Detoxification: A Heroin Addict’s Worst Fear

Both drug and alcohol addictions are deceitful entities. What may start out as a seemingly recreational activity, develops slowly into a debilitating addiction. Detoxification from drugs and alcohol should only be done with medical supervision.  This is especially true for heroin addicts.

While in a drug rehab facility, professionals are completely knowledgeable of the emotional and physical consequences of full-blown addiction, and they have the resources to tailor the treatment to specific drugs such as heroin or opiates. Rehab clinicians fully understand the powerful and unique nature of long-term drug and alcohol addiction. Therefore, a rehab facility is the best place for a drug abuser to get adequate help for their chronic condition. In a safe and secure, drug-free environment, the addict can endure the detoxification process from drugs, thoroughly engage in intense emotional work, and relate to other clients as well.

What Does the Detoxification Process Involve?

Each detoxification treatment is customized to meet the individual patient’s needs. Some aspects to consider include the following:

  1. Family history of dependence on drugs and alcohol.
  2. What kinds of drugs did the user ingest? Opiates? Benzos? Stimulants?  Heroin?
  3. Gender and age.
  4. How long the user abused the substance and the frequency of the abuse.
  5. Current condition of overall physical health along with any mental disorders or presence of genetic diseases if applicable.

Upon entering into a rehab facility, the addict will undergo what’s known as an intake assessment. It’s a rather simple process that involves blood and urine samples, routine paperwork, and some interviews will also take place with different staff members. The user is introduced to the rehab center and takes a tour of the general premises. Once the patient forms a relationship with the staff clinicians they’ll be working with, their treatment for addiction will begin. Drug facility clinicians are very much aware of the difficult withdrawal symptoms that are typically associated with stopping drug and/or alcohol abuse. Some of the most frequently experienced withdrawal symptoms from drug and alcohol abuse include the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Headaches
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Trembling extremities
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia

In rehab, the brain is subsequently going through many neurological changes, especially concerning its reward system. Over time, abusing drugs damages the natural ability of the brain to generate endorphins, or “feel-good” neurotransmitters. However, through detoxification, users can gradually heal and return to a healthy neurological state-of-mind in time. A good rehab facility will ensure that the entire process happens in a secure, drug-free environment, far away from any dangerous temptations.

What Happens After Completing the Withdrawal?

Following the detoxification process, users will address their deep-seated emotions concerning their drug or alcohol-filled lifestyle. They participate in group therapy to discuss important problems with other clients. Each client will reveal certain anecdotes, stories, and useful advice to other clients that can help them on their recovery journey as well who are dealing with similar trials and struggles. Even though addiction can affect literally anyone regardless of their race, age, or gender, most users share many of the following traits:

  • Tendency to be compulsive
  • Low self-worth or self-esteem
  • An obsessive desire to please other people, even if it means disadvantaging themselves
  • Lack of good communication skills, can’t clearly express their needs
  • Drawn toward outside forces in an attempt to fill an inherent void

No matter how users end up at a drug treatment facility, those who endure the early stages of sobriety all walk a similar path in order to reach a more rewarding, fulfilling, and peaceful existence. Drug and alcohol abusers typically experience the following:

  • Drug detoxification
  • Emotional healing through group therapy sessions
  • Individualized therapy healing
  • Self-discovery journey
  • Effective communication and life-adjusting skills
  • Enlightenment
  • Introduced to 12-step based fellowship meetings

By undergoing drug and alcohol rehabilitation, several addicts find inner peace and reconnect spiritually to not only themselves, but to everyone else in a healthy and fulfilling manner. A life of drug addiction is empty, meaningless, and robs a person of their purpose in life. Therefore, returning to a clean and sober lifestyle gives them a new sense of direction and self-awareness.

Addiction in itself is a challenge and cannot be dealt with alone. In almost every case, the addict must seek help beyond themselves in order to reach a permanent state of sobriety from drugs and alcohol. With a bit of work and the burning desire to get clean, addicts can reach their goal of long-term sobriety and discover valuable lessons and life tools that will help them for the rest of their lives. Staying on the path of addiction and self-destruction will inevitably result in one of these three things: incarceration, institutionalization, or death.


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