventions that treatment offers, the chances of long-term recovery are slimmer. There are a number of options available to you, including our medically supervised residential heroin detoxification. Our team of addiction specialists are on hand to guide you through the options available when you call us or during the admission interview.

It is important to know what to expect from a heroin detox before you begin so that you can make sure you complete the process in the most appropriate way for your situation. The best chance you have of overcoming heroin addiction is finding a programme that works for you. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to look. Fortunately, there is plenty of help available at our centre, including from our admission experts, medical personnel and our supportive therapists and counsellors.

Heroin Withdrawal - Breaking the Walls

When you have been using heroin and other opioids, this will result in strong physical dependence and you may notice yourself relying on the substance to achieve a basic everyday conscious level of existence. Heroin mutes pain, emotional and physical, it also however affects your overall health and ability to understand your body’s sygnals. Many people who are addicted to heroin no longer enjoy using but simply continue using to fend off withdrawals. They use out of fear.

Hence, the first stage of our heroin rehab programme will be heroin detoxification. At The Providence Projects, you will be assessed by one of our doctors to ensure that you receive a fully personalised detox in a safe and healthy environment. Both The Providence Projects and The Providence Surgery are highly experienced in heroin detox. As we have been providing this service since 1996, and with The Providence Surgery’s recent rating of ‘Outstanding’ by The Care Quality Commission, you can entrust us with your future. We are here for you.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Each person will experience different symptoms when trying to cut down, reduce or stop their heroin use. Your experience is unique to you, and will depend on a variety of factors. Diagnosing and creating a treatment programme is not as straightforward. All symptoms and signs should be analysed and considered before starting any treatments. If you are looking to detox from heroin, you may experience longer withdrawals compared to other opioids, due to the nature of the drug.

Many of the withdrawals experienced are physical. These are also linked with psychological withdrawals which result in strong cravings. This is why trying to stop without professional help can be too difficult.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Runny Nose
  • Yawning
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Depression
  • Watery eyes
  • Intense craving
  • Insomnia
  • Flu like symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Constipation / Diarrhoea

Choosing the Ideal Detox Programme

There are many options, as we already discussed, but how do you choose the one for you? You will not be choosing alone.

At The Providence Projects, we will assign an admissions specialist to help you, to listen to you and your experiences, to guide you towards the optimal treatment and medications, if needed, for your medical and addiction history.

Heroin detox is a process which affects your psyche and your body, so it is vital to understand what is going on within your system to create the best timeline for your treatment. Substitutes such as methadone or buprenorphine are generally popular among addiction treatment services, while some colleagues prefer to simply reduce slowly the dosages and intake (taper off). Over the years, service providers have used Lofexidine, Dihydrocodeine, sedation, and a plethora of ranges and techniques to break the physical heroin addiction.

Research in recent years and clear guidelines published by NICE demonstrate that the most effective medication in detox is buprenorphine (subutex). This medication works slightly differently in that it also partially acts as a blocker whilst being very effective at minimising withdrawal symptoms. Because we closely follow the research and patents in the UK, and abroad, we sometimes prescribe substitute medications during your detox from heroin. This, however, is not suitable for every person who arrives at our residential detox facilities. This is why we will work with you to choose the best option.

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What Are the Guidelines?

NICE guidelines strongly advise against rapid detox for a range of reasons, and we are keen to stick to the well-educated and confirmed guidelines for this type of difficult detoxification. Providence Projects do not test new routines and we will not treat you with untested therapies. The tempered approach is altogether successful. while rapid detoxification is potentially dangerous and life-threatening. You might prefer to go on to long term opioid maintenance prescriptions which will, judging by previous cases we have had at The Projects, be a methadone script. Most local authority drug agencies will use this as their first line of treatment and whilst there are some benefits, there are also a range of pitfalls.

Methadone, which has a much longer half-life, is a highly addictive drug. Due to the way in which it is released, many methadone users want to reduce or stop but find that it is too difficult and the withdrawals are too much to manage. Those who support methadone use claim that on the right levels of methadone, users can function effectively and live a normal and happy life. In our experience this is a very rare occurrence. Like any opioid drug; taken over a long period of time it is simply not good for you. There are a range of long-term side effects which can be quite debilitating and generally prevents people from living a full life in recovery.

Timeline of Heroin Detox

The length of a heroin detox for this purpose will depend on the length of use, the quantities used and a range of personal health factors and history. The average length of heroin detox at The Providence Projects is 12 – 14 days. During this period, you will be monitored regularly to ensure comfortable withdrawal. The detox regime is flexible and can be reviewed or amended at any time depending on your personal progress.

What Happens after Heroin Detox?

Believe it or not, in many ways, the detox is the easy part of recovery! There may be times that you experience cravings or some mild withdrawals but the success rate of heroin detox is very close to 100%.

The key to recovery is staying sober. The comprehensive and intensive heroin rehab programme provides you with the level of support required during those difficult stages after detox. It also gives you the skills and the tools required to stay clean after completing your rehab programme. As part of this process, there are a range of therapies including 1-2-1 counselling, group therapy, assignments, and workshops, family therapy, exercise, self-esteem work, relationship workshops and much more. This programme enables people to not only break the cycle of addiction but to ensure that this cycle can be broken for good.

Learn more about our drug or alcohol rehab programmes at The Providence Projects. Call our team of experienced counsellors on 0800 955 0945 and we will be happy to answer your questions.


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