Heroin is an illegal substance in the opioid class. It is a very potent and addictive opiate that is derived from Morphine, which is extracted from the seed pod of opium poppy plants. Heroin is most commonly used as a recreational drug for its euphoric effect. It is typically injected but it may also be smoked, inhaled, or snorted, as well as taken orally. Heroin reaches the brain very quickly. The effect of heroin may last as little as 15 minutes or as long as several hours. Brentwood Springs Detox is ready to help someone take that first step on their road to successful recovery with a heroin detox in Nashville, Tennessee.
What is Heroin Addiction?
Heroin provides the user with a sudden rush or high. Many users find it difficult to stop using, sometimes after using it the first or second time. When heroin enters the body it is converted to morphine and attaches to the opioid receptors. A chain reaction ultimately occurs in the neurons of the brain causing the pleasure circuits to fill with dopamine, triggering a surge of happiness.
Simply put, the brain thinks â€œThis feels good. Let’s do more.â€ Habits and cravings begin to develop. Prescription opioid medications have a similar effect to heroin. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, research has shown that the misuse of these medications can lead to heroin use. Regular use of heroin builds a tolerance, causing the user to need more and more to achieve the same effect.
Over time, at higher doses, the body becomes dependent on the drug. Dependent users will experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using heroin. Major health complications can occur from heroin and the additives in street drugs.
Heroin Use in Nashville, Tennessee
Approximately 70,000 Tennesseans are addicted to opioids. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, around 218,000 people ages 12 and older have used illicit drugs in the past year. These include heroin, among others, as well as synthetic substances like fentanyl. As opioid prescriptions such as oxycodone and hydrocodone decrease, the use of Heroin is on the rise. The danger of Heroin use is also increasing as suppliers add more fatal synthetic chemicals into the product every year.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Tennessee has seen a nearly 800 percent increase in crimes related to heroin use since 2009. Unfortunately, a huge chunk of this continual increase occurs between the ages of 18-25.
Health Complications of Heroin Use
- Permanent damage to the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver
- Mental disorders such as depression and antisocial personality disorder
- Scarred or collapsed veins from injection
- Sexual dysfunction
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Tissue damage
- Immune reactions such as arthritis and other rheumatologic problems
Heroin Overdose Risks
In addition to heroin health complications, a high risk of overdose and death can occur. Heroin is a central nervous system depressant, which causes immediate feelings of well-being and pain relief. It also slows down brain function, irregular heartbeat, lowers body temperature and blood pressure, and causes breathing to slow or stop. A person may lose consciousness, lapse into a coma, or die.
Heroin is often mixed with other illicit drugs, including very potent fentanyl. This creates a highly dangerous and possibly deadly cocktail. Since the potency can vary greatly, as the need arises to use more, a person may not realize how much they are really using.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Heroin withdrawal can be described as a severe flu-like illness. Withdrawal symptoms can be so severe that many continue to use, even when they want to stop. It can range from mild to severe, according to levels of dependence, duration, and method of use.
Withdrawal usually begins six to 12 hours after the last dose and peaks within two to three days. Heroin withdrawal symptoms typically last around a week, but can last 10 days or longer in some cases.
Symptoms May Include:
- Gastrointestinal distress (Nausea, vomiting, cramping, diarrhea)
- Joint, bone, muscle pain and twitching
- Chills, fever, excessive sweating
- Mood swings and crying
Some symptoms, such as persistent vomiting and diarrhea, can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, elevated sodium levels, and heart failure. However, all withdrawal symptoms are safely managed with proper medical attention.
What Happens During Heroin Detox?
Detox is the first step of recovery by ridding the body of all traces of drugs and toxins. At Brentwood Springs, our heroin detox in Nashville, Tennessee begins with a detailed physical screening and substance use assessment of each new client. Co-occurring medical and mental health disorders are common with addiction.
This evaluation enables our compassionate care team to put together an effective personalized treatment program to accommodate one’s specific needs. At Brentwood Springs we understand this first step can be a daunting experience for many people.
We are committed to getting someone through the withdrawal process safely and successfully. Inpatient heroin detox largely involves managing withdrawal symptoms. Medications can be administered by our trained professionals to lessen the discomfort of heroin withdrawal.
Heroin Detox Timeline
While each client may differ, heroin detox usually follows a general timeline as follows:
- Six to12 hours of withdrawal begins with mild symptoms at first
- In two to three days the severity of symptoms peak
- Within seven to 10 days, withdrawal symptoms begin to taper off
- Around 14 days the worst is over and symptoms should cease or be mild
- Weeks to months following detox, many may go on to experience Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)
It is estimated up to 90% of those recovering from opiate addiction, including heroin may experience PAWS. The condition is a cluster of symptoms that may appear weeks, months, or even years following the cessation of substances of abuse.
Although not fully understood, it is believed to be caused by physical changes that occur in the brain during substance abuse and withdrawal. Symptoms are often triggered by stressful situations due to the brain’s reduced capacity to handle stress. Almost everyone recovering from substance abuse will experience symptoms to some degree, at some point during the recovery process.
PAWS mainly present as psychological difficulties and mood disorders. Symptoms may include:
- Difficulty with cognitive tasks
- Sleep pattern disturbances
- Increased sensitivity to stress
- Anxiety or panic
- Social difficulties
- Obsessive-compulsive behaviors
- Apathy or pessimism
Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT) During Heroin Detox
The use of medications reduces the discomfort of heroin withdrawal. These medications are administered by a professional staff member and doses are closely monitored and regulated. Medication types used during MAT include:
- Methadone: This tricks the brain into thinking they are still using heroin which eases their withdrawal symptoms, without providing the high.
- Buprenorphine: Used for long-term relapse prevention, this medication works similarly to methadone, but is less potent.
- Clonidine: This medication eases symptoms of withdrawal such as stomach pain, anxiety, body aches, excessive sweating, and runny nose. It is not used to lessen cravings.
- Naltrexone: This non-addictive substance aids in preventing relapse. If a person uses while on this medication, they will not get high and will actually experience a brief bout of intense withdrawal symptoms. It accomplishes this by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain.
Benefits of Inpatient Heroin Detox Centers
Undergoing a heroin detox in Nashville, Tennessee can be a dangerous process At Brentwood Springs Detox center, we have compassionate medical staff available 24/7 for monitoring and support. We provide a secure setting for individuals to detox as comfortably and safely as possible. Our facility offers many services and does more than just get clients through detoxification.
Other services provided include:
- Drug testing
- Blood testing
- EKG testing
- Medication-assisted therapy (MAT)
- Residential rehab
Heroin Detox Center in Nashville, TN
Your addiction to heroin is interfering with your ability to live a happy, fulfilling life. It’s time to get help by taking that first step. Brentwood Springs Detox center in Nashville, Tennessee helps you get through the withdrawal process safely and successfully. You can trust that we will take care of you throughout the entire process. You are capable, and sobriety is well within your reach.
Give us a call or visit our admissions page to start the recovery process with a heroin detox in Nashville, Tennessee today. We offer support in other cities in Tennessee, like Dickson, Columbia, and Murfreesboro. Additionally, we accept UHC insurance. We are eager to answer any questions or concerns you may have on your road to recovery.