Heroin detox is the process by which all traces of heroin are removed from the body.
Detoxification from heroin (diacetylmorphine) is the process of metabolization and elimination of heroin and morphine from one’s system. Detoxification is the removal of opiates (natural poppy alkaloids) and opioids (substances with opiate effects that give similar sensations).
Heroin detox is the first stage of opiate addiction treatment and rehabilitation.
There are two types of heroin detoxification:
“Cold turkey” detox
“Cold turkey” detox is the natural removal of heroin from the body. Without medical support, heroin withdrawals are slow and painful. A heroin user may suffer from many opiate withdrawal symptoms like pain in muscles and bones, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, nervousness, sleeplessness, growing drug cravings up to aggression. Our patients reported their earlier “cold turkey” home detox experience as brutal punishment. Saying they were locked at home like in prison. They usually relapsed as soon as they could reach dope. Heroin users never want to repeat such torture as heroin withdrawals without medical support.
Medical heroin detox is the professional management of safe medicinal withdrawals prevention and treatment of all the withdrawal symptoms and issues.
Medical heroin detox
That means that medical doctors carefully design the personal detox model for each patient. The medical detox model takes into consideration particular opioids and other drugs that are taken. The same goes for prescribed medications, daily intakes, the ways of administration, health issues and current therapy, psychological conditions, and motivation toward sobriety, height, and weight as well as the previous detox problems and treatment achievements.
Transferring from heroin to another opioid, like Methadone, Suboxone, etc. as a long-term treatment plan is not detoxification itself, but opioid substitution leading to the new chemical dependence. However, we can consider the short-term (for several days only) administration of opiate medications just to tapper it down to zero. But after that, only a non-opioid treatment leads to real abstinence and recovery. Naltrexone maintenance, especially Depot Naltrexone chip, is very useful in terms of staying off heroin.
Ultra Rapid Opioid Detoxification (UROD) allows us to remove most of the heroin from one’s body in one day by using total anesthesia with artificial breathing, gastric lavage, and accelerating the process with opioid antagonist Naloxone. This complicated and expensive procedure is indicated in urgent cases only. Still so fast opioid deprivation shocks one’s body and brain and can provoke drug craving, stress, and psychological side effects.
Rapid Heroin Detox
Rapid heroin detox implies the 5-7 days of heroin elimination by the means of different sedatives, painkillers, vegetative and mood stabilizers, and many other meds to block the withdrawals. That provides easy, calm, and pain-free relief from heroin.